What do those words mean to you?
“I am valued.”
“I am worth something.”
“I inspire others.”
While they may sound like a bunch of self help statements that you are supposed to tell yourself, what if you actually started to look at how you could tell others those messages?
Today I had the experience of being beat up by words. I have many thankless jobs that I don’t get paid for. I have a few that I get paid for, that also are quite thankless, but in the end, I am the person behind the scenes that most people don’t see. I am blessed with people that are grateful and do thank me, even when they don’t have to.
Today was not one of those days. In fact, I felt rather like giving up. I wanted to take a break from life. It doesn’t really work like that though. Life is generally not something you can just “take a little break from” as it is all there to catch you when you come back.
My sink was piled with dishes. There was food that needed to be cooked. The yard was overgrown, breeding mosquitoes and mail was piling up. I am scheduling work at different rentals and there are three of us sharing one car. My husband prefers that we do not use his car, so it makes life a bit challenging and we have to get creative. Yesterday, I walked 5 miles to get my errands done. It was nice, but my feet sure hurt when I was done.
When you sit down, you think, “I can do this. I am doing this for others. I am of value to others. I can inspire them. I can make their life better because I am here.”
Sometimes though, that is not enough. There are times when I have to want to live life because of not what I can give to someone else, but because I have determined to stay alive. A friend challenged us this last month about making a life pact with ourselves. This life pact was the fact that we would stay alive without harming ourselves.
“I would never kill myself.” you might say. “Sure, I might think about it, how nice it would to not have to face tomorrow. But I wouldn’t act on it.”
How many times have you not taken care of yourself though? Unhealthy eating patterns?
It is easy when those hard days hit and you realize that not only are you not making a difference, you are kind of messing with everyone’s lives too. You start to think that maybe this is not worth it. That is one of the reasons you have to live, because you believe in yourself, as cheesy as that sounds. You were created with purpose, to live, to serve, not just for others, but as an individual.
I get in trouble a lot for reminding others that we should think about what we say. Words have value. I was crushed by the actions of others recently towards other people. They may have felt they had a right to do and say what they did, but indeed, it changed the way I think of them. When we claim to have a relationship with God, then treat our fellow human beings with contempt using pious words to make it sound good, well, it is like a sounding brass and a clinging cymbal. It means nothing.
So, two messages… think about why we are living and the whole picture. See value in yourself, not just what others need you for, but who you actually are. Secondly, love others, not just how you think they should be loved because you dislike what they are doing, but actually seek love for them. It might look different than you think it does.