“How can anyone be compassionate toward her neighbor who is not compassionate toward herself? This is why Jesus says ‘Be compassionate!’ He wants our compassion to begin at home, he wants us to be compassionate toward our own body and soul.” —Meister Eckhart
There is a wonderful piece of wisdom that is often overlooked in both the Wiccan Rede and in Jesus’ Greatest Commandments: The need for us to love ourselves. The Wiccan Rede tells us “An it harm none, do what you will.” The “none” mentioned here also includes us! Likewise, when Jesus said the Greatest Commandments are to “love God” and “love your neighbor as yourself”, it means we cannot fully love the Divine Presence or our neighbor until we learn to love ourselves.
I am a firm believer that all of our magical and spiritual work needs to begin and end in a place of love. When we are at peace with ourselves; when we can embrace who we are, both the good and the bad; we are far more powerful than if we are full of anxiety and self-hatred. My Wiccan teachers taught me well: Never do magic when you’re angry or vengeful. Always take the time to create within yourself, and within the circle you cast, a place of love, peace and harmony. When we do this, our rituals and magic will always fulfill the intent of the Wiccan Rede and the Greatest Commandments.
I wish I could tell you that loving yourself is easy. It’s not. It takes a lot of soul-searching, spiritual growth and sometimes a good therapist or energy healer! But I believe the work is well worth the effort. Magic is a powerful and sacred gift that should never be abused or used for nefarious purposes. When we learn to love ourselves, we assure that our work will be blessed by the Divine Presence as we will become a powerful source of healing in the lives of others and in our world.
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