But for the Grace of God Go I? What does this REALLY mean?

“But for the grace of God go I.” I stopped…and took this in.
What does it mean? It means that I should be thankful for where I am, because I could be far worse off. But that kind of comparison breaks down when I understand that I could also be far better off than I am. And besides, what kind of a game is this to find thankfulness in others misfortunes?!
But that’s only part of it!! What I see as a “misfortune,” existence often shows me is really a space of amazing potential, where I could learn far beyond what I am now learning about myself and life.
Take Helen Keller and her plight for example. Blind and deaf…. How much more difficult could existence make it for her? And yet, as a result, she was able to “see” and understand things about life that those with sight and sound hardly ever see.
So, if we are on this planet to learn about ourselves, we don’t need a comparison with those in different circumstances to feel grateful.
And once I understood that, ALL of this life was there for me to learn from, nothing became excludable, and all became teachers. And that is how I continue to find           the life I love!
And for THAT, I feel tremendous gratitude!

How Can I Learn to Love Others?

“Love thy neighbor as thyself.”
Great words…that are meaningless if I don’t love myself!
Because if I don’t love myself, how can I love others?
And yet, somewhere the train got off the tracks and all I ever heard from my childhood mentors was, “Don’t be selfish…don’t be a narcissist. Think of others.”
So, I stifled the feeling of love for myself and began plotting ways to be more acceptable and loving to others. I kept making ME a secondary priority and others the primary focus.
But in truth, I discovered that I was treating people the way I treated myself – with judgments, admonitions and rules that were impossible to keep.
So, from my present understanding, here is what I know:
The first step is to love myself, to celebrate myself. Then love for others will overflow from that. It is the only way I can love others and be connected to this existence, or God, or the Universe, or whatever it is called!
A wonderful man, Louie Schwartzberg, put it this way:
“God is the personal journey we all want to be on – to be inspired, to be connected to a Universe that celebrates life.”
ALL life…starting with my own!