As You Love Yourself | #MyFridayStory №325

Frans Nel
3 min readMar 15, 2024


Image | Shannon

In the past, the instruction to love myself has been a struggle.

As Westerners, we tend to experience the world more through the lens of body and mind than spirit. Eastern mystics, gurus, monks, deep thinkers, and philosophers all believe the spirit — the soul — is an essential element of our entire existence on Earth. In many Western cultures, self-love could be perceived as vanity or arrogance. Whereas in Eastern cultures, having self-love is central to true happiness and contentment. The mistake many of us make is believing that we must first love ourselves before we can love others. However, this is not true because we are all loved first by God, allowing us to love ourselves and others.

The self-love we need — the healthy kind that keeps us humble — is based on our deep gratitude and thanks for the undeserved love we receive from God. When we accept that we can’t love without God’s love in our hearts, we can surrender to His grace in humility, knowing it is given in equal amounts to every person on Earth. That same grace and love surpass all human understanding and extend to everything God created in the heavens and on earth. Our job as custodians is to look after creation and take care of each other with deep regard for the honour of being created in His image.

I’m always struck by the revelation from Mother Teresa’s letters that for almost 40 years, she never felt the closeness of God. During her many years in Calcutta, India, helping orphans, the homeless, and the destitute, her letters to other clergy mention that God felt distant from her. Can you imagine working your whole life in a righteous, upright manner, worshipping and honouring God in every area of your life, all while believing He is keeping you at arm’s length?

Mother Teresa knew that her human feelings were not a reflection of the promises He made to all who strive for righteousness and goodness. She was able to love, not because she was good, but because she knew God was good and faithful to uphold His promise to love us unconditionally. She needn’t do anything; His love would fill her full. It is with this knowledge that she could carry on every day, fulfilling her purpose to honour and serve her God.

In saying we should love our neighbour as we love ourselves, we should remember the commandment is about loving our neighbours, not about us. The assumption is that we already love ourselves as God loves us. We are already in awe of the unconditional love we receive from Him, expressing love outwardly becomes a natural act. Just know that the decision to act in love in your day-to-day life is a conscious one. It doesn’t just happen. It is through deep contemplation and soul reflection that one finds the capacity for love to flow outward.

Find the moments in each day when heaven reaches down and touches the earth, when the two realms collide and become one. They are there each day if you care to look out for them — moments that leave you breathless.

About once a week, either one morning on the weekend or after I arrive home from work at night, my grandson and I like to indulge in our routine. We cross the road to walk in the veld opposite our house. We look for insects and flowers and get angry about how people litter in our veld! After the veld, we carry on walking to the shops up the road. There, we decide which ice cream we will buy — soft serve in a cone with a Flake or a Rainbow Ice Lolly. We carry our newly acquired treasure quickly back to our rock that’s about halfway back home. We sit on our rock — each in his same spot — and we marvel at how wonderful life is.

For that moment on our rock, love overflows as Heaven and Earth become one.

Have a great weekend and please remember to be generous! 😄

As always, thanks for reading. 🙏

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