“Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think and twice as beautiful as you’ve ever imagined.” ~ Dr. Seuss
You know what they say: “Listen to your doctor.” If Dr. Seuss is telling us to be more affirming of ourselves, it would be best to follow the doctor’s advice!
It really would be for the best. Too many times, we are exceedingly kind to others but horribly uncharitable to ourselves. We are quick to make lists of all our character defects, all our physical defects, and all our mistakes yet we are slow to acknowledge the good that is about us. I truly believe that is one of the things that greatly displeases God.
Why is that the case anyway? Often, we are quick to forgive others. Often, we are quick to make excuses for others or reach out to help others. Yet, when it comes to ourselves, we hold ourselves to an impossible standard. Time and time again, the scriptures talk about love of self. We need to learn how to do that. If we cannot or will not love ourselves, we will not be able to love others.
Jesus’ command was to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Do we want to hold our neighbor to impossible standards? Are we unwilling to forgive our neighbor? Do we think our neighbor is despicable and not worth loving? If we cannot love ourselves, those may well end up being our conclusions.
Many years ago at a former parish, we had a parish mission. The speaker told everybody every day that they were a unique, beautiful, wondrous creation of God’s love. He would have them repeat it and he challenged them to say that to themselves every morning because, he said, that is the way God sees us. God does not see our tatters. God does not see our failings. God does not see our rough edges. God sees us the way He created us: in His beautiful image and likeness.
“Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think and twice as beautiful as you’ve ever imagined.”
FAITH ACTION: Make a mental list of all that you’ve got going for you. Acknowledge your many gifts and thank God for giving them to you and making you who you are.