Treating Yourself as Precious.
Over the weekend, I helped out at a retreat given by James Finely, at Mercy Center, Burlingame on the theme of the Deathless Nature of Love. During the retreat, Finley, who is both a spiritual director and a psychotherapist, talked about ways that we open ourselves to the Infinite Love of the Infinite God. He also talked about ways that we close ourselves off from this Love.
James mentioned how important it is to treat ourselves nonviolently, especially in our self talk. He also mentioned our tendency to “treat ourselves like someone we don’t want to spend time with,” instead of the preciousness of one who is loved with Infinite Love.
This habit of being impatient with ourselves, and judgmental, or even critical is subtle. It sneaks up on us—even when we think we are being accepting of ourselves and our lives. It happened to me this morning. I found myself feeling edgy as I moved through the busy morning schedule at the school library, helping students with research and finding books. I noticed a darkness descend into my heart.
I stepped out to take a break, to get a cup of tea at the neighborhood café, but I still felt edgy. On the way back to the school, I noticed there was such a harsh interior voice within me—judging myself, feeling defeated, and criticizing myself for not having a better job, for not making better choices in my life, and on and on.
Walking back to the school, I could feel my heart crying out to be treated with kindness, tenderness and love. This is what I needed. This is what God wanted for me. This was how I was being called to reconnect with God–by seeing myself as precious, by remembering that I am precious, and I am together with God in love.
I thought about Finley’s remark about treating myself as the preciousness of one who is loved by an Infinite Love. Yes, this was the invitation to go deeper into my heart, and let my heart expand.
As I stepped back into the school building, the bell rang, and I could feel something inside had shifted. I was still busy, but my heart felt whole and healed and held. And I was grateful.
Pause & Pray
- Pause and notice how you have been relating to yourself today.
- Can you connect to yourself as the preciousness of God?
- Quietly, say a pray that reaches your heart.