In my last few posts, I have been discussing my child’s eating disorder and my disordered eating, and how I have realized that I will better serve my child if I can figure out how to better nourish myself. And it just so happened that I came across this writing from Rabbi Yisrael ben Ze’ev Wolf Lipkin (1809–83):
“When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. I found it difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation.
When I found I couldn’t change the nation, I began to focus on my town.
I couldn’t change the town, so, as an older man, I tried to change my family.
Now as an older man, I realize that the only thing I can change is myself.
And suddenly I realize that if, long ago, I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family.
My family could have made an impact on our town.
The town’s impact could have changed the nation, and I could indeed have changed the world.”
So on Valentine’s Day today, I hope that you will think about how you can express love for yourself, in addition to the others in your life that you love.