Truths You Can Use

Truths You Can Use


How My 5-Year-Old Daughter Inspired Me

love yourself

A few days ago my five-year-old daughter asked me to download her favorite new song. It’s called “Let Me Love You Until You Learn To Love Yourself.”

The music didn’t speak to my soul, but the title did. Sometimes it can be hard to love ourselves. We need help. We need hope.

Faith can help us. This may surprise some. We often think religion is solely about loving others. It’s selfless rather than selfish. Yet, there is a tremendous difference between selfishness and love of self.

Why Loving Yourself Is Important

Selfishness focuses inward. Self-love radiates outward. In fact, Erich Fromm, in his classic book, The Art of Loving, defines them as opposites.

Selfish persons think only of what interests and benefits themselves. They look at people solely in terms of their usefulness. They look outside for what is missing inside.

Genuine self-love, however, begins within. It accepts and appreciates who we are and what we can become. It helps us form a vision of our higher selves.

The Steps We Need to Take

How do we love ourselves? First, we focus on the unique gifts we bring to the world. This is harder than it sounds. If I were to hold up a big white posterboard, with a small black dot near the side, most of us would focus on that dot. We look at what’s wrong rather than what’s right. 

We do the same things to ourselves. We focus on our weaknesses rather than our strengths; our inevitable failures rather than our many gifts; what others do wrong rather than what they do right.

But it won’t make us any happier or more loving. It will only block our vision.

How Faith Helps

Our faith can enhance our vision. It reminds us that we are created in the image of God. It reminds us of our purpose as people–as husbands, wives, children, friends, grandparents, citizens.

Through prayer and acts of love and kindness, we bring to the foreground what so often remains in the background. We try to remember, as Rabbi Yehuda Kirzner put it, that “All of life is a challenge of not being distracted from the greatness that we are.” 

The greatness that we are can take on many forms. Primarily, it means staying acting on our values and giving our unique gift to the world. 

What Is Your Gift? 

A funeral I once conducted taught me this lesson. The man who died had been an elementery school teacher and author of over 300 childrens’ books.

His children told me of his penchant for wearing the same red sweatshirt they had purchased for him decades ago. On it were the words “One Hot Firecracker.” They spoke of his tendency to quote Sam Adams–about whom he had written seven books–as if he was an old friend.

Yet, as they laughed, they also spoke of his integrity, his honesty, his dedication to teaching students, his friendships, his character inside and out. He knew who he was. He loved who he was. And others loved him for it.

When we love ourselves, we love ourselves for who we are, not who we pretend or are expected to be. Our genuine selves become our greatest source of strength.

To receive Rabbi Moffic’s weekly digest of Jewish wisdom, click here.



  • http://www.rabbimoffic.com Evan Moffic

    Thanks Diana! My girl is an inspiration!!

  • http://thebestchapter.com Diana Bletter

    This was so moving and so inspiring. Thank you for sharing it! Diana Bletter, The Mom Who Took Off On Her Motorcycle

Previous Posts

Does Religion Cause War?
Deadly images on television tear at our heart. We wish for the violence in Israel to end. This land, sacred to three global religions, seems endlessly mired in conflict. Does religion just

posted 12:36:26pm Aug. 17, 2014 | read full post »

The Healing Power of Laughter: The Jewish Genius of Robin Williams
In Jewish tradition we have a special greeting for a genius. Upon meeting such a person, we say, Blessed are You, Eternal God, Source of Life, who has given from His wisdom to flesh and blood.  Had I ever met Robin Williams, I would surely have said it. Williams was a singular genius. He brought

posted 2:26:21pm Aug. 12, 2014 | read full post »

God Never Gives Up Hope: A Prayer for Israel
 I remember my first visit to Israel in 1994. The Oslo Accords had just been signed. Hope reigned. My group was greeted warmly in the Arab market in Jerusalem. The opposite feelings prevail today. We witness bombings, indiscriminate hatred, vitriol. Dozens of my friends who are there now share w

posted 10:19:40pm Jul. 13, 2014 | read full post »

The Secret to Happiness? Let Life Surprise You
I remember sitting one day with my  three-year-old daughter. She had a book in her and was turning the pages and telling the story. This was her regular habit. She could not yet read the words, but she could tell the story based on the pictures. I had one ear listening to her voice and the ot

posted 4:23:22pm Jul. 09, 2014 | read full post »

Do Christians Need to Learn More About Judaism? A Rabbi Responds to the Pope
In the 1970s Alex Haley wrote the best-seller Roots. He sought to find the roots of his life as an African-American. Where did he come from? What experiences shaped who he was?   We all ask these questions. We seek not only geographic roots and ethnic roots. We look for spiritual roots. Where

posted 9:50:26pm Jul. 06, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.