18th February 2016, Prismacolor pencils on A3 cartridge paper
I got this insight from Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.
Whenever I start to brood, judge, or criticise, and that negative self-talk enters my mind, 700 times a day I can repeat my vow: ‘I love myself and I love others.’ Whenever I start to get angry at myself and call myself names like, ‘Idiot,’ ‘Stupid,’ and ‘Freak,’ I can repeat my vow: ‘There is only love.’
It actually does change my attitude, perspective, emotions, and behaviour. When I can’t control anything else I can control my thoughts instead of letting them control me.
‘I love myself and I love others.’ It changes me because when I love myself, I seek better things for myself. When I love myself, there is no room for name calling. When I love myself, judgement and anger is replaced with gentleness and kindness. And if I can’t be gentle and kind with myself, then how can I be gentle and kind with others? I’m starting to see the truth in the phrase: you can’t love others if you don’t love yourself.
This reminds me of something I heard on the radio. The radio presenter said something like this:
If Jesus were on earth today, I don’t think we’d find him in a church but he’d go out to where people are. Maybe in a café. He would talk to them and spend time getting to know them, and he would just love them. He wouldn’t tell them they should change the way they live, but he would accept them as they are.
He’d keep going back to meet with these people, and over time they would feel so loved by him that they’d believe in their worth and want to live up to that worth. They would want to stop doing certain things because now they want something better and they’ve found something better in the love Jesus offers. They turn away from their own way and walk in Jesus’ way: a way of love.
What if I loved myself and gave myself total acceptance the way Jesus loves and accepts me? I would want to live up to my worth.
‘I fully accept myself.’ There’s no defence against that. Only openness. There’s no fear. Only safety. In Jesus’ love, I am safe to be myself.
I’ve learnt that it’s okay to think the way I do. I can accept myself with my thoughts, but I don’t have to believe my thoughts. Sometimes they lie. I get to choose which thoughts I believe.