The most loving thing we can for others is to be our authentic self.
Our authentic self is not the self the world tells us we are.
It is not the self our parents tell us we are.
It is not the self our siblings tell us we are.
It is the not the self our media, culture, and society tell us we are.
It is the not the self the government tells us we are.
Our authentic self is not even the self we most often tell ourselves we are.
Our authentic self is the self that God tells us we are in declaring that we are created in God's image.
Our authentic self, then, is not:
- less than
- steeped in sin
If every time you looked in a mirror (physical or emotional or spiritual or psychological) your true self was reflected back to you, you would know that you are:
- created whole
- possessed of great creative potential
- more than your circumstances
- more than your choices
- more than adequate
- limitless in your capacity to love
- and that the distorted image you carry has been redeemed, transformed and sanctified
In cultivating your own capacity to love better, by being your authentic self, you are cultivating in others their ability to be authentically themselves, thereby cultivating a greater capacity to love better in them.
And the cycle continues.
Marianne Williamson understood this, as she wrote what is perhaps her most quoted and most misattributed truth:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.