Wednesday, August 21, 2013

TO BE HAPPY, YOU NEED TO LIKE YOURSELF!

How many times have you thought about things that you like and don't like about yourself?  Just how critical are you about the way you look, your hair, the shape of your body, your personality or so many other things?  When we constantly criticize and scrutinize ourselves, how can we ever really like who we are or expect others to feel the same?  I love, love, love the story about Thomas Moore, who was a famous 19th century Irish poet.  I want to share this wonderful story with you.  The story goes like this:

Thomas was called away on a business trip.  Upon his return he was met at the door not by his beautiful bride, but by the family doctor.

"Your wife is upstairs," said that doctor.  "But she has asked that you do not come up."
And then Moor learned the terrible truth:  his wife had contracted smallpox.  The disease had left her once flawless, lovely skin, pocked and terribly scarred.  She had taken one look at her disfigured reflection in the mirror and commanded that the shutters be drawn and that her husband never see her again.  Moore would not listen.  He ran upstairs and threw open the door of his wife's room.  It was black as night inside.  Not a sound came from the darkness.  Groping along the wall, Moore felt for the gas jet to turn on the lamps. 

A startled cry came from a black corner of the room.  "No! don't light the lamps!"

Moore hesitated, swayed by the pleading voice of his wife.  "Go!" she begged.  "Please go! This is the greatest gift I can give you now."

Moore did not go.  He went down to his study, where he sat up most of the night, prayerfully writing.  Not a poem this time, but a song.  He had never written a song before, but now he found it more natural to his mood than poetry.  He not only wrote the words, he wrote the music too.  And the next morning, as soon as the sun was up, he returned to his grieving wife's room.

The room had the shutters drawn and it was dark as night.  He felt his way to a chair and sat down.

"Are you awake?" he asked.

"I am," came a voice from the far side of the room.  "But you must not ask to see me.  You must not press me , Thomas."

I will sing to you, then," he answered.  And so for the first time, Thomas Moore sang to his wife the song that still lives today. Press the play button and enjoy the words so beautifully sung on the video as you read them below the video box:
 

"Believe me, if all those endearing young charms,
Which I gaze on so fondly today,
Were to change by tomorrow and flee in my arms,
Like fairy gifts fading away,
Though wouldst still be adored, as this moment though art--
Let thy loveliness fade as it will,
And around the dear ruin each wish of my heart
Would entwine itself verdantly still."
 
The song ended.  As his voice trailed off on the last note, Moore heard his bride rise.  She crossed the room to the window, reached up and slowly drew open the shutters.

Learning to love ourselves, even with our all of our faults and flaws, is essential to our own happiness.  We tend to express our displeasure about ourselves on others, like Thomas Moore's wife, believing that her husband could only love the lovely bride she once was, and could never love the pock marked and scarred woman she had become.  True love looks past that.
 
 
There is loveliness and goodness in all of us, that is lovable in spite of the flaws we all possess.  We need to get past those, and go on living our lives, which in turn causes others to see past our flaws and pock marks to the true beauty we hold inside.  I hope that this story will help those of you who do not love yourself, or even like yourself to look at yourself in a different way.  You are the only one who can truly control what you think of yourself.  Look past your differences and love yourself and be happy!