“Know yourself. Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.” — Ann Landers

A FRIEND once gave me the most unusual look—a surprised and confused one—when she asked me “do you love me?” and which I replied “yes, I love me.”

She slapped me in between the words “you” and “conceited,” which she said almost half-a-dozen times. Being honest that time was obviously not appreciated.

It took four attempts to say “let me explain” after she allowed me to talk in between sobs and jeering looks. But not without first shouting, “You narcissist!”

I was surprised by her reaction, but immediately realized that she obviously did not understand what I meant.

I’m not a narcissist. I just knew myself enough to say that loving someone during that time was not possible.

Loving one’s self does not mean admiring or adoring your face or body in the mirror all the time. It means accepting and allowing yourself to grow despite your flaws.

In a society where kissing scenes and “you-complete-me” endings make the most of a movie or a book, it is unsurprising to find people who despise persons who love themselves.

But how would I love someone if I don’t love myself? How would I know what love is if I haven’t experienced it? And what better way to understand it than loving myself first?

By knowing what I need, I become sensitive to others. I could have a deeper understanding of another’s condition. It would be the height of hypocrisy to say “I want to help others” when I could not help myself. I cannot give what I don’t have.

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Lessons from the 51st Eucharistic Congress

The Bible says “love others as you love yourself.” It is founded on the fact that you love yourself first since the basis of how you will love others is the love you give to yourself. The same is true with the Golden Rule. It presupposes that you intend good to yourself and that you treat others with the same goodness you give to yourself.

Loving someone is more than giving flowers, spending time or walking home together or even having ‘butterflies’ in the stomach. Loving someone means doing good to that person not because you get to kiss her at the end of the day, but because that is what you believe she deserves.

Prayer: Lord Almighty, give me the grace to grow and accept myself as you want me to be. Give me the courage to stand and withstand the temptations of society that I may be perfect in your eyes. Amen.

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