Loving Myself, by James Portelli

Following on “Life Is a Journey” and “Love Your Neighbor,” this piece will concentrate on yet another of my resolutions—namely, “Loving Myself.”

Dusk at Dingli Cliffs, Malta, June 2016

Dusk at Dingli Cliffs, Malta, June 2016

I took the above picture a few weeks ago, immediately after sunset, close to the summer solstice, from a natural vantage point in Malta. The sunset and the kaleidoscope of colors lingering afterward are always the epitome of tranquility. From where my wife, daughter, and I were standing, we had a full view of cliffs, underlying fields with still more cliffs, the azure sea, and the horizon, all submissive to the resplendent evening sky.

As we waited for the sun to set, I gazed at the blue sky and open sea and wondered where their colors came from. If stored in, say, a jar, water is transparent, and there is no such thing as a “sky”—there is only space up there.

Not unlike moods, attitudes, or behaviors, color is generally a mirror, and people and objects are generally means of transference. Whoever said “We are the sum total of people we met and experiences we have been through” was absolutely right: we are.

Unfortunately, people we meet and experiences we have don’t always contribute to our growth. But they should. If we grasp the meaning of this simple yet profound truth, we will also understand that we do control our internal prism, which then reflects onto our view of and behavior toward others.


Sunset reflections at Dingli Cliffs, Malta, June 2016

We may not be able to control what is handed to us, but more often than not we can choose what to do with it.

We also understand (although we don’t have to excuse) why certain people act and react the way they do. With mind over matter, we can decide that

  1. pain is an opportunity for healing;
  2. an unwanted result is an opportunity for learning;
  3. a fall is an opportunity to rise up again;
  4. criticism is an opportunity to think laterally;
  5. a blow helps build resistance;
  6. sometimes allies exist in the most unlikely of places.

With this, I choose to love myself and to love others as myself.

JamesPortelliJames Portelli is an occasional guest author on this blog who wrote route reports about his recent experience on the Camino Inglés.  Read more of James’s posts:

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