Most people know a version of the Golden Rule which appears in some form in nearly all religions. The idea is that we should love our neighbours as ourselves and do to others as we would wish them to do to us.
I’ve always thought that this is a lesson in being kind to others – and it is. But there is another piece of advice in the rule, too – we should love ourselves, we should treat ourselves nicely, with respect and consideration.
If the truth be told, we often don’t treat ourselves as well as we treat others.
Imagine you receive a phone call from a friend. She is having a bad day. Her mother is sick, she has a meeting at her child’s school and a work deadline. On top of all of this she accidentally put petrol into her diesel car. What would you say to her?
I’d guess it would be along the lines:
‘Don’t beat yourself up about this. It was just a mistake. You have a lot on your mind. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Relax, take a break. Is there anything I could do to help?’
Now imagine it is a different day. A meeting has overrun and you are late to another event for which you must pick up milk and cookies. You are rushing to get out of the store car park and you scrape your car. What do you say to yourself?
Im guessing it runs along the lines:
‘I’m an idiot. I’ve always been a useless driver. Why didn’t I concentrate? Now I’m going to be even later and let everyone down. I’m always letting people down. Why can’t I be organised like other people? etc… etc…’
What would happen if we took the Golden Rule to heart and treated ourselves as we would treat those we love?