El día de ayer se celebró el Love Day y en donde se recuerda la historia de Richard y Mildred Loving, quienes fueron una pareja interraciales que fueron perseguidos en 1958 debido a que eso era ilegal en distintos lugares de Estados Unidos, obteniendo su victoria en 1967.
Pues Sufjan Stevens decidió escribir hacer un ensayo sobre el amor y sobretodo el amor propio, sobre como primero debes amarte a ti antes de amar a alguien más y como la percepción del tema ha ido cambiando con los años.
Aquí les dejamos el ensayo completo.
RuPaul says: “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?” Jesus said: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Both suggest that self-love is what makes us human: you cannot love others without loving yourself. Which also means that we must cultivate love as a private and personal practice before we can extend love to others. To love yourself, you must know yourself. And to know yourself, you must love yourself. Love then is a sublime and universal understanding of self and of others. Love is a discipline of one’s own self-consciousness. Love is beautiful. Love is just. It must endure, it must evolve, it must expand, it must be born-again.
We have other very clear descriptions of love : “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
If loving others means loving and knowing yourself, then the failure to love is a failure to be oneself, a failure to be human; an inexcusable and unforgivable crime, and an offense to your humanity. It’s no secret that human history is an incriminating record at times entirely absent of love. We divide and conquer, disenfranchise, enslave, ostracize, oppress, debase, diminish, destroy, and utterly annihilate on the basis of superficial distinctions among us. I wish I could reasonably account for the motivations. Money? Greed? Power? Political and religious entitlement? Ego-mania?
How about self-loathing?
The serpent seduced Adam and Eve into eating the fruit on the basis of a hypothetical divine intention: “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” After they ate the fruit, “the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”
This seems to suggest that self-consciousness (awareness) is linked to two concepts: justice and shame. If Adam and Eve were living in harmony before knowing jurisprudence, then eating the fruit and knowing the difference between good and evil broke the spell.
The result: shame. The consequence: division—from God and from each other. They are cast out of the garden and cursed. The resulting histories as revealed in the traditions of Judaism and Christianity (and Game of Thrones, etc.) are not a happy ending. Instead the story of humanity is fraught with disobedience, violence, deception, bloodshed, failure, foolishness and folly. The story didn’t end well for Adam and Even. It doesn’t end well for humanity either.
This knowledge of good and evil and subsequent division and shame is one of the great mysteries of humankind, and an unresolvable contradiction of being human. We are made in God’s image, but we suffer the incongruity of not being God at all: as (if) God, but not of God. Knowledge is prone to power and power is prone to corruption and corruption is prone to the inevitability of chaos (entropy).
On this planet, we have been granted the distinction of greater consciousness, which grants us greater privilege, power, and stewardship over the natural world around us.
What have we to show for it?
It’s astounding how much of our world still continues to teach us to feel shame. For the color of our skin. For our poverty. For our wealth. For our education. For our religion. For our privilege. For our special need. For our sexuality. For being naked in a garden.
How do we break this pattern?
My sense is that with knowledge and power, Adam and Eve must be born-again, through love, to a new way of seeing, living, and believing, in order to learn to love themselves in fullness—their bodies, each other, the world around them, the entire universe—in order to begin the great stewardship of being human again.
This is our calling as well: to be human again. To have awareness without shame, we must undo everything the world has told us about our worth. We must go back to the beginning. We must be born again. We must be, and know, and love ourselves.
“Be beautiful. Be yourself.”
“If you can accept your body, then you have a chance to see your body as your new home. You can rest in your body, settle in, relax, feel joy and ease. If you don’t accept your body and your mind, you can’t be at home with yourself. You have to accept yourself as you are. This is a very important practice. As you practice building a home in yourself, you become more and more beautiful.” —Thich Nhay Hanh
Jesus said, “A new commandment I give you: Love one another as I have loved you.” His love was touch, healing, instruction, service, compassion, forgiveness, acceptance, and, ultimately, self-sacrifice, an act which illuminates profoundly on the laws of self-love and self-worth. “You have value.”
Why else would he have bothered if it didn’t cost him everything? We are made valuable because of the sacrifice of love.
And so this is our duty at every moment. To love without compromise and without equivocation. To give it our all, to the end, until we have nothing left to give.
The message here isn’t very deep.
So why does it feel so impossible?
We are called to do one simple thing called love.
We need to try harder. Do the work.
My song is love. My prayer is peace.
My head is full of questions but my heart is full of love!