Posted on: Friday, March 13th, 2009
Ever felt like you were giving up who you are when interacting with some people close to you? Could be a boss, mom, dad or long-time friend. Someone whose opinion you still value. Do you feel ‘less than’ after the interaction? Ever want to watch a certain movie, or go to a certain restaurant, but never quite get there because you always agree to your friends suggestions? Maybe you’ve been trained to believe your needs are not that important, or the needs of others are more important or that putting your needs first is selfish. Is it selfless when you become resentful afterwards?
‘Loving your neighbor as yourself’ is predicated on the belief that you know how to love yourself. How to accept that you are a valid, legitimate, worthy individual. Only then can you give to others the love you show yourself. The concept has been summarized thus: I = YOU. Not more than (arrogance) or less than (smallness) but equal people. After all, as in the quote below, equal people invite others to be that way too.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Willamson
So, learn to understand your self and your needs and take responsibility for meeting them. And while doing that make decisions about helping others meet their needs: as you are able and while still having love in your heart for them.