We don’t start wars nation to nation and we don’t start them cul-de-sac to cul-de-sac. We don’t snub our noses at those who look differently than we do or at those who act differently than we do. We stop blatantly lying to others. We stop feeling the need to constantly be the victim. We aren’t tempted to cheat in our business dealings. And, our relationships with others are always built on trust and respect.

We stop throwing each other under the buses of life.

We stop having any need to.

In the I’m Christian, unless you’re gay post, I probed the question “why is it so hard to put our arm around somebody who’s different?”

To me, the answer is simple.

It’s because putting our arm around somebody who’s different puts us on the same level.

It’s because putting our arm around somebody who’s different makes it so that we can no longer stand above that person.

When our arm is around any other person, there is no wiggle-room for any of the hatred and crap we constantly spew in our efforts to conceal the inferior and superior feelings that usually drive our internal destructive needs.

And giving up that wiggle-room is scary.

Because… what if the other person is better than us? What if the other person is smarter than us? What if they’re more qualified, kinder, or sexier than us? What if they’re more honest, more dedicated, or more liked by others than we are? What if we give up our wiggle room and they’re hurtful, hateful, or abusive to us?

What will we do if we can’t do what we’ve always done to “rise above” all of that?

Good crap, that is a scary thought.

But in thinking such a thought, we also tend to forget another poignant truth altogether.

When we put our arm around somebody else, they lose that wiggle-room as well. They can no longer be better than us. They can no longer be smarter than us. They can no longer be more qualified, kinder, or sexier than us. To our amazement, they become just as honest, just as dedicated, just as real, and just as liked as we are.

And so, we learn by doing it more often, that putting our arm around others actually frees us. Not from the hatred or the need to feel superior to others, but it frees us from the hatred and dislike for ourselves. And it is only when we are freed from that that we no longer feel any hatred or need to feel superior to others.

It is when we are freed from that that we should actually follow the mandate, love others as we love ourselves.

An arm is a powerful thing.

So reach yours out and put it around somebody that you usually wouldn’t. Anybody that you usually wouldn’t. And watch what happens when you do.

Your entire world will change.

Mine certainly has.

It is how we start the path to loving ourselves.

And I have a ways to go still, but the difference in what I am now verses what I was when I started this blog is measurable. It’s palpable.

I have heard it said and asked many times during my tenure on Single Dad Laughing, “I understand the need to love myself, but how do I love myself?”

This is perhaps one of the trickiest of all questions to answer. But next week I will try.

From one of the people on this earth who has felt completely unlovable, I will try.

From one of the people on this earth who has come so far yet has so far to go, I will try.

From one of the people on this earth who has lost his greatest love because he couldn’t love himself, I will try.

From one of the people on this earth who has been ripped to shreds by so many others in his attempts to learn how to do it, I will try.

I will try, not because I have all the answers, but because I need more answers. And writing is how I usually get those answers.

So please join me next week for that.

And today, it would mean the world to me if you would share this post with others. If it resonated with you at all, and I hope it did, please share it. I just know that I’m not the only one who struggles to wrap his mind around this matter. I truly believe that the more people we get discussing it, the more tools will be presented that can help me and every other person who’s doing their best to be a better person and overcome those hurtful, hateful voices in their heads. Also, people so often pick up from the comments things that I never would have thought of. Things that help them. Things that resonate with them. So please comment today.

This is a group effort. Of that, I am convinced. We all need each other.

We all need to love ourselves.

Until we do, those words that are among the greatest ever spoken by one of the greatest men who ever lived will be… wrong.

And maybe that’s how they were intended. Maybe in our path to learn what love for others is, we are eventually forced to learn how to love ourselves. One cannot exist without the other. One will never exist without the other. I promise you that.

I love ya all.

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

PS. This is part two of a three-part post. Yesterday I posted the first installment called The Benefits of Hating Yourself. Next week (I hope) I will post the final part which will delve into the journey to actually loving ourselves.

This is all directly related to the I’m Christian, unless you’re gay post. If you haven’t read it, please do.

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Dan Pearce is an American-born author, app developer, photographer, and artist. This blog, Single Dad Laughing, is what he's most known for, with more than 2 million daily subscribers as of 2017. Pearce writes mostly humorous and introspective works, as well as his musings which span from fatherhood, to dating, to life, to the people and dynamics of society. Single Dad Laughing is much more than a blog. It's an incredible community of people just being real and awesome together!