It is that time of year when we feel crappy about ourselves because we made resolutions for the new year for a "new you" and now is when we have fallen off the wagon. This post is not motivation to get back on that wagon, but to rethink the whole wagon. Let's turn the whole thing upside down and make our resolution TO BE.
I admit the the resolution thing for me is daunting. They always have something to do with losing weight and being disciplined. This is because these are the two things I hate about myself. So I make my resolutions about trying to be a different me rather than an improved me. The different me can't appreciate me for me. The different me looks at famous people, successful friends, healthy friends, cool people, cool bloggers, much more hip Trader Joe's employees and is constantly comparing. Even worse those I shamefully deem less successful, less healthy, less cool, less blogger, less hip TJ employee I unintentionally judge and become incapable of loving.
Simone Weil expressed the idea that if I claim to love someone but don't love them for who they presently are then I don't really love them. I only love my idea of them. How often do we love the idol of someone rather than the actual someone? Those who are in religious communities, how often do you say you love the LGBTQ neighbor, but only for the agenda of "fixing" them? Those who are anti-anything (republican, democrat, religion, God, meat, vegetables, environment, blacks, whites, muslims, anything not you etc.) and still claim love, but are unable identify with or accept them means you can't love them. Is it possible our inability to love the true other is because of our inability to love our true self?
Simone was addressing the self when she was talking about loving the other, because the other is us. Love your neighbor as yourself is not a progression of loving myself then my neighbor. It is seamlessly connected. Loving my neighbor is loving myself, and loving myself is loving my neighbor.
I used to think about it as though I am a water pitcher - when we are able to fill ourselves with love then we can be pour love onto others. That no longer resonates. When we love our true neighbor, not our agenda or idol of that neighbor, we are free to love ourselves immensely. The water doesn't get poured, but becomes a spring uncontrollably flowing, soaking, quenching, comforting, cleansing, and healing all of us.
Lets dangerously love others.
Lets uncomfortably love others.
Lets love those who we are ashamed of and discover there is deep and rich flow that is longing to burst from within us.