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100 Ways to Love Yourself...And Why It Matters to All of Us

100 Ways to Love Yourself...And Why It Matters to All of Us

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100 Ways to Love Yourself...And Why It Matters to All of Us

Länge:
265 Seiten
3 Stunden
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Apr 17, 2012
ISBN:
9781476173108
Format:
Buch

Beschreibung

What might our world be like if you truly loved yourself, if I loved myself, and every other person did the same?

I need you to love yourself. The world needs you to love yourself. Our survival as a race and a planet depends upon it.

And the wonderful, magical reality is that loving yourself can be such a blast!

100 Ways to Love Yourself...And Why It Matters to All of Us, the new e-book by Tom McLaughlin, Jr., is a guide to treating yourself with the love you deserve simply because you exist. In it you will discover 100 fun and meaningful activities that support you to lavish your body, mind, heart, and soul with loving attention. And living these acts of self-love is guaranteed to inspire your imagination to create even more acts of self-love, for yourself and others.

100 Ways...will also serve as a conversation starter about why the world desperately needs you to love yourself with abandon. Our world is hungrier now for authentic self-lovers than ever before. Women and men who love themselves deeply, thoroughly, and joyfully in every season of their lives, these are the contemporary wise ones who will serve as inspiring and vision-guided leaders in all walks of life.

Come along with me on an adventure of loving....

Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Apr 17, 2012
ISBN:
9781476173108
Format:
Buch

Über den Autor

Tom McLaughlin loves stories. In fact, he loves stories even more than chocolate chip cookies. And for a chocoholic, that’s huge. Tom teaches in the Religious Studies Department of a Portland-area high school and has also taught World Religions at Portland Community College. He is also a writer, integrative coach, and storyteller. Most recently he published the eBook "100 Ways to Love Yourself...And Why It Matters to All of Us." He has worked with adults and high school youth since earning a BA in English from the University of Notre Dame in 1985. After serving as an Air Force officer, Tom worked a wide variety of not-so satisfying jobs before returning to graduate school. His MA from Marylhurst University focused on Spiritual Traditions and Ethics; his thesis unpacked the relationship between exploring and telling personal stories and being an authentic human being. Following graduate school, he taught high school Religion in Beaverton, Oregon. Tom has traveled extensively throughout the United States (45 states and counting) and Europe, and he’s also ventured to Japan, Canada, and Mexico. He's an avid hiker, a lover of movies, and a voracious reader, particularly of fiction.

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100 Ways to Love Yourself...And Why It Matters to All of Us - Tom McLaughlin

100 Ways to Love Yourself…And Why It Matters to All of Us

By Tom McLaughlin

Illustrations and Photos by Tom McLaughlin

Except Author photo by Rebecca Vogt

Used by permission

Smashwords Edition Copyright 2013-2015 Tom McLaughlin

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

This e-book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This e-book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to www.smashwords.com/books/view/152639 and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

I would be happy for you to use brief portions of this book in support of work that encourages people to know and love themselves more fully. As a professional courtesy, please offer me the appropriate credit. However, if you intend to use more than a page or two, please contact me for permission. For my own growth as a teacher and writer, I would love to hear about how you use this material and how it impacts the people with whom you share it. Blessings.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Acknowledgments

I feel tremendous gratitude to everyone who has helped me with this book.

First, a big shout out to my team of volunteer editors: Michelle Leipzig, Danielle Eidson, Angela Burghard, Abigail Beers, my sisters Kathleen McLaughlin and Laurie Evans, Thomas Kevin Dolan, my mother Laura McLaughlin, Mike Blackstock, and Vera Brown. You people rock! And I take particular pleasure in having among them some of my former students who finally got a chance to grade my work!

Thank you, as well, to Rebecca Vogt for your invaluable feedback each time I asked you to listen to something I had written or to ideas I was wrestling with, for taking and sharing the Author photo, and most of all for your wonderful support as I birthed this book.

Thank you MJ Schwader for your priceless webinar, Turn Your Passion to Profit: How to Create Massive Passive Income with e-books, and for your guidance since the end of that course.

I offer a special thank you to my mom who, aside from editing part of this manuscript, supported me throughout this process – and many others across the years – with love and understanding.

Finally, I send my thanks into the Universe for all of the people who have inspired me, for the Earth that has sustained and taught me, and to the Spirit of Life and Soul of Love for blessing me with the opportunity to love and be loved and the possibility of becoming fully human.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Table of Contents

Part 1

Last Things First

What Is Authentic Self-Love?

Savoring a Life-Long Love Affair with Yourself

Notes from Part 1

Part 2

Preparing for an Adventure in Love

Spring

Self-Love Acts #1 – 18

Summer

Self-Love Acts #19 – 60

Autumn

Self-Love Acts #61 – 86

Winter

Self-Love Acts #87 – 100

Spring Again

BONUS Self-Love Acts #101 – 105

Closing Thoughts

Notes from Part 2

About the Author

Connect with Me Online

Resources – A Brief Selection

100 Ways to Love Yourself – The Complete List

A list of the 100 Ways that can also be printed, cut out, and used

for yet another Self-Love Act

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Part 1

Last Things First

Choosing to love myself in authentic ways saved my life, both literally and figuratively. As a result, I believe that countless other adults and children who would otherwise succumb to pain and despair will step back from the brink of self-destruction when they begin showering themselves with genuine self-love.

Yes, loving yourself can be an absolute blast, as you will discover when you plunge into the activities contained in Part 2 of this eBook.

AND authentic self-love is a way of being that has life and death implication for us all.

The vast majority of this book is comprised of a collection of 100+ activities designed to support you in your quest to treat yourself with genuine love…love that you deserve simply because you exist. And since love tends to beget more love, it probably won't surprise you that most of the activities can easily be adapted to include another person or a group. Among these self-love activities I've also scattered reflections on my experiences as well as a series of questions that I hope will stir your own thoughts and conversations about authentic self-love.

First, though, I want to briefly explore how loving yourself in genuine ways is essential for the well-being of all of us and our planet. Then I will sketch what authentic self-love is. Finally, I will suggest a way that you might develop a genuine love relationship with yourself that flourishes for a lifetime.

Authentic self-love and me

As the title suggests, the primary purpose of this eBook is to inspire you to attend to your own self in ways that benefit us all. That's right; whether or not you choose to shower your own self with genuine love has profound implications for the entire planet. Your family, friends, community, and humanity as a whole desperately need you to love yourself. Indeed, the health of Earth and all of its inhabitants depends upon you and me dedicating ourselves to self-love as deeply as we do to loving others.

Authentic self-love is an essential component of every healthy relationship, whether that connection is between two people or two billion, between human beings and our environment, or between a human and the Divine.

The art and practice of attending to the mysterious person that I am has served as a lifeline by which I have occasionally pulled myself out of shadowy places, states of my mind and heart where I had found it difficult to see and participate fully in the beauty of this life. Years ago, mid-way through the darkest night of my soul, a longing to die had possessed me. I had even begun considering which method of suicide would be the least painful and messy. As I tumbled deeper into depression, my wife, parents, siblings, friends, and students all showered me with love and encouragement. But every drop of their love passed through my shattered heart like water through a sieve, leaving me starving for nourishment.

I don't remember the exact moment that I chose to begin loving myself. It might have been during the early morning hours as I stared through my dim reflection in the plate glass window of my Seattle living room. Rain drilled the pavement at a 45-degree angle, and countless drops gathered into a continuous sheet of water that rushed down the street in shallow waves. Trees whipped back and forth, threatening to splinter and crash into the houses. While my wife slept upstairs, I started praying, and my message to God bubbled out of the pit of rage and grief that had been threatening to consume me for months. I wanted to shout these words and wrap them in screams, but I didn't want to wake my wife and have to try one more time – and inevitably fail – to explain what was wrong with me. So my throat burned with the effort of restraining my ragged emotions. What more do you want from me? I seethed. Haven't I done everything you asked of me? I've devoted myself to living like Jesus did, and still you let me suffer like this. Do something!

Perhaps allowing myself to express anger at God was the act of authentic self-love that began to free me.

Or maybe it was the day that I stood on the stairs inside that same house and acknowledged that despite my failing marriage, I did believe in the existence of true love, that intimacy in body, heart, mind, and soul with a woman was possible. While I knew it would never happen for me, at least such love did live and breathe somewhere else and for some other people. That belief lightened my spirit for a few delicious moments.

Why I wrote this eBook

My decision to write this book is rooted in life and death struggles: my own, and those of people I love and strangers I've only heard or read about. I began reflecting on self-love because of my student who endured so much pain from being bullied and ostracized that he eventually crawled into his closet, put a handgun to his head, and phoned his mother. Come home, he begged, before I pull the trigger. I began writing about self-love because of another student who casually told an acquaintance at a party that he intended to kill himself over the weekend. I began speaking to my classes about self-love because of yet another student who revealed to me that her stepfather had been sexually abusing her, and she yearned for her agony to end.

The experiences of these teens mirror my own. Like that fourteen year-old girl who approached me after class, I suffered repeated sexual abuse as a teenager. Not at the hands of a member of my home family, but rather by two parties that belonged to my church family. The first betrayer was the man who molested me, Brother Edward Courtney, a member of the Congregation of Christian Brothers and a teacher and administrator at my all-boys Catholic high school in Seattle.

Twenty-five years after that nightmare began, I learned about the second betrayer of the kindly, studious, athletic, and religious boy that I had been. The institutions of the Christian Brothers and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle, which owned the school I attended, had secretly moved Brother Courtney, a known serial pederast, into the hallways that I roamed on my way to classes and practice fields. To call the Brothers and the Church institutions, though, is grossly misleading. They were not paper organizational charts with lines drawn from the highest to the lowest members. The hands and feet, the breath and heartbeats of these institutional bodies were borne by men of flesh and bone who – at one time – had promised to serve God, the Church, and children of God. These men who dressed in black and wore white collars to signify their holiness and separation from worldly matters welcomed a monster into my home, disguised him as a religious brother, and introduced him to parents and students as a model of Catholic Christian manhood. They chose preservation of their power and reputations over the innocence of children who sought a college-preparatory education.

Like my other students who threatened to kill themselves, I have occasionally considered ending my own life in order to escape the agony that has ebbed and flowed through my psyche. Fortunately, I never did anything more than fantasize about a permanent escape. As you can imagine, though, stories of desperate young people have stirred myriad memories, thoughts, and feelings in me, like sediment at the bottom of a stream whipped up by the flicking tail of a spawning salmon, clouding the water as invisible lines of ancient power drive and pull the great fish toward the place of her birth, to the pool that will soon become the site of her death.

I am alive to tell my tale – and those of my students – because in the midst of a dark night of my soul, I made a conscious choice to begin loving myself with intention. Despite the tragedies I've endured and the difficulties that still entangle me from time to time, I have managed to thrive. I have lived a wonderful, rich, and meaningful life. I have become a man who loves others in genuine ways, who encourages people and helps them to see their own beauty, whether I know them intimately or am but passing them in a grocery aisle. All in all, I am proud of who I am at this point on my journey.

Today I possess a responsibility, a desire, and the ability to speak to other hurting souls, to share this message of love that will generate more light into the world, and to celebrate the love I have experienced. Through my writing and teaching, and hopefully with every breath I take upon the Earth, I intend to promote the notion that this world in crisis desperately needs each woman, man, and child of us to love ourselves with reckless abandon.

What you're reading now is a report from the trail of my adventure. I am neither suggesting that I've discovered the way to happiness – there are as many ways to happiness as there are people experiencing it – nor am I presenting an exhaustive list of loving acts. Instead, it's a collection of what has been helpful on my way thus far. If the ideas in this eBook prove helpful to you, that will add to my happiness as well as yours.

Responding to our current chaos

As I write this, people throughout the world are grappling with the devastating blows to our collective psyche delivered by the most recent mass killings in the United States. Funerals for children and teachers in Newtown, Connecticut have just ended, and these ceremonies took place on the heels of funerals for people murdered in Clackamas, Oregon. The churches and cemeteries have emptied of mourners, and the news crews have left the reeling communities. Now that the tumult has receded, the families and friends of these victims of unfathomable violence are grappling with how to live again in a world they don't fully recognize.

People from every side of the political and theological divides acknowledge that a sickness has infected our societies. Our political and religious efforts to root out this dis-ease have not only failed to create harmonious communities, but the states of our unions, here and abroad, are spiraling out of control at increasing speed.

What are we to do, then?

If anything can bring peace and harmony to our planet, it’s a woman who genuinely loves herself; it's a man who loves himself with abandon.

What kinds of people are likely to generate the fresh ideas we crave? First, they are people who genuinely care about and desire to serve others, who yearn to play a meaningful role in something bigger than themselves. Furthermore, they are women and men who love themselves enough to continually explore the deepest parts of their beings in order to thoroughly know who they are. Such people are far more likely to have identified their passions, gifts, and talents, and out of those they will serve us all. Like the individuals that have invested their energies in the greatest pursuits in human history, the passions of people who genuinely love themselves will fuel their exploration of new territories in the inner as well as outer landscapes. They will be bold and innovative because they believe in themselves and because they cannot help but plunge into whatever realm their curiosity leads them.

Love and self-awareness

One of the cornerstones of authentic self-love is self-awareness. Yet the vast majority of us knows and loves our individual selves in much the same way and to the same degree that we do the acquaintance we run into at Costco. We're glad to see this person, and we stop to chat briefly. We ask a few polite questions about their loved ones, their job, or their latest travels, or perhaps we follow up on what this person told us during our last brief encounter on the way to somewhere else. We share with our not-quite-friend a few snippets from the happenings of our own life. After several lively minutes we glance at our watches, and then agree, Let's get together soon and really catch up. At some level we actually intend to do so because we sincerely like this person. Yet there is always somewhere else to be, something else to do, someone else to see that is just a bit more pressing, if not more important. Still, we think of this other person and how we like her or him, how much we probably have in common. We smile and feel good inside

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