Love the One You’re With

August 12, 2014

A note about this week’s post:
I wrote this week’s blog post yesterday afternoon.  Just before posting, I read about the death of actor/comedian Robin Williams from an apparent suicide.  He had recently been suffering from severe depression and had struggled with alcoholism and drug abuse for many years.  I lost a dear friend to these same struggles several years ago.  At the time of his death, he had many friends and family members who cared about him and were trying to help him get better.  In spite of the love that surrounded him, my friend felt hopeless and ended his life with an overdose at the age of 23.  I wish with all of my heart that he could have stuck around long enough to recover – that he could have made it through the long, dark night to see the light of dawn – that he could have made just one more call for help.

If you are having thoughts of suicide or if you believe that someone you love might be at risk, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-273-8255.


“The acceptance of oneself is the essence of the whole moral problem and the epitome of a a whole outlook on life.  That I feed the hungry, that I forgive an insult, that I love my enemy… all these are undoubtedly great virtues… But what if I should discover that the least among them all, the poorest of all the beggars, the most impudent of all the offenders, the very enemy himself – that these are within me, and that I myself stand in need of the alms of my own kindness – that I myself am the enemy who must be loved – what then?”
~ C.G. Jung


Too often we are the most demanding, the most critical and the least forgiving of ourselves.  We feel it is a virtue to look for the positive in others.  However, if we do the same while looking in the mirror or looking within, we see this as a lack of humility.  In so doing, we turn any attempt at self-acceptance into yet another criticism.  The virtue of compassion that we are encouraged to feel for our fellow humans, animals or plants, is too often seen as a character flaw when applied to the self.  We are told to forgive the transgressions of others, yet somehow we expect ourselves to be perfect and, when we prove to be fallible and human, we are usually our own harshest critics.

I am a firm believer in making a “good things list” as an exercise in gratitude and recognition of the blessings that surround us.  It is equally important to find gratitude for that which is within us.

Make an “I Love You Because” list for yourself and update it regularly.

List all of your special talents, the things you do best.  Find ways to use your unique abilities to help others as well as yourself.

Pick one thing each day that is beautiful about you, either a physical quality or something else, and give thanks for it.

Tell yourself “I love you” at least once per day.  Even if you are uncomfortable doing this, even if it feels silly or you feel you are not being sincere, say it daily to yourself anyway until you feel it in your heart.  If you cannot express your love sincerely to the person with whom you are closest (you!), how do you expect to be believed when you express your love to another?

Make a list of all your accomplishments over the years, the things you’ve overcome and the ways you have learned from your mistakes and grown.  Keep this as a reminder that, in order to succeed, one must be willing to risk failure and that failure is how we learn.  Each failure then becomes another accomplishment on the road to achieving your goals.

“And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.”
~ John Steinbeck


Treat yourself to Spiced Fig Lassi, a twist on the traditional yogurt-based drink from India.


Spiced Fig Lassi
This delicious version of the Indian blended drink is made with yogurt, heart-healthy figs and spices.  Served chilled, it makes a yummy on-the-go breakfast, midday snack or a cooling accompaniment to hot and spicy foods.  For the best flavor, choose very ripe figs for this recipe.

2 cups fresh ripe figs
1/4 cup organic sugar
2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger root
A pinch of nutmeg
A pinch of allspice

Peel and chop figs and add to blender with the sugar.  Puree until mostly smooth.  Add yogurt and spices.  Blend until well mixed and very smooth.

Serve well-chilled.

Makes about 4 cups

4 Responses to “Love the One You’re With”

  1. Jack Von Bulow

    Gina, your best yet. I had to sit down in the middle of the afternoon and read and be touched by what you wrote from start to finish. Jack, DDS

  2. Marie

    I took a breath and thought about this – really this is all I needed today. Thank you.

  3. Janet Mercurio

    I also lost someone in the same way as your friend and as Robin Williams. She was my cousin who was my age and I’d grown up with her. It was 5 years ago and it’s still hard – and I feel the same way about Robin – it’s so hard. I appreciate your comments about Robin and your friend. And I also appreciate your fig recipe! I changed it a bit: I chopped figs into a bowl, added some yogurt, sprinkled on all 5 of the spices and a teaspoon of Stevia – mixed it all up and, voila! Delicious! I didn’t think I would enjoy figs more than by just eating them plain, but I think this surpasses that! Yum! Thank you!

  4. Janet Mercurio

    I just now blended over a gallon of fig pulp & made a recipe of your Spiced Fig Lassi and it’s so delicious! I just used Stevia instead of sugar but otherwise I followed the recipe. Couldn’t be better. Thank you!