“Love yourself as you are.”

Do you ever wonder how far radical self-acceptance can open your heart?

I do.

What if we loved ourselves so unconditionally that we tenderly, gently, embraced ourselves into our deepest soul-mate self?

I want to love myself that deeply.

Then to watch the boundaries of self and body and house and earth dissolve until you know in your deepest fibers–your very deepest fibers–that it’s all One in its diverse infinite expression, as far as you can see, as wide as you can hear, as intricately as touch strokes the softest feather.

When you look across the horizon and greet yourself coming and going, finches singing sweetly on the branches of yourself, your wings taking flight.

Anthony de Mello, a Jesuit priest spoke these words just before he unexpectedly died: 

 Don’t change.  Change is impossible, and even if it were possible, it is undesirable.  Stay as you are.  Love yourself as you are.  And change, if it is at all possible, will take place by itself when and if it wants.  Leave yourselves alone.  The only growth-promoting change is that which comes from self-acceptance.

I sit before Anthony’s words this morning and watch a chickadee take flight.  My heart soars as it relaxes deeper into its own rich red beating, its own fluttering arrival.


15 thoughts on ““Love yourself as you are.”

  1. This is beautiful and very moving. I am struggling with the wonderful affirming words of that priest because I do believe change is possible. I have changed, a lot, over the course of my life. I have changed just in the past two years of knowing Robert. I embrace change and don’t see it as a rejection of who I am but as a deeper becoming of who I am, gradually shrugging off accretions and impositions of habits and approaches that are self-defeating. Does that make sense, Kathy? Sending love and appreciation to you this morning…

    • I actually paused before posting this, Nicole, because change is the only truth of life, isn’t it? Change is the only constant…nothing is static. Yet I believe he’s pointing that elusive finger toward the moon, saying that all true lasting change comes from relaxing into self-acceptance. Then it rises organically. Perhaps something in Robert allowed you to more fully accept yourself. Perhaps life itself slowly reveals that we can learn to trust ourself…that change cannot be forced…that we can only surrender deeper to see its fruits. Gosh, it’s a struggle to try to express this!

  2. Hi, Kathy – I finally made time to come and visit! I’ve been working on a presentation of Anthony de Mello’s “The Way to Love” for a class I am taking at Loyola. He has been a spiritual guide/teacher to me for the past 5-6 years (through his books and writings, of course). Two things that spoke to me loudly from that book are: 1) when I am displeased, irritated, angry with someone, it is because they did not meet my expectations; and 2) I am unhappy because I focus on what I don’t have. You are right — the only way I am going to “change” is if I love myself enough to let go of expectations and attachment to what I don’t have. Just doing those two things (they are not easy), has opened up a part of me that I was not in touch with before, but it must have been there all this time waiting for me to become more aware of me. I am “changed” only because of am more of who I truly am.

    • I am so glad you paused here and shared of your thoughts. Your learnings from the book sound like ones we can all call forth during our days. Letting go of expectations is so big…

  3. Reblogged this on A Peaceful Way and commented:
    Most of us are familiar words from Ghandi “to be the change that we want to see in the world. Anthony de Mello, a Jesuit priest spoke theses word’s before he unexpectedly died shows another way to look at how we can change…or not change…

    Don’t change. Change is impossible, and even if it were possible, it is undesirable. Stay as you are. Love yourself as you are. And change, if it is at all possible, will take place by itself when and if it wants. Leave yourselves alone. The only growth-promoting change is that which comes from self-acceptance.”

    The message once more is to love your Self, your authentic self, fully. Get out of the way. Be still. Meditate. Love and accept who you are in this moment. These words of advice have been echoed through the ages. We seem to be able to love other’s more fully than ourselves. But this is not truth…our love comes from within, from the deepest part of our being, of our knowing. When we find the truth of who we are, we rejoice! We celebrate this intimacy and this deep connection to something that knows only love. Then, we are loved in a way previously unknown. We have this well of loving Essence that seems to be constantly flowing through us and now we can share it with others. As de Mello says, we only have to have self-acceptance…love of self…then it pours outs to others in a true and unconditional form.

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