The Great Commandment for Women: Love and Care for Yourself as You Love and Care for Others by Carol P. Christ

This is a very powerful testimony to the power of spirituality to nurture ourselves and the world. For those of us exploring spiritually-infused leadership, and especially those of us whose vision includes servant leadership, it is a vital message. Leadership is about presence. Presence means being fully nurtured and caring for ourselves, not just nurturing and caring for others! I just want to requote the healing heart of this blog: “There is no need to read concepts of sacrifice or self-sacrifice into the commandments to love God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself. God loves the world, therefore, we should love God with all our hearts; God loves the world, therefore, we should love our neighbor and ourselves as God loves us. The commandment for women (especially!) of our time is that we should love ourselves as much as we love others, that we should give to ourselves as much as we give to others, and that we should care for ourselves as much as we care for others.” This goes for any leader — male or female, from whatever spiritual tradition we celebrate. Beautiful! This is also the message of aloha, and of sustainability! Thank you.

carol-christA rabbi known as Jesus of Nazareth taught that you should  “love God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself.”  Charles Hartshorne, philosopher of relationship and a twentieth century advocate of the “two great commandments,” added that it should be understood that this means that God wants you to love yourself too.

I quote Hartshorne’s midrash on the great teaching often because, sadly, too many women—and some men too–have been taught to love their neighbors at the expense of themselves, to care for others, but not to care as much for themselves. 

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