“Though much healing work happens when we turn inward, it is also true that healing happens, when, as we are able, we turn outward — toward our neighbors who need support. Part of what I love about Jesus’ words here is that there is an implied flow within this concept. It’s not love your neighbor or love yourself. It’s love your neighbor as yourself. . . . This framework, in the end, actually accelerates our growth.”- Aundi Kolber
“Love your neighbor as yourself.”- Mark 12:3 (NIV)
Aundi Kolber concludes Chapter 8 of Strong Like Water as she stresses that love of neighbor moves us through. Consequently, Aundi finds much elegance and beauty in Jesus’ simple commandment in Mark 12:31. Above all, Aundi underscores that Jesus’ inclusion of the words ‘as yourself’ matters a great deal. Because if we’re disconnected from ourselves, our bodies are literally unable to attune to the experiences of others.
Therefore, Aundi explains, Jesus’ command:
- reminds us that we must love ourselves and that the well-being of all people depends on loving our neighbors.
- motivates us to move with intent through a stress cycle when we’ve experienced disturbing or overwhelming events — or ones with the potential to traumatize us.
In conclusion, Aundi expands this concept:
“Moving toward those who are experiencing pain or working to alleviate suffering can help the people we’re assisting and it can also be good for us. . . . it’s essential that we continue to pay compassionate attention to our own experience. . . . Otherwise, we may lose sight of our own limits . . . which will ultimately keep us stuck.
However, as we are able, if we can truly listen and love our neighbor as ourselves for love’s sake, then we have the opportunity for love to unfold. Here we come to truly see that we do, as Mother Teresa once said, ‘belong to each other.’ ”
Today’s question: How do you apply the implied flow in Jesus’ commandment to love your neighbor as yourself? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Personhood or story – welcome home”