Annemarie and I always felt it was important to spend quality time with our children and to that end we made a point of eating dinner together as a family.  Dinner time was an ideal setting to discuss such things as school, social activities, and life issues with our children.

Once, as we were gathered around the dinner table, I asked each child who they loved the most.  Of course, they were a little confused and thought that I was trying to make them choose between their mother and me.   After letting them dwell on the question for a few moments, I finally gave them each the same answer; you should love yourself the most.

I firmly believe that most people who fall into the abyss of self-doubt, self-destructive addictions, and even self-loathing all could have benefitted from the simple question that I posed to my children.  The precipitous fall into that abyss can be caused by a crisis of confidence in which your belief in yourself and your self-worth is suddenly lost.   It is a terrible feeling to lose faith in yourself.

In order to see the world with hopeful eyes and to approach life with confidence and enthusiasm, you first must love yourself.   I do not mean in a vain or selfish manner but in a way that gives you the calm and steady assurance that you are worthy of happiness and the love of others.

Once in the abyss, it can be a long and lonely journey of self-reflection to crawl your way back to daylight; however, you will never see the light until you first find a way to feel good about yourself.  It is a journey that must be made for to languish in the abyss is never an option.   If you are lost in the abyss for too long you run the risk of never finding your way back.

In order to find your way out of the abyss, you must first understand that it is important to love who you are before you can love life.