Every now and then, I notice that a couple of the little quotes that I collect just seem to go together or maybe have more meaning when used together.
“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.” (Oscar Wilde)
“I can be somebody’s and still be my own.” – Shel Silverstein
I have written a few times about the importance of loving yourself, before you can really love others and Wilde’s quote seems to sum it up nicely. A component of that self-love that I have also written about is the ability to forgive yourself for mistakes or failures. One key to both is accepting the forgiveness and love of God in your life.
Being yourself and loving yourself means being able to be content when alone and not being dependent on another for your sense of well-being or fulfilment. It means having your own independent interests and opinions. It means finding wholeness within yourself and not as a part of someone else. You may share a great deal of who you are with someone else, but at the end of the day (or the relationship) that part comes back to you.
Silverstein’s quote speaks to the commitments that we make as we become someone else’s husband, wife, father, mother, lover, friend or relative. We give a part of ourselves to them and share our love with them; however, we remain ourselves and must still love ourselves. I suspect that it would be very hard to have a serious relationship with someone who did not love themselves. You may be there for them, but that s not the same as giving yourself to them.
When you don’t love yourself it very difficult to share yourself to someone else because you feel that it would be like sharing a flawed gift. Your inability to forgive and love yourself may embarrass you or make you feel ashamed of yourself. It certainly doesn’t put you in the mood to openly share of yourself.
So takes Wilde’s advice and start that lifelong love affair with yourself. It may help to first accept God’s forgiveness and love for you. It is a small step from there to being able to love yourself. Only then will you truly be ready to be somebody’s, because you will already be your own.
Don’t you just love it?