October 10     

Today's quotation:

I have had more trouble with myself than with any other person I've met.

Dwight Moody

Today's Meditation:

It's certainly easy to relate to Dwight's statement-- it seems that most of us have more trouble with ourselves than with anyone else.  We criticize ourselves, we get angry with ourselves, we make choices and decisions that hurt ourselves; in short, we often don't treat ourselves very well at all.  And through all this, we rarely focus on treating ourselves well by forgiving ourselves, having compassion with ourselves, understanding ourselves, or giving ourselves a break.

There's really no need for all of this, and it's a shame that so many of us treat ourselves in the ways that we do.  It's easy for us to say that everyone on the planet is worthy of our love and respect, but then turn around and treat ourselves with almost none of either.  It's easy for us to say that we're "looking out for number one," but that type of attitude tends to have more to do with material goods than with spiritual or emotional needs.

It's also important to keep in mind that when we have trouble with ourselves, we're virtually guaranteeing that we're going to have trouble with other people.  We can only give to others what we're willing to give ourselves, after all, and if we give ourselves troubles, we're setting ourselves up for problems with others.

If someone is kind and compassionate to me, then I almost never have trouble with that person.  If I'm kind and compassionate to myself, then how difficult it will be to have trouble with myself!  And I'm worth my own kindness and compassion.

Questions to consider:

What kinds of trouble do you have with yourself?

Do you often show yourself kindness and compassion?

In what ways can you diminish the troubles you might have with yourself?

For further thought:

You and I can profit by asking ourselves:  What do I see when I look through the lens of my attitude toward myself?  Am I more a critic than a friend?  Do I look beyond the surface blemishes to find the truly beautiful and unique person that I am?  Or do I play the destructive "comparison game"?  What verdict does the juror of my mind pass on me:  "good at heart" or "guilty on all counts"?

John Powell, S.J.

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