Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day. In church this morning, the youth handed out carnations and the children's choir sang a beautiful song about a mother's love. The pastor went to great lengths to make sure all the women know just how important we are to the live of the church and to God.

He read the scripture for today. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself." He went on to discuss how  hard we are on ourselves and it made me wonder, are the problems in the world today caused not because we don't love our neighbors as ourselves, but because we do?

How many of us are riddled with guilt over things we've said or didn't say, done or didn't do, deadlines we missed or people we've disappointed? How many of us focus on the imperfect job performance, our far from spotless homes, our unlandscaped yards? Is too much of our time spent looking in the mirror at our not model thin bodies, messy hair and two year old glasses?
Is our nation filled with record numbers of obese people the result of us feeding our faces in a desperate attempt to fill our starving souls?

I don't know about you but every time my boss sends a meeting invite to my inbox, my first thought is "What did I do wrong?". Even though I've not been called into a meeting to be chastised or written up or terminated, fear overwhelms me every time. When my husband sighs, I wonder what I did to upset or disappoint him. When my children are struggling, I wonder what I should have done differently. I don't think I'm alone in this boat. I think this boat is filled with others struggling to meet an unrealistic view of what we should be. Why?

Maybe it's time to view ourselves as those who love us view us. Maybe it's time we recognize what is in our hearts. I work very hard to be supportive and kind to those around me. See, even as I wrote that sentence, that little voice in my head started in..."What about when you snapped at your co-worker or the way you judged that person for the clothes they wore?"

It's true. I sometimes snap at people and I often wonder why people dress the way they do. So I had to remind myself to read all the words I wrote that started that internal chastising. I work very hard to be supportive...I didn't say I'm perfect at it. I said I work at it. Seriously, this internal voice in my  head needs to be stilled.

That's the real key, isn't it? Change the internal dialog and the rest will follow. Self-esteem rises, stress falls, love flows. The key is we can't shut that little voice up with more potatoes or another latte. Instead we need to retrain that voice to talk about the good in us. We all have good in us. We all do good things. Maybe we need to love our neighbors as we so desperately want to love ourselves. What a different place this world would be if we all did so.

Happy Mother's Day.

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