“Forgiving yourself, believing in yourself and choosing to love yourself are the best gifts one could receive.” ~
Choices. We spend a great amount of time teaching children about making proper choices. Parents tell their children that the choices they make can help them or harm them. Teachers tell their students that the choices they make can help them in their future or keep them from reaching their full potential. Employers tell their employees that the choices they make will either help or hurt their chances for advancement.
As we talk about the choices that need to be made, focus is almost always placed on the externals, i.e., choosing to help an individual, choosing to say a kind word, choosing to let another person know that you care about that person. We are always and forever looking outward and, in the process, often forget about the person making the choices.
If we do not take care of ourselves, first and foremost, then any other choice that we make will not really matter. We have to choose to forgive ourselves, believe in ourselves, and love ourselves before we can choose for others. Jesus said it so well when He said that we must love our neighbors as ourselves. He knew that if we did not love ourselves, there would be no real capacity within ourselves to love another.
I have known people who were consciously trying to take care of themselves and have been told by parents or teachers that they were being selfish, that someone else mattered more. That is so untrue. We do such a disservice to someone when we tell them that someone else matters more than they do. We are saying, in effect, that they do not matter.
While we need to teach and encourage people to focus on others and take care of others, we have to realize that no one can focus on or take care of another if they do not feel good about themselves. Love as Jesus instructed us to do. Care as Jesus instructed us to do. Forgive as Jesus instructed us to do. Just make sure that you begin with yourself before moving on to others.
FAITH ACTION: Spend time in quiet prayer and ask God to give you the gift of wisdom:
O God, Who instructed the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant us in the same Spirit to be truly wise and ever rejoice in Your consolation. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen