February 15

Today's quotation:

Friendship with oneself is all-important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Today's Meditation:

What a self-centered way of looking at life, don't you think?  Friendship with ourselves?  What can that possibly mean?  Isn't it the height of egocentrism to want to be friends with ourselves?  Shouldn't we be focused on others, and helping them out?

Unfortunately, we often learn when we're growing up that it is egocentric to try to get to know ourselves and love ourselves.  Some people even see it as unnatural.  But think of this:  are you more able to help others when you're sick in bed with a fever, unable even to get up and walk, or when you're healthy and sound and able to move about and do things?  The answer's pretty obvious.

When we aren't friends with ourselves, we certainly do not present a healthy role model for other people to follow.  I had a friend once who was so hard on himself that I felt at times that he hated himself, and I felt awful for him.  The interesting thing about him, though, was that he was always giving others advice on what to do, how to feel, how to live.  He knew better, it seemed, and he wanted to tell others how to live their lives.  Nobody listened to him, though, because they saw how unhappy with himself he was.  Logic tells us that taking advice from a miserable person will make us miserable ourselves, doesn't it?

You are a great person, a wonderful creation, and you deserve to be treated well.  First and foremost, though, you deserve to be treated well by yourself.  If you don't do that, you're simply sabotaging any possibility you have of helping others to feel better about themselves.

Questions to consider:

Are you friends with yourself?  Is it difficult to maintain that friendship?

What are some of the obstacles that we face in trying to develop a true and lasting friendship with ourselves?

Do you treat yourself as well as you treat others?

For further thought:

The capacity for getting along with our neighbor depends to a large extent on the capacity for getting along with ourselves. The self-respecting individuals will try to be as tolerant of their neighbor's shortcomings as they are of their own.

Eric Hoffer

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