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Excerpted from The Other Side and Back by Sylvia Browne. Copyright 2000 by Sylvia Browne. Excerpted by permission of Penguin Putnam, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.

"Not to love yourself is to disrespect one of God's creations."

  Sylvia Browne, The Other Side and Back, Part 2

Of course, in this flawed life I have led, I had to learn this lesson the hard way. A perfect example is the death of my father. We adored each other, and I camped out at his bedside in his final days. On the last day, I left his hospital room only for one brief moment, to stretch my legs and get a drink of water. And during that one brief moment, he died. My grief at losing him was compounded by my agonizing guilt over not being with him as he took his last breath. 

I should have stayed with him rather than go for a stupid drink of water. I, of all people, should have been right there holding his hand when he started his journey Home. But, finally, I was able to stand back far enough to ask myself the real question: Was it my intention, for even one second, to not be with him when he died? Absolutely not. And that is when I learned once and for all to confront my guilt like I confront my other bad habits. Every time that negative voice in my head starts down the "I could have/I should have" road, I audit myself and make the positive voice in my head interrupt with, "Stop!"

Like I said, it is simple, but it works. Make a promise to yourself that for the next week, you are going to declare war on guilt. Any intentional pain you have caused, make it right. Any unintentional pain you are blaming yourself for, silently yell "stop!" at it the instant it enters your mind, until you are so tired of being yelled at you will not even let those guilty thoughts creep in to begin with.

Then you can channel all that energy you've on guilt into another essential element of maximizing everyday magic and miracles - learning to love yourself. Not to love yourself is to disrespect one of God's creations. It is to doubt your own power before you have tried using it, and to believe you are not worthy of the magic and miracles God has in store for us.

You were probably taught from an early age that there is something wrong with loving yourself, that it is egotistical and unattractive and you should be ashamed of yourself for even thinking such a thing. It is true that self-love does not mean considering yourself superior to anyone else. That is egotistical and unattractive. I am not promoting a world full of people swaggering around with swelled heads. Self-love, put simply, means that you treat yourself well and with respect; that you surround yourself with people who treat you well and respect you; and that you live your life according to the advice you would give your own child or your closest friend.

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