Authentic self love is the greatest combatant to oppression and injustice.
Wisdom of Mary Magdalene
Attending to our own Sacredness within is an essential step in living an authentic life of service and contribution. I think most of us want to have a positive impact in the world. Those of us on the journey of spiritual and emotional intelligence seek ways to heal ourselves and then offer healing to others. Most of our religious traditions, even though we may not participate actively today, had a focus on giving to others. Growing up catholic certainly attests to this. As a child, I recall our learning about those who were hungry and experiencing injustice and our responsibility to attend to them. My own family modeled outreach on a regular basis to those who needed assistance in our own community.
With this upbringing, there was also a insinuation that focusing too much on ourselves was, well...selfish and wrong. As a young girl our religious teachings and stories were about focusing on others, feeding the hungry and clothing the poor.
Today I appreciate the learning I received around these teachings. After all, there are poor among us and having instilled within me a care and compassion for others is honorable. Today, I also believe that we must honor our own sacredness and care for ourselves above all us and from this fulness within, we give abundantly to others. It's still risky for me to say this, however, since some still think this is selfish behavior.
While it's not a complete departure from the teachings of my religious upbringing, it is a slight departure and a substantial addition. I believe to truly attend to the needs of another and be of service in a profound capacity, I must attend first to my own physical and spiritual well-being. In doing so, I learn to give from spiritual and emotional maturity, completeness that honors my own authentic relationship with the Divine. When honor the sacredness of self first, my motives are clear. My giving doesn't come out of duress or fear of reprisal but of conscious choice and desire to serve.
When we honor our own sacredness and give to others from this fullness within, we honor the sacredness of others and the difference we make is most profound. To love self is a courageous act of service for all.
Blessings on your journey.