Many writers and speakers have given us their versions of what love means. Behavioral scientist, speaker, and author Steve Maraboli says, “I find the best way to love someone is not to change them, but instead, help them reveal the greatest version of themselves.”
Yes, best we do not try to change others, but rather support their growth. To support others in their efforts to become their best selves, we need to tend to our own healing and growth. Buddhist monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh tells us, “In order to heal others we first need to heal ourselves. And to heal ourselves, we need to know how to deal with ourselves.”
Let’s be clear, we do not heal others. We can, however, contribute to someone else’s healing. And what’s one of the best ways to deal with ourselves and our emotions? Love. It is difficult to fully love others until we have learned how to love ourselves.
This message is an excerpt from a Women of the ELCA blog by Sonia C. Solomonson. Today we remember Columba, who died in 597; Aidan, who died in 651; and Bede, who died in 735; renewers of the church.