On Wednesday afternoon during the Young Theater Makers class, the youngsters (3-5 year olds) were asked who they were going to say, “I love you” to on Valentine’s Day. As you might imagine, there were a variety of responses like: my mom, dad, sister, brother, friends at school, etc. After some pondering, one 4 year old lad piped in “Well, I think I’m going to just love myself!” Needless to say, when I heard this story it brightened my day and caused a hearty Laugh Out Loud moment.
I think this kid is onto something, for sure. When asked about the greatest commandment, Jesus responded: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind….And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Often when we think about self-love, we might be tempted to think it means being selfish, self-centered, or narcissistic, but good self-love is just the opposite and the first step toward being able to authentically love others and God.
Before we can pass it on, one must have an appreciation for and acceptance of the person he or she is as they are: loved and lovable as God created them. This helps us to be more honest about our strengths as well as our weaknesses and to take ownership of our basic wants, feelings, thoughts, and needs.
Would life not be so much better if we learned to be kind, gentle, gracious, even humorous with ourselves so that we might be kind, gentle, gracious, and humorous with those we meet along the way?
What a wonderful reminder from a 4 year old!
Grace and peace,