Follow-Up to WATERmeditation with Patrice Rupp

“A Bold Journey to Self-Love”

Monday, June 12, 2023, 7:30 PM EDT

                                             The video of this session can be found at:

WATER thanks Patrice Rupp for her insightful, provocative, and very helpful input. Many people were moved by her words and encouraged to increase their own self-love according to the model she offered.



When she is not involved in her wonderful year at WATER, Patrice Rupp is a student at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. She came to WATER through the Brethren Volunteer Program that partners with a German volunteer group named EIRENE.

Patrice just turned 21, so we congratulate her. She just got back from a trip to New York City and the Delaware beaches with her mother, father, and brother from Baden Württemberg. They enjoyed time together in this wild country we call the United States.

She is interested in sociology and psychology. She is a trained volunteer firefighter and loves to play games and seek out new adventures. Patrice is a valued collaborator in the office and adds a lot of good energy wherever she goes. It seems to flow from abundant self-love.

Excerpts from Patrice’s Notes on “A Bold Journey to Self-Love”


Self-love is a topic that matters to everybody, regardless of their cultural background or stage of life. It describes a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self-love means having a high regard for your own well-being and happiness. Self-love means taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being to please others.[1]


This definition shows how essential self-love is for our lives and our happiness. So why do we all struggle sometimes with accepting this important feeling? Why is it indeed such a bold journey to self-love?

Self-love is a very large and individualistic topic that appears different to everybody. There are many reasons why people find it hard to accept. However, I found one of these answers by looking at the synonyms that Google provides for this term. The second word that appeared was “narcissistic”, followed by “self-absorbed”, “self-centered”, “selfish”, and “egoistic”.

All of these words appear to us as negative. The term self-love is closely associated with negative words like selfishness, which causes us to be automatically careful around this word. “If I express too much self-love or confidence around other people, they might mistake me as arrogant or selfish.” At least that’s a common fear that I have. But holding myself back that way is simply a mistake.

Yes, these synonyms for self-love have a negative touch, but are they really bad? The definition of self-love says: “Self-love means taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being to please others.” In order not to sacrifice your well-being for other people you have to say no, which is an act of egoism and selfishness. I believe all these synonyms are connected to self-love but in a positive way. We have to be selfish in a healthy amount to take care of our needs and we have to take care of our needs to love ourselves.

What does self-love mean to you?

How do you find self-love in your life?

Can you remember a time when you struggled with it?

What did you do the get out of it?

Did you develop some techniques to help you?

Here are five tips to develop or increase your self-love:

  1. Talk to yourself as you would talk to a friend.
  2. Give yourself compliments.
  3. Take care of your body’s needs.
  4. Keep track of your emotions.
  5. Make a list with positive things about you and don’t throw it away when you are done! You will be able to add more things as your journey to self-love continues.

To finish this topic, I offer a lovely quote from Hildegard of Bingen:

Dare to declare who you are. It is not far from the shores of silence to the boundaries of speech. The path is not long, but the way is deep. You must not only walk there, you must be prepared to leap.


Comments from Contemplation

A number of people commented on the fruits of their contemplation:

  1. Love of neighbor as self requires self-love
  2. Such an approach can be mistaken for encouraging selfishness, which one preacher confirmed Patrice’s approach is NOT
  3. Leadership requires attention to relationships
  4. Focusing on other people is important as well as on oneself
  5. One person offered a song of self-love
  6. Another wished she had embraced self-love earlier; it is an action
  7. Young women need to take the self-love message on board; older women to keep it in mind

It was a wonderful time of sharing and working with a concept that is challenging for all of us.