From an email dated Saturday, October 20, 2012:
The injunction "Love thy neighbor as thyself" has been popping into my mind for the last few days, and I’ve been giving it a lot of thought.
I think most of us would find it not too hard - at least in most cases—to maybe not love, but at least like our neighbor. But us? Love ourselves? Even like ourselves? No way!
So I was asking myself, what's wrong?
In the Bible there is a lot of talk about self-abnegation, self-sacrifice, and selfless love. Also, original sin. And to me, it’s this notion that we are basically sinners and worthless, therefore unworthy of love, that seems to have gotten the upper hand.
So the idea of loving oneself has become twisted into being irrelevant or into seeming like an ego trip of self-absorption or self-indulgence, to be rejected entirely by anyone seeking salvation. And then appears the natural extension of this neglecting to love oneself - self-hatred.
I think we have the wrong idea of love and of Love. And it is a better understanding of Love, of God as an unchanging Principle, teaching us to love even ourselves, that makes Christian Science revolutionary.
Over these past several days when you have been working for me, I have begun to understand that knowing myself has to do with loving myself. That is, to know myself, and love my real self, I must see myself as Love sees me. And “love is patent, love is kind.”
So a healing has come. I can see that because God says I am loved and loveable, it’s being said and done and can’t be contradicted. I can yield, accept. Understanding this has overturned all the bad I’d been told about myself ever since I was little. And the baseless anger that had been eating at me for several months has just dissolved. I have become more patient and kind. I have totally quit bashing myself for anything and everything. And I have decided to love no matter what. Me. Others. Often expressed in just a smile, or even merely a pleasant expression. And in return I’ve had such blessings.