Friday, November 5, 2010

To Thy Own Self Be Kind

Some reflection and experience has taught me that the challenge facing us all is how to be loving to ourselves, without being selfish.

“Full wise is he that can himself knoweth” Geoffrey Chaucer

We should never be too harsh on ourselves, like the cynic who wrote that he had more trouble with himself than with any other person.  It is best to measure ourselves by our best moments and not by our worst.

We can further enhance inner contentment by being gracious to ourselves.  A courageous admission of our mistakes helps us redress them. With a courageous spirit, we must avoid too much regret over our mistakes and too much remorse over our wrongs.  In a constructive way, we could profit from our mistakes and compensate for out wrongs, provided that they are not too serious. In this way, we regain our peace of mind. We would do well to remember the words of Eric Hoffer that “Many of the insights of the saint stem from his experience as a sinner.”
The thought is comforting that we are not alone in being imperfect. All human beings are imperfect. We are, to various degrees, fair and unfair, wish and unwise, sane and insane, so much so that no two people are alike. Herman Melville beautifully expressed this idea in his description of rainbows. He wrote that the line where the red tint ends and where the orange tint begins is really not a definitive line.  We see the difference of colors, but where exactly does the first one blend into the other?  So it is with sanity and insanity.  There is no clear dividing line separating the two states.
A guide to our thinking is to listen to our “inner voice.”  What is yours saying to you?

I hope you have enjoyed this excerpt from my book.  I will be posting more excerpts in future posts, so please come back.  Click here to buy your copy of A Book of Wisdom and Delight from Amazon today.

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