As Thyself

This is part of the two great commandments given by Christ.

Matthew 22:34-40

[34] But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together.
[35] Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
[36] Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
[37] Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
[38] This is the first and great commandment.
[39] And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
[40] On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.


10. Putting myself first.


Judy’s, my sister, perspective:

Corrected link 1/22/2018

One of the greatest challenges for survivors is the balance between what is self-care and what is selfish.  I think Judy explained this difference very well.  I will add my perspective.  I was mandated on a regular basis to put the needs of my mother first.  My earliest memories are instructions to take care of my mother.  Years later when I was about 9 years old I was going through a growth spurt and hungry all the time.  I asked for more food for breakfast.  I was told how selfish I was for wanting to take food from someone else when my brother needed to have seconds.  Bewildering to a child, especially when there were 2 refrigerators filled with food.  I learned to follow kids out at lunch time that left their rolls on their plate and I would grab it out of the garbage can.  Eventually, a teacher would stand by the garbage can.  I then learned to ask my friends if they were going to eat their rolls.  I never asked if they started to eat them, only as they were leaving preparing to throw away an untouched roll.  I didn’t want to be selfish.  To this day, if DH sees me eating rolls with water, he knows whatever demon I am wrestling with will not be shared and I need time to work things through.  I don’t want to be selfish and share this ugliness gnawing at my soul.  Yes, the scriptures were often thrown at me to underline serving others.  It is important.  However, Christ said it is part of the second great commandment that I need to love others like I do myself.  He didn’t end with love thy neighbor as so many are fond of quoting.  He continued with As Thyself.  I first grasped this idea when my children were small.  The intellectual understanding was there but I had no idea how to implement it.  I spent my whole childhood tethered to doing anything and everything my mother asked me to do.  When I dared to consider my own needs as a teenager, she started threatening suicide if I didn’t meet her needs and demands.  The craziness became as I was able to do all she asked, she changed what she asked for.  I didn’t understand that in her mind I had to fail so she could blame me for her failure.  It took many years of counseling to finally grasp this twisted concept.  So how does a 45 year old woman learn to care for herself?  I am now 60 years old and still working on it.  The problem for me is separating what is self-care is and making it match up with what I want to do.  Sometimes I behave like a 3 year old let loose in a candy store.  Eating anything I want, whenever I want is in my pass.  I need to:

eat properly – I’ll do great for one, maybe two meals then it is not pretty.

get enough sleep – yea, right, when insomnia haunts me

exercise – there are days I can’t get off the couch let alone walk around the block

regular doctor and dentist visits – I’m actually getting better at this.

For a time I did terrific using MyFitnessPal and then my life had a major hiccup and I fell apart and self neglect became my main behavior choice.  Learning how to take care of myself consistently for more than a few days at a time is difficult, sometimes I feel like it is impossible.  Then I getup, brush off the cookie crumbs, walk on the tread mill, attempt to go to sleep early, stare at the ceiling and wonder, “Am I treating myself in a loving way?”  More importantly, “Do I love myself?”  One of my long term goals is learning to love myself.


Yesterday I planted flowers.  If I plan to have flowers in 2018, I need to plant them.



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