“Be gentle with yourself, learn to love yourself, to forgive yourself, for only as we have the right attitude toward ourselves can we have the right attitude toward others.” ~ Wilferd Arlan Peterson …

Being gentle, loving, and forgiving towards others begins with being with being kind and forgiving with ourselves, for we emulate and radiate what we experience each day. If we are constantly getting down on ourselves–being negative and criticizing our actions and ourselves–we will also tend to show hostility and anger towards others. We might hold unreasonable expectations of them and get angry and disappointed when they do not meet them, or cut them down and criticize them for their failures, mistakes, or shortcomings. But treating others in such a way is not right or fair.

When we fail to treat ourselves with gentleness, love, and forgiveness, we often find ourselves living in double misery–we attack ourselves with negativity, and we attack others as well, leading them to avoid us because they know how we act towards them. This makes the former misery all the worse, because we are left alone to belittle, demean, and disparage ourselves in a perpetual cycle of negativity.

Most of us are constantly aware of the fact that the way that we treat others determines much of how they will treat us in return. But how often do we reflect on the fact that how we treat ourselves greatly affect how we treat others? Respect that is first given to ourselves is then shown to others, who in turn offer it back to us; so it is with all things–gentleness, forgiveness, love, understanding, empathy, compassion, and concern. If we truly want others to treat us well, then we must first treat ourselves well. Therefore, if we really think about it, misery in life is a chosen condition–a result of the decisions that we make.

Treat yourself the same way you want others to treat you.

Questions to consider:

What is your attitude towards yourself? Describe how you tend to treat yourself?

Why do others tend to treat us as we treat ourselves?

What are some beneficial and positive things that you can attract to yourself by treating yourself with gentleness, love, and forgiveness?

For further thought:

“It’s easy to see and notice what we like in other people. Sometimes, it’s not as easy to see the attributes and beauty in ourselves. It’s good to see the beauty in others. But sometimes, take a moment and get excited when you notice what’s beautiful in yourself, too.” ~ Melody Beattie


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Filed under Commentary, Food For Thought, Living, Opinion

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