August 31

Today's quotation:

Be gentle with yourself, learn to love yourself, to forgive
yourself, for only as we have the right attitude toward
ourselves can we have the right attitude toward others.

Wilferd Arlan Peterson

Today's Meditation:

I knew someone once who was really down on himself all the time.  He constantly criticized himself and his actions, and I don't remember ever hearing him say something good about himself.  He always used to wonder why people didn't want to be around him, though to me it was pretty clear--he treated other people the same ways he treated himself.  He criticized them and cut them down, had great expectations of them and became very disappointed with them if they didn't meet his expectations.  His kids didn't like to share anything with him, and they avoided him all they could (which wasn't easy since they all lived in the same house).

He lived in double misery--misery because he always hurt himself through his attitude towards himself, and misery because other people avoided him because they knew how he would act towards them.  And the latter fact made the former fact even worse--he treated himself worse because of the way that others avoided him.

This man was not gentle with himself.  He couldn't love or forgive himself, or at least he chose not to do either.  And the way he felt about himself was projected on other people in the way he expected others to treat him--and not surprisingly almost everyone lived down to his low expectations.

Misery often is a chosen condition--it's a result of decisions that we make.  It's the effect of certain causes.  How others treat us is usually a result of how we treat them, and how we treat them usually is a reflection of how we treat ourselves.  If we want others to treat us well, then we must treat ourselves well, first.  After all, we deserve good treatment--and we need it if we're going to make a difference in this world of ours.

Questions to consider:

What's your attitude towards yourself?

Why is it that others tend to treat us as we treat ourselves?

What positive things can you attract to yourself by treating yourself well?

For further thought:

It's easy to see and notice what we like in other people.  Sometimes,
it's not as easy to see the attributes and beauty in ourselves.
It's good to see the beauty in others.  But sometimes, take a
moment and get excited when you notice what's
beautiful in yourself, too.

Melody Beattie


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