On Tuesday, July 7, Mrs. Chany G. Rosengarten, well-known author and marriage coach, shared an enlightening shiur on self-love: what it means and how to work on it from a Torah perspective.
She began by explaining that Hashem created us, and we are obligated to love all of ourselves. We need to tell ourselves that we are precious and worthwhile. Self-respect will lead us to taking care of our needs. If we don’t respect ourselves, then we will end up putting our needs onto others in an unhealthy way. We will use our children when we don’t love ourselves.
“When we take care of ourselves, then we can be the most powerful person that we can be.”
The way to reach a place of self-love is to first work on having compassion for yourself. Life is challenging. Recognizing our vulnerability is important. As human beings, we need to respect our health and our body. We need to keep an internal dialogue of self-acceptance. We need to see ourselves as complete and that we are comprised of a mind, body, and soul.
When we face difficulties, we can use an internal dialogue to help us through. We can say something like, “Sweetie, this is hard for you.”
When we go through a challenge, we should ask ourselves why this is so difficult. We want to understand ourselves in our struggle.
The talk show hostess added, We should ask ourselves what Hashem is seeing in me. For example, if I ate too much ice cream, Hashem is seeing a wife and mother who is doing her best to perform kind acts and to control her temper. Understanding how Hashem views you can remove you from the situation you are in. The snapshot of you that Hashem sees is that you are trying to be a kind person.
Mrs. Rosengarten added that we have the ability to build worlds. We recite the brachah in the morning: Hashem, the soul You created in us is pure. “The more we know who we are and accept who we are, [the more] this sets boundaries.”
We need to figure out what we need to be spiritually connected. Honoring who we are gives us permission to connect.
She drew an analogy of waves that want to overpower the land. The land doesn’t move. It doesn’t allow itself to be overpowered and swallowed by the water. She shared the following acronym: LAND. “L” stands for love, “A” stands for authority, “N” stands for negotiation, and “D” stands for direction.
She then elaborated on each of these. Love means self-love. It entails forgiving yourself. Authority means no one has power over another person. I have choices and I can decide what I am okay with and what I am not okay with. Authority means I must give myself permission to take action and to say yes to things I want to do. It means honoring yourself and allowing yourself to be the fullest self. It means honoring your needs.
Negotiation is how we talk to ourselves. Just as ocean waves want to consume all of the land, sometimes another person will want all of you. Communication is brave. Negotiation can mean saying to someone that you love him/her and yourself, and this is how I will love both of us. Its honoring our needs and the courage to openly talk about who we are.
Direction is where do you want to go in your life. We can be afraid of our desires. Our soul is pulling us. It means going after who you are meant to be.
Someone noted that the land stays in one place. Sometimes our direction is being happy where we are, like being a stay-at-home mom grounded in motherhood.
The program concluded with a lively question-and-answer format.