Joshilyn Jackson recently wrote this on her blog in regards to Whitney Houston:
...I never forgave her for THE GREATEST LOVE OF ALL. I HATE that song. It was our class song, too, UGH. For the record, I voted for Rock Lobster.
If you listen to the WORDS...the song is about floppy-quartz-healed-my-soul-crystal-mystic-too-much-therapy-ese love. Puke.
Learning to love yourself is NOT the greatest love of all. Loving yourself is EASY---every sociopath and narcissist on earth can manage it in a dead sleep. We are BORN loving only ourselves and 90% of our problems come from staying there.
Actual love is about service. It’s learning to love other people that is hard. Other people are IRRITATING and they DO NOT DO WHAT YOU WANT. They have NEEDS and SMELLS and STUPID OPINIONS. But when folks can manage it, they find loving other people makes them helpful and kind. When folks are helpful and kind, they love themselves as a by product of ACTUALLY BECOMING LOVEABLE, and that’s a good idea.
We love the thing we serve.
I thought this was very interesting and mostly right. I grew up in an environment where having a good self-esteem was seen as a bit of a hokey idea. But I didn't have a good self-esteem. For me, learning to forgive myself and give grace to myself and like myself were all very revolutionary and are still in process. Being told, in fact, that God loved me regardless of the big huge seemingly unforgivable mistakes I had made and that He loved me THE SAME as if I had never done them was actually very big. And those words needed to be spoken to me verbally, and they were followed by something about loving myself.
I do, however, know that Jesus told us to love our neighbors as ourselves. Loving ourselves is obviously something that's assumed we do. I think that it's true that we serve ourselves. We eat when we're hungry, we download music we want to listen to, and we read the blogs we want to read. I think all of those things are possible, though, without liking oneself. Don't we all have at least moments when we think..."wow, I really don't like myself?"
I would love to hear your thoughts about this. And your personal experiences if you're bold enough to share. And if you hate this song as much as Joshilyn. (for the record, I don't really like either, but I do believe that children are the future and need to be loved and nurtured.)