My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God as my successes and my talents,
and I lay them both at His feet. – Gandhi
In the grand scheme of things, we are told that “love your neighbor, do onto others, etc” is the golden rule. However, that is just a snippet of the actual “golden rule”. There is a second half that we so quickly forget.
In Buddhism, “Treat not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.”
In Taoism, “Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.”
Even in Christianity (The most debated, discussed, and wrongfully interpreted religion outside of Muslim) says, “In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you, for this is the law and the prophets.”
The part that we so quickly put to the side is the aspect of respecting and loving yourself. It is so easy to do onto others in a respectful, friendly, positive way. I know personally, loving and respecting myself is the biggest hurdle to jump in this lifetime.
How many times have I heard, “Would you say that to a younger Regan?” “Is that something you would say to a friend?” All preceding some negative self talk that escapes my lips. What if the golden rule isn’t do onto others, but really, Do onto yourself and the rest will follow?
When I meet my maker and my negatives are brought forward in question, it will be easy for me to acknowledge the mean side I’ve projected onto others. However, when questioned about my self love, I know that I am going to stumble over my words far worse than a young mom navigating through scattered lego blocks with bare feet.
The hardest part for me is the knowledge that this takes place on a daily basis, I’m rational this way. However, my emotional maturity is lacking, and I am blank on how to correct this. I would hope that my maker isn’t such a malevolent God that I’m banished to some personal hell to replay on repeat daily. I would hope a loving God would guide and teach like a mentor.
I do love so many areas of my life, my employment, my friends, my freedom. I sit here at 42 and realize I do love myself, but damned if I didn’t learn this way later than I could have.
I figure I have about 20 more years of life ahead of me. Here’s to due diligently focusing on the Golden Rule, “Love yourself first, and the rest will follow.”