practicing my practice: being my own friend

I have been thinking a lot about friendships and loving others.  One thing I am certain of is that we can only love others as well as we love ourselves.  In fact, I have noticed that when someone is cruel to me it is saying more about their heart and less about mine.  And when someone is good at loving others it is usually because they are good at loving themselves.

Canon AE-1 | Kodak Portra 400

“For if I am to love truly and freely, I must be able to give something that is truly my own to another. If my heart does not first belong to me, how can I give it to another? It is not mine to give!”

   ~Thomas Merton

Canon AE-1 | Kodak Portra 400

“If I love my brothers according to the truth, my love for them will be true not only to them but to myself. I cannon be true to them if I am not true to myself.”

  ~Thomas Merton

Canon AE-1 | Kodak Portra 400

In order to love myself better, or anyone better for that matter, I must spend quality time with me.  I must learn what makes my heart sing and makes my heart break. I am enjoying this blessing by John O’Donohue right now.


May you recognize in your life the presence, power, and light of your soul.

May you realize that you are never alone, that your should in its brightness and belonging connects you intimately with the rhythm of the universe.

May you have respect for your individuality and difference.

May you realize the that the shape of your soul is unique, that you have a special destiny here, that behind the facade of your life there is something beautiful and eternal happening.

May you learn to see your self with the same delight, pride, and expectation with which God sees you in every moment.

Canon AE-1 | Kodak Portra 400


How are you doing when it comes to loving yourself?  Or, how O’ Donohue put it, your self.  That space does a lot for my heart.  I am mine.  I belong to me and it is important if I am to love others well, to love myself well.

Staci Lee

I like my cameras old, my shoes comfortable, and my whiskey neat.


  • I love this post. I struggle with loving myself at times but I am getting better. You’ve taught me a lot about how to do this. Loe you.

    • Oh my gosh! You commenting on my blog just made my summer! Love you, dad!

  • So good. Such an important message. I was hanging out with Cissy last night and we were talking about this in regards to pain. When we can sit in our own pain, we are better able to be there for others. Empathy, compassion, care – what God has for us, and what we need for ourselves and others. Love this.

  • I love your “raised-pinky” technique of holding your camera. How very English of you 😉 I also love that you illustrated the idea and practice of loving yourself with self-portraits. Clever and lovely. Merton + O’Donohue – can’t go wrong! Thanks for this Staci.

    P.S: Nice camera!

    • I didn’t know I did that until I got my roll back. I was giggling at myself. Thank you!

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