Another Kind of Love Story

It is time for a love story.

There will be no dinners by candlelight or walks by moonlight in it. This is not a romance.

This love story, which is perhaps the ultimate love story, ends a civil war.

It is the story of loving ourselves.

We know, too well, how it feels to war with ourselves. But do we know, at all, how it feels to love ourselves?

We can learn.

Where to begin?

Perhaps with mercy.

We are taught to be distrusting, unforgiving of ourselves. We are taught to be merciless with ourselves.

We would be friendless if we treated others the way we treat ourselves.

Enough of the abstract. What is mercy in practice?

It is drawing a bath or reading fiction.

It is calling ourselves not Pathetic, Foolish, or Inept, but Beloved, Sweet Pea, or our favorite childhood nickname.

It is wrapping our arms around ourselves and gently rubbing our taut shoulders and neck.

It is affording ourselves the grace and the goodwill we afford others.

This love story will not happen overnight. We are rebuilding a relationship; it is a lifelong work.

But it is time to begin. Any moment we choose to care, not combat ourselves, we add a line to the ultimate love story.

And we remind others stuck in the same civil war that they, too, can do the same.

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