Loving Yourself and Others

Coral Gables Counseling Center - Wednesday, February 27, 2019
By Mirta Pont, LCSW,

Certified EMDR Therapist

When I was asked to write this blog it gave me pause.

I thought a lot of people don’t love themselves, and some love themselves too much. Some people love those around them, such as family and friends, but that’s the extent of it. Others live with perpetual grudges and resentments that interfere with them giving and receiving love.

What about unconditional love? How many of us have been lucky enough to feel it? If one starts thinking about it: what is unconditional love? I guess the closest some humans get to it would be the love of a mother towards a child, but unfortunately I’ve come to know even that’s not a given. How perplexing!

In 2013 I visited Italy, specifically, the town of Assisi. If this sounds familiar, it should. The quaint little town is perched on a mountain with breathtaking views. It was named after its patron saint, St. Francis of Assisi. Some of you may have heard of St. Francis. He is known for The Prayer of Peace, (he really didn’t write this prayer but it is associated with him), which describes the type of love that only a saint could carry out on a regular basis.

I’d like to share a few brief facts on St. Francis:

  • He was described as the quintessential “bad boy” of the 12th century.
  • He would hang out with his friends and always manage to find trouble.
  • His father was a rich merchant who was always bailing him out.
  • As the story goes, after experiencing much turmoil and illness in his life, Francis came to experience a spiritual awakening.
  • It is said this powerful experience gradually transformed Francis to where he devoted his life to serving God and others.

I’d also like to share this prayer as I find it full of hope, service to others, and most of all – Love.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is offense, let me bring pardon.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.

O Master, let me not seek as much
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that one receives,
 it is in self-forgetting that one finds,
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,
it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life.


Think about the love you send out –
does it allow for you to receive love in return?
Or do you need to let go of some grudges
and resentments?
Leave your comments here.