Some of us may think Walt Whitman must have been terribly conceited to have written words like that. But he wasn't. He knew himself well, and accepted himself, even his darker side. He could laugh at himself and celebrate his humanness.
And because he loved and accepted himself just as he was, others could do the same. That's difficult to understand sometimes, but it's true: no one else is going to love and accept us until we come to love and accept ourselves.
We teach others how to treat us by the way we treat ourselves, so perhaps it makes sense to apply a variation of the Golden Rule: "Do unto ourselves as we would have others do unto us."
Can I allow my kindness to myself overflow to another person today?
From Today's Gift: Daily Meditations for Families ©1985, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation.