The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Worship Yourself (True Self or Christ Within) - Fall In Love With Love

#1

What we value most is what we worship. It’s what we put first in our life. Christians are called the body of Christ because we are in union with Him. He lives in us. We are one with Christ. We fall in love with our true selves like a mother falls in love with her baby. I have been crucified with Christ. It’s no longer I who lives but Christ lives within me (Col. 3:3). I put on the new self having been created according to God in righteousness and holiness of truth. (Eph. 4:24). It’s more like a peeling away of an onion until I get down to the core me or the true loving and compassionate me. That’s the me I love. The one united to Christ. The false me is that egotistical mean spirited person driven by a hundred forms of unhealthy fear and self-delusion.

I have forgotten all of Creation
Only the Creator remains
I have turned my attention
to that which is within me
It is there where I am in love
with the Beloved

St. John of the Cross ~~ Roman Catholic

I Am In Love With Love

I am in love with love
love is in love with me
my body fell in love
with my soul
and my soul fell in love
with me
we take turns in loving
we take turns in being loved

Rumi

When I turn my focus inward and on me and God I can be quite happy. Sitting around worrying about the rest of the world can steal my peace and joy. The idea is to love those in your own particular area you are called to. Love your loved ones, yourself, and God. Like we learned in A.A. we take care of ourselves first. This is what I mean by worship. It’s being in love with Christ. God is love so we fall in love with love or come into union with love. It’s our core essence. People have criticized A.A. in this respect as being a “selfish” program. Is that a bad thing? Is taking care of myself first bad? Bill Wilson tells us in “As Bill Sees it”:

“Selfish”?

I can see why you are disturbed to hear some A.A. speakers say, A.A. is a selfish program. The word selfish ordinarily implies that one is acquisitive, demanding, and thoughtless of the welfare of others. Of course, the A.A. way of life does not at all imply such undesirable traits.

What do these speakers mean? Well, any theologian will tell you that the salvation of his own soul is the highest vocation that a man can have. Without salvation - however we might define this - he will have little or nothing. For us of A.A., there is even more urgency.

If we cannot or will not achieve sobriety, then we become truly lost, right in the here and now. We are of no value to anyone, including ourselves, until we find salvation from alcohol. Therefore, our own recovery and spiritual growth have to come first - a right and necessary kind of self concern.

#2

Despite the widely held view that narcissists have extremely high self-esteem, a new study shows that the traits of narcissism and high self-esteem are far more distinct and unrelated than conventional wisdom has led us to believe.

After reviewing the research literature, investigators from several universities discerned the following differences between narcissists and those with high self-esteem: Narcissists feel superior to others but don’t necessarily like themselves. In fact, narcissists’ feelings about themselves are entirely based on others’ opinions of them. On the contrary, those with high self-esteem don’t think of themselves as superior to others, and in fact, tend to accept themselves regardless of what others think about them.

“At first blush, narcissism and self-esteem seem one and the same, but they differ in their very nature,” says lead researcher researcher Eddie Brummelman at the University of Amsterdam (UVA). “Narcissists feel superior to others but aren’t necessarily satisfied with themselves.”

Research also shows that narcissists have little need for warm, intimate relationships. Their primary aim in life is to show others how superior they are, and they constantly crave and seek admiration from others. When narcissists receive the admiration they desire so badly, they feel proud and elated. But when they don’t get the attention they crave, they feel ashamed and may even react with anger and aggression.

People with high self-esteem, on the other hand, are satisfied with themselves and do not feel a sense of superiority over others. Instead, they perceive themselves as valuable individuals, but not more valuable than others. They desire close, intimate relationships with other people and do not need to be excessively admired. Those with high self-esteem rarely become aggressive or angry towards others.

Furthermore, aside from the differences in nature and consequences, narcissism and self-esteem have remarkably distinct childhood origins, and they develop differently over the lifespan, the authors point out.

In summary, high self-esteem is a positive, life-enhancing quality, while narcissism is an unhealthy trait that ultimately leads to unhappiness. Intervention efforts should help those with narcissistic traits develop true self-esteem.

“The distinction between narcissism and self-esteem has important implications for intervention efforts. Over the past few decades, Western youth have become increasingly narcissistic. It is therefore important to develop interventions that curb narcissism and raise self-esteem,” says Brummelman.

Brummelman conducted the research with Sander Thomaes at Utrecht University and University of Southampton and Constantine Sedikides at the University of Southampton.

Their findings are published in the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science .

#3

We live after the return of Christ in 70 A.D. when all has been completed. We live in a new covenant era. The sacrificial system has been fulfilled and done away with. The destruction of the temple in 70 A.D. did away with the sacrificial system. The body is the new Temple where we worship Christ. Worship is to fall in love and put Christ first. Hence we nourish ourselves and take care of ourselves first.