February 22

Today's quotation:

If those who lead you say to you, 'See, the Kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you.  If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you.  Rather, the Kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you.  When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons and daughters of the living Father.  But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty.

Jesus of Nazareth

Today's Meditation:

I'm often amazed at just how many Christians bristle and protest when they hear someone say that it's important for us to know ourselves, to be friends with ourselves, to empower ourselves by loving ourselves unconditionally.  But as creations of God, aren't we all deserving of the love that we're given--even if that love comes from ourselves?  If the Kingdom is inside of us, shouldn't we do our best to get to know all that's inside of us, who and what we are?

There are those who preach that we become better people by sacrificing more by giving more money when it comes to tithing.  According to this statement, though, doesn't that put us behind the people with more money than us?  Others preach that we're more pleasing to God based on how many people we convert to faith in God.  Isn't Jesus saying, though, that we're then behind anyone who converts more people than we do?

The Kingdom is within.  All great spiritual teachers have taught this truth.  You're doing yourself and the rest of the world a great favor by getting to know yourself--your wants and needs and strengths and weaknesses and loves and dislikes and all that makes us who we are--because then you can approach the world from a position of wholeness, of completeness.  And once you are whole, you can help others to reach their own wholeness, their own place in the Kingdom.  Not until then, though, so it's worth it to start the journey of discovery and come to know and love yourself.

Otherwise, you'll end up dwelling in poverty, no matter how much money you have or what kind of car you drive.

Questions to consider:

How much time do you spend really trying to get to know yourself, your own wants and needs?

Why might some people feel threatened if we were to get to know and love and trust ourselves fully?

What does it mean to you to "dwell in poverty"?

For further thought:

As you move into the day, be aware of how you treat yourself.  As you shower or bathe, be aware of how you handle your body.  Are you gentle?  Or are you rough?  As you eat your meals today, be aware of how much time, energy, and attention you give to nourishing yourself.  When it comes to self-nurturing, are you attentively conscious?  Are you unconsciously rushed?  Be aware of what you do to and for yourself, because you set the standard for others.

Iyanla Van Zant

more thoughts and ideas on self-love



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