“Love never gives up” The Message Version
Most of us are familiar with the passage on love from 1 Corinthians Chapter 13. We hear it used at weddings, funerals, and in sermons. We see these sentiments on plaques and anniversary cards. These words can be so cliché that we don’t take the time to ponder the impact they can have on how we relate to others and ourselves.
I was reminded the other day how impatient I can be with myself. Arriving at a school field trip to the Des Plaines River with my 7th grade daughter, I had not realized I needed to wear boots and jeans. I began to beat myself up as they were sharing how muddy it was, that we needed to douse ourselves with insect repellant and to make sure to check for ticks. When they began to tell us to look out for the poison ivy and oak, my face felt flushed and my heart began to sink. I looked at the other Mom’s as they turned and looked concerned at my athletic skirt and cute, new sporty shoes I had just purchased last week! I was so embarrassed. I was reading their minds, “Doesn’t she read the parents page? What an air head! What was she thinking? How irresponsible! Wow, and I thought I was disorganized!” All these critical voices were shouting at me. I had to remind myself to fight the shame. Thankfully my daughter’s friend’s Mom(I have always liked her and now I really like her!) ran me by her house to loan me a pair of boots and jeans. I was so grateful I could have cried. I was tempted to beat myself up and try to save face by repeating how stupid I felt, but I didn’t. I reminded myself to be patient with my shortcomings, to practice self-love and acceptance. I gave myself the grace to make mistakes and learn from them.
Shame is toxic and we are no match for shame on our own. We need safe, compassionate others to be patient with us on this journey. We need to give ourselves the love and grace we desperately need when we feel shame rearing its ugly head. Those of us who grew up being held to a standard of perfection, where criticism lurked when we made mistakes, are especially vulnerable to these shaming messages. I often have to remind myself to be conscious as I parent my own children to not shame them when I am tempted to do just that.
Today I will choose to be patient with myself,
To love myself,
To accept myself,
Right where I am today,
I will give myself the freedom to make mistakes,
to make things right when I am wrong,
I will choose to love myself apart from the approval of others,
and commit to giving and receiving the gift of patience and grace towards my shortcomings,
imperfections and inadequacies, knowing who I am is more than enough.
Today I will be tender with myself.
Today I will give myself the grace, compassion and self-love that I deserve.
For I am a child of God and
I am loved.
Grace and Peace,