BY PAMELA JO BOWMAN, MESA ARIZONA – I finished a lovely book this week. INES, OF MY SOUL by Isabelle Allende. My sister lent it to me. She knew I would enjoy it especially since my son spent over two years of his life in Chile. That is where this historical novel takes place.
I find it dangerous for me to read. For one thing, I do little else until I am through with the book or article. Another problem is that I find myself becoming attached to the characters. Sometimes I want to emulate them. Ines was a strong, vibrant and passionate woman. She lived a long life filled with adventure, humor, strife, disappointment and despair. She was still a young, bright woman when she realized how driven she was by love and love alone. In that knowledge she survived and sustained those within her care.
Ines’ first husband, an unworthy, lazy, handsome devil, taught her a valuable lesson, to love and value herself. She was not a perfect person. She accepted others because she accepted herself. She was able to love herself, which increased her capacity to love others.
At the end of the day or the end of a life, that seems to be what matters most. Did we love others as we love ourselves? In order to do that, we have to first love ourselves. Some would argue that is natural, but I beg to differ. Ask yourself, If you treated others as you treat yourself would you want to be friends with you?