June 13      

Today's quotation:

Face your deficiencies and acknowledge them; but do not let them master you.  Let them teach you patience, sweetness, insight.

Helen Keller

Today's Meditation:

We all have what could be called "deficiencies"-- this is an unavoidable fact of life.  Sometimes I make comments that I immediately regret; sometimes I don't follow through on things in ways that I've promised.  These are elements of who I am, though, and I don't allow them to define who I am as a whole human being.  After all, these small character traits are just that-- traits-- and while I try to work on them, I don't get angry at myself because they're here with me.

Other people are very forgiving of my so-called deficiencies, so why shouldn't I be just as forgiving of them myself?  Why shouldn't I treat myself with kindness when they make themselves known and seen?  When I recognize them as part of myself, I can start to understand how other people have them as parts of themselves, too-- and I can start to understand where some of their actions come from.  And when I see people acting in ways I might not like, I can feel more compassion when I remember that I, too, act in ways I don't like from time to time.

Recognizing and owning my own deficiencies helps me to avoid judging others too harshly, or more harshly than they deserve.  When I'm fully aware that I'm not that much different than the other person, then I can be more patient with that person.  After all, they're just showing different deficiencies than the ones that I show myself.

Facing our own problems and errors and faults is an important step in loving ourselves unconditionally.  And the "unconditional" part of love is the only thing that makes love true, whether it be for ourselves or for others.

Questions to consider:

Have you ever taken lessons from your own deficiencies?  What kinds of lessons have they been?

How many people don't show any kinds of deficiencies at all?

How can insight into our own deficiencies help us to become more compassionate and loving people?

For further thought:

When we become expert at loving and caring for ourselves, we feel healthy, centered, and strong. . . . We learn to value everything about ourselves-- our bodies and minds, our feelings and needs, our potential, strengths and weaknesses-- throughout all the seasons of our lives.  We feel free to acknowledge the truth of who we are, realizing that God didn't send us here perfect, but to work toward perfection.

Susan L. Taylor

more thoughts and ideas on self-love



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