Monday, 3 December 2012

Loving Myself Up

Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  Mark 12:31
Today's post is based on the second commandment of Jesus.  'Blimey!' you might be thinking.  'What's up with her.  We've don't usually have religious stuff spouting forth from the realms of 'lovely grey day'.  My own faith beliefs are complex and were formed out of the experience of being involved in that particularly nasty breed of evangelical churches, prevalent in the 1980s, where teachings about the all encompassing love of God were  all mixed up with an over zealous emphasis on hellfire and damnation for a range of sins which could be as minor as wearing jeans.  It was all too much for an overactive adolescent mind and  left me, and a number of others that I've met, damaged for years.

This doesn't detract from the fact that Jesus, and yes others like the Buddha, Mohammed and other renowned teachers through the ages, have come up with some truly wise words.  Like the text above which is all too often cut off in its prime.  'Love thy neighbour' is advice of a high order indeed but this love for others needs to be coupled with self love to be truly empowering.

I often gently remind those frazzled carers that I come across in my job that they need to be looking after themselves in order to remain fit and healthy enough physically and mentally to be able to continue the tasks of looking after their loved ones with dementia.  Well, now I need to take a good old spoonful of my own medicine and heed two thousand year old wisdom too.   As I said before, volunteering has left me frazzled  and now the Scout Fayre is done and dusted I'm taking stock and giving myself a big dose of self lurve!

Fitting in all that stuff working for others has taken its toll and has meant healthy eating,  regular exercise and mindful contemplation have all gone to pot.   So, in order to rectify matters, a veg box has been ordered,  the running shoes have been dusted off and my meditation stool is at the ready.  I've got a truly relaxing fortnight long Christmas break coming up which I'm absolutely not going to fill up with mega-loads of commitments.  And I'm hoping that this will get me back on the straight and narrow of achieving that balance where practical self love is on an equal footing to that aimed at others.

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