One man enters, one man leaves

A good friend of mine has been beating himself up lately.  Though his career is going well, he pushed himself into taking a huge risk about two years ago, and has been working at it ever since without knowing if his huge investment of time, energy and financial savings would be utterly lost.  In the last two years he’s developed eczema, an injury to both feet that won’t seem to heal, and a knee problem that forces him to limp.  (If there was ever a textbook case of TMS as diagnosed by Dr. John Sarno, this is it.  I’ve tried to tell my friend, but he’s not fully on board yet.)

He has a wife and a one-year-old son, both healthy and relatively happy.  A friend of his recently pointed out to him how he loved his son totally and unconditionally, though his son is only one and really doesn’t do anything for my friend.  (We’re all pretty selfish at one.)  My friend admitted that, yes, his son was pretty much out for himself at this point and didn’t do anything to please or help his father, and that, yes, despite this he loved the little guy with all his heart and would do anything for him.

At which point my friend’s friend said, “Why can’t you love yourself like that?”

There are myriad reasons, I’m sure, why many of us cannot.  But one of them may be that we don’t want to become narcissists, so self-involved and vainglorious that we can no longer care for or even see others, thereby losing the human connections that make life precious.  Fair enough.  But it seems the better goal is to love both ourselves and others, not one or the other.  THAT could be cool.

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