Self Love

Self-love

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2 ESV

“We don’t find our real selves by looking for it; we find it by looking for God.” David G. Benner

Real change is hard. Transformation miraculous. Any change I have attempted without the real, gut-level, trusting in God’s love has never stuck. In fact, I went backward. Even in profound grief. We may make changes with self-help and other supports but transformation, that’s the real thing! A way of being. In fact, transformation doesn’t happen for me until I know how deeply loved I am. It starts there and is never fully accomplished. Here anyway.  Do I feel it? Sometimes in spectacular ways. Sometimes not at all.

Without seeking God and his love, I go back to toxic people, places and things. When I do not feel loved (I’m one of those people—feelings) seeking immediate relief is my Achilles heel. I envy you practical, rational people!

I had a difficult phone call with a sibling yesterday. She wants me to come visit. I don’t want to. I started beating myself up with what if she gets sick, what if we never see each other again, what if I’m a selfish person (I am, aren’t we all?) But then I sat with these painful feelings and went to God. First, no judgment. None. Second, awareness of my desire to not go visit. Third, understanding. My past visits were traumatic: dying parents, long eight hour drives one way, trying to find people to check in on my terminally ill husband and some emotionally devastating events and accusations when I did arrive. There were kind moments. Fun moments. Lots of drinking moments. But I did not feel loved. I felt dismissed, hurt and scared that I should be with my ill husband even though my parents were ill too. No blame. Everyone was doing the best they could. Yet, yesterday, I made excuses like lack of money, long drive, anxiety (that one is very true) and drinking. I’m sober and not ready to handle lots of drinking times. So, I give it to my Father. He reassures me. I know I’m deeply loved. I know at the right time and with the right words and actions, all will be well. I may never go visit. I may. In the meantime, I seek God as I would a lover, placing all my trust in him. All of this will be transformed into his plan. I will be transformed.

Musings

Seeking God with no judgment but just observation and awareness are transforming and genuine. He so deeply loves us that we can seek him without all the judgments, excuses, hiding, anxieties and guilt that others and ourselves dump on our weary selves.

Awareness. Observation. Seeking Him. May we practice this in all situations. And it will take practice. But we are deeply loved.

Prayer

Father,

Thank you for so deeply loving us that our souls can be naked before you. There’s no recriminations, punishment, judgments, agendas, manipulations, expectations or threats. Just awareness, observation and acceptance with grace. We Black Sheep types really desire your love and the transformation that results. We seek you first in all things.

Amen.

Published by Barbara Hinther

Barbara Hinther author of Meditations and Encouragement for the Caregiver of a Loved One with Dementia and What About Me, God. Time to share what she has learned and hopefully, others will know they are not alone. This too, shall pass with beautiful, yet painful, lessons. Barbara lives in a rural town in Idaho where all is community. Bless everyone in the community for their support and their never-ending let’s pitch in attitude! She worked in marketing for over 30 years and volunteered with the Idaho Youth Ranch and St. Vincent’s de Paul Thrift Store. Then her hardest job ever was caring for her husband who died from Lewy body dementia and needed her full-time care. Feelings of abandonment were constant. Life was very difficult for a while, but love, faith and hope will overcome. Let the adventure continue!

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