Monday
Jul162018

ST. AUGUSTINE: LOVE AND DO WHAT YOU WILL

Well, what does that mean? Does it mean that if you love then you can do anything that you choose to do? Is love really that powerful? Don't we humans need more checks and balances to keep us in line? Don't we need protection from ourselves vs having the license to do anything that we want? St. Augustine in a sermon about God's love for us said "love and do what you will." The meaning seems to be connected to St. Augustine's belief that God's love would transform those who opened their heart's to it and then they would follow God's will and do good things. So then they could do what they wanted as they would want good things for themselves and others. This might be an answer for the critique of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" pointing out that if you do bad things to yourself then you could justify doing bad things to others...if that were actually what you wanted to do to yourself or others. 

So. what does this have to do with us? Over the last 30 plus years helping people with a variety of problems but virtually all were feeling stressed and were self-critical and hard on themselves. I tried to help them to be kinder to themselves and to be more self-aware. I have found that when we are more self-aware, we are more likely to see the good parts of ourselves and are then more able to let go of some of the self-criticism. So maybe part of the "love" in "love and do what you will" is our choosing to be kinder and more loving towards ourselves and then we would be kinder and more loving towards others. If we do this, we will then feel less stressed. What do you think?

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