“[L]oving everything that arises within you is the key to bringing love to the world.” Choose Only Love: Let Yourself Be Loved (COL bk.2, 15:I)
We think we see so many things in ourselves that we want to reject as not being worthy. We are very hard on ourselves. Here, though, we read that we ought to love everything that arises in us. How can this be so?
It is so because, regardless of how many mistakes we have made, we are still innocent in the eyes of God. We don’t reject tiny children when we have to reprimand them; we see their innocence. And we are tiny children, at least sometimes, in the eyes of God. Certainly He knows that we try, and little children do not try without sometimes falling into error. A wise parent does not turn against the child because that child is not perfect.
Being innocent is not the same as being perfect. We fall down, and we will continue to fall down, but we ought to give ourselves some slack. We get up, and we try again. If we stay down, we aren’t able to live in God’s light. Eyes on the ground, we see only darkness.
If we can love ourselves, then we can bring love to others, to the ones in our circle in the world. If we despise ourselves, we are ignorant of what love is, and we cannot meaningfully give it to another.
Know that love saves us, from ourselves and also from the rejection of others. We need instead to wrap the world with open arms, sure of our love, blessed by the love that God has taught us to feel.