Jesus admonished us to "love ourselves," just before he told us to love our neighbor as ourselves. Most people whether they mean to or not, love their neighbor as themselves. For example, if they are crabby and mean spirited to others, they usually don't like themselves that much. If they are open with warmth and candor, they usually have a high acceptance level of themselves. What Jesus said was not so much a "commandment"; it was a statement of fact. We DO love our neighbors as we love ourselves.

Too many people, though, don't love themselves. Some people don't even like themselves. When you see someone numbing out on TV, stuffing innutritious food into their body, pimply, smelly, have compassion. There, but for the grace of God, go You! Not me! You exclaim, well maybe not You, such a person doesn't get that way without some pain in their life. Oprah once said, (and I'm paraphrasing here) "what if every overweight woman, was actually a person who had been sexually molested, would you have some compassion then?"

People numb out because the mind is on overload. The way to decompress is through forgiveness. Forgiveness does not require you to accept some thing as "alright." Contrary to popular belief, the bible does NOT say to "forgive and forget." If your spouse cheated on you, please, forgive and REMEMBER. Use a condom. OR get divorced. The point is, don't bring it up over and over again, pulling the scab off of your tender wound. Let it heal. Take a gift from the situation; learn how to spot when you are being manipulated so that you can avoid it in the future. Bless the past. Everything that happened to you led you to who you are today.

What if the person you can't forgive is yourself? What if you had an abortion or had an affair, or some action you feel you can't justify. Know that you can't change the past. The power is all in the now. You can be a nice person now. You can be a person who makes different decisions now. You don't have to keep telling others your story waiting on tenter hooks for their judgment of you. Sure it feels like a warm glow when you meet that person that accepts your folly and strokes you and it's not necessary. Its old news. It's not who you are now. That glow can get addicting. That glow re-kindles your old story. It's time to move on.

Staying stuck in the past effects how you relate to other people. You may be harsher toward other people who have affairs or abortions in lieu of seeing each situation as unique. It's disrespectful and it's a cheap shot. To have a full life, don't be emotionally lazy. Have insight, and a genuine interest in others and you will never be lonely again. Connection stems from authentic communication. When you are willing to really see others, you will be following Jesus' commandment.