You’ve heard the song, right? The one from nineteen-seventy-whenever?
“If you can’t be with the one you love,
Honey, love the one you’re with. . .”
I realize that when taken at face value, that isn’t exactly a flattering thought for you or “the on you’re with”. But why interpret a song correctly when you can spin it in a way that perfectly aligns with your own points?
Lately, I’ve been reading [or hearing] those words differently. I realized the other day that-until someone falls out of the sky and into a stable, mutually edifying relationship with me-I’m the one I’m with.
In terms of the people in my life, I’m the only certainty I’ve got. And I’ll be with me no matter what else or who else comes along. So for me to love me is important.
This marvelous picture came from a blog post sent to me by a friend today as we were discussing what it means to love oneself. Just look at that. That smile is on the face of someone who understands that concept. [In typical fashion, another child has taught me an invaluable lesson.]
Of course to love oneself is not to be selfish, to forsake others, or to overindulge. To love yourself is to recognize your own value, and to take care of yourself accordingly; to love yourself is to treat yourself as you should be treated.
To borrow a thought from my spiritual framework: to “be yourself” means you carry a spark of the Divine that no one else does, and that every human being is a singular part of his Creation. So, for us to love ourselves is to live and make decisions for ourselves in a way that recognizes that.
And whether or not you factor in the supernatural, it is still true that each person is a completely unique bit of the human race.
Like any artist, I know I will always live with being my own worst critic. And I know life and the people in it will make sure my plate is never in want of Humble Pie. So there’s nothing wrong with reminding myself occasionally that I am all-around rad.
And so are you.