My dear friend G told me a story today. There was a doctor in Hawaii whose practice grew and grew, to the point where he wasn’t able to spend the amount of time he wanted to with each patient. This troubled his heart, so he began to meditate over each patient’s file at the end of his long work day. And this is what he would say:
I forgive you
I love you
As this story spread, it began a huge movement in Hawaii of people using these words in meditation and prayer and stillness. Imagine the impact we would all have in this world if more of us took the time to say these words to others and to ourselves, in silence and meditation and prayer.
My friend also reminded me that the Bible says, “love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Of all the times I have heard that and read that, I have never thought about it like this- that if you don’t love yourself, you can’t truly love anybody else. Only when you truly accept yourself, for who you are inside and outside, and are able to quiet and shut off that negative self talk that you have always known and see yourself for the magnificent being that God created in his image, can you truly know what it means to love others.
In this world where we are taught that self-deprecation is the norm, to be able to come to an understanding that it is okay to value yourself -and know that it does not make you conceited or a braggart- this is a very powerful thing. Many of us were taught to detach from the self, and only focus on others. Unfortunately, this leads to a lot of confusion because if we do not take care of ourselves first and instead deny ourselves, we shut off our own growth and invite stress and drama because we are no longer learning how to become. Pain, illness and heartache are a product of lack of self-care- mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. It is all tied together. If we don’t like or love ourselves, we cannot choose good relationships. Like searches out like. We go back to the theory of the oxygen mask. When you’re on an airplane and there’s trouble, the flight attendant will always tell you to put your oxygen mask on first before helping others. It is no different in this life. You have to not only take care of yourself, but love and nurture yourself in order to grow to be the person that God wants you to be, and to be able to be there for others in an effective manner, without a feeling of resentment or martyrdom.
In order to truly have a happy life and be successful in this world, you must stop listening to the lies that the world is trying to tell you. Most people that you will encounter in your life do not have your best interests at heart. They have their own best interests at heart. This goes for teachers, work associates, childhood friends, doctors… you have to be in charge of your life. Why would you hand over complete control of your life to an imperfect person or persons? They are not inside of your head, and they cannot possibly understand your deepest needs, wishes and desires. You get one life. If we continually take care of our own hearts first- amazing things begin to happen in the rest of our lives, like a ripple effect. We were not created to do this life alone, but we must ensure that the folks on our team also understand healthy boundaries and are seeking their own best life as well- who we spend our time with has a tremendous effect on who we become. Like searches out like. So guard your heart, your mind, and your time ferociously. Stop engaging in gossip (if you are still doing this- HUGE red flag that you have a great amount of work to do on yourself to get to a place where you can take your nasty pants off). If you notice subtle shifts in yourself, back towards negative self-talk and lashing out at others, it’s a good sign that you need to check in with yourself on what is causing this. What things can you change to move towards a feeling of greater happiness and freedom? Take a moment, and make sure that the person that is holding you back is not you.
So, I say to myself before setting out upon this beautiful day:
I forgive you
I love you 💕
For more thoughts on shutting down the lies that the world tells us, see here.
Go get it today, friends. We are never promised tomorrow, and time is fleeting.
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The Mint Pixie
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