You dear one, are at the heart of your story. There is no one else that can tell your story like you can. There is no one else that can live this magical life to the fullest in your physical body but you. Let’s don’t waste another minute living outside of that beautiful realm. Ease up on yourself, we are all on this journey. I am not an expert on anything. I’m just a wandering soul, a friend, a teacher, a daydreamer, and a believer.
Contrary to what we’ve been taught our whole lives, we really are the center of our universe. We’ve all been told that the world does not revolve around us, but that’s not true. It’s not true for me. If I don’t love and take care of myself, I’m no good at taking care of anyone else. If I don’t put myself first sometimes, I wear down and disappear like sandcastles overtaken by the tide. We’ve been conditioned to deplete ourselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually and feel guilt if we choose to recognize our own desires. (Whose bright idea was that?) I wish we could begin to see ourselves as a priority, the hub of our world. Is it really such a radical thought to love and nurture ourselves first? If we are told in the scriptures to “love our neighbor as ourselves” in the book of Mark, don’t you think we are supposed to love ourselves? This scripture isn’t telling us to demean your neighbors with hateful words and put downs. It isn’t telling us to neglect our neighbors. Why do we think it means to omit ourselves of this same love? If we are to love them, we are to love ourselves. I propose that we not only love ourselves, but that we do it passionately.
Mark 12:30-31 New International Version (NIV)
30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Sadly, for so many of us, it isn’t only a radical thought, it almost seems wrong to us. So often we are taught to put our own needs and dreams on the “back burner” for everyone else in our lives. We are taught this behavior is admirable, it is expected, it is a sacrifice to be made in exchange for leading a full life. We’ve done it for so long we most likely don’t even know we do it. I really believe that we learn from a young age that pleasing people makes them happy and we want to make others happy. We like it when they smile and love us. Somewhere along the way we did it so much we forgot about ourselves being happy. We pleased others so much we became disconnected from our own inner voice. It’s so much a part of our daily lives that we have forgotten who we are and why we are here. We have forgotten what makes us happy and how simple listening to ourselves can be. Our identity has become so transparent that all we see when we look into the proverbial mirror is those we sacrifice ourselves to daily. We see spouses, family, children, pets, jobs, titles, status symbols, and the image we represent on social media in that mirror, but we don’t see ourselves. That’s what the empty feeling that we can’t put your finger on really is, the loss of your identity. The loss of the essence of you, and I know what that feels like. I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t put here on this earth to lose myself. I was put here to love, create, teach, and heal. Those are my purposes and losing my identity inhibits each one of those purposes.
Our journey isn’t completed in one day, neither is our healing, or our search for purely joyful living. The journey is more like a series of small steps, serious of single moments where we acknowledge happiness for that split second. Then pretty soon, those moments begin to occur closer and closer together. Someone once told me that I didn’t have to get through the rest of my life all at once. I should take it one day at a time, or even one half day at a time, or one thought at a time. We should enter into the journey with the resolve for today to be happier than the yesterdays, one day at a time, one sacred step at a time.