Have you heard the expression, “you can’t love someone else until you first love yourself?” This saying can mean a lot of things depending on who you ask. Thinking on this saying recently, in context of scripture, and spiritual truth, I see its validity. Until you can honestly deal with who you are, and why you act and think as you do, you are ill prepared to truly love and know someone else. Remember, I am talking about love from a scriptural and spiritual sense. This is different than the strong emotional attachments that people often refer to as love. Emotional attachments are often based on a perceived need for another person. The spiritual love I am referring to is based on a desire to assist in fulfilling someone else whether they reciprocate it or not. Though you hope they appreciate it, this isn’t a dependency. In the case of intimate love, it is the desire to know someone in context of their life experiences to better communicate with them.
If you have not begun to understand your own faults, desires, likes and dislikes, interest and concerns, values and beliefs, as they relate to your own experiences, how capable will you really be at understanding someone else. Until you have contemplated your own humanity with its frailness, limitations, and dependencies, you are ill prepared to show someone else the compassion and empathy required to embrace them equally as human and worthy of love just as you have need. The second, of the two great commandments, is to love our neighbor as our self. This is the second commandment because it is impossible without the first one. The first commandment is to love GOD with all our heart, mind, and strength. This love for GOD comes after we experience GOD pouring out all of His blessings upon us, loving us in our current condition just as we are, thus receiving grace to be just who we are until we are capable of change. We learn that GOD is the source of all love and it is our connection to Him that enables us to love others. The stronger the connection to Him, the greater our capacity to love. GOD knows the love which flows from Him is the world’s greatest need. The Lord knows that at the least, we should all be able to acknowledge that our fellow humans have the same needs as we have, with that first need being grace and empathy.
It can be uncomfortable, even painful, looking into the things we have experienced that shaped the person we are today, and it is natural to be reluctant to take that conscious walk through our soul. GOD enables us to take this journey by walking with us in an atmosphere of grace, mercy, and tender love. He informs us that our truest nature is that of a super-natural being, thus motivating us to push beyond natural tendencies and limits to realize our true potential. Through loving, we assist GOD in the act of fulfilling others. To “full-fill” correctly, you have to take the time to know what is needed. Someone else may have different needs than what we have but because of the universal need we all have for continued grace and mercy, we are compelled to show them the same concern.
One of the greatest needs in the world today is the overall ability to recognize one another as equally human. The prerequisite for taking the next step forward is every man first taking a sober look at themselves in light of mercy and truth. Once you are familiar with your own humanity you will find you are part of a great family mutually dependent on one another to realize our fullest potential. We really do deserve the treatment we give others because we are in effect doing it to ourselves. If we could get a glimpse of what our society would look like if we empowered everyone to be their best self with equal opportunity and support, we would realize just how much we have been robbed by the evils of deception, fear, and hate. The change needed in the world begins with addressing the changes we need individually. We must first love ourselves enough to hear our own hearts cry and work with GOD in freeing ourselves. After that, we will be more cable of giving a love which makes life better for all.