As a theology major, I earned my degree turning thousands of pages of spiritual reading – reflections of saints, papal documents, and biblical exegesis. I remember highlighting quotations that struck me, whole paragraphs of intricate wording that spoke right to … Continue reading
I make no secret of the fact that I’m crazy about my husband. That he’s sweet to me, that he’s hilarious, or that we have a super-high-quality relationship. Andrew and I are the best of friends and he’s my favorite person on the face of the earth for a whole SLEW of reasons.
… don’t worry, I won’t list them. I don’t think the Internet has enough space. The point is that I am ready to acknowledge the goodness in him because I love it. It’s natural, isn’t it, to appreciate the goodness in another person? Even if you don’t express it outwardly, seeing goodness in another is what draws you to them. For instance, I could go on and on about my best friend Erin and how I’m SURE she’s the sweetest, purest soul to have ever lived; and no one can wear periwinkle blue like my mom who looks absolutely stunning in it. What’s interesting is that nowadays, complimenting another person, either directly or in conversation with a third party, is sometimes taken as manipulation. What’s your angle? What do you expect to get out of being nice? Or if jealousy is involved, people don’t compliment at all because they’re too preoccupied with coveting. Equally unfortunate is that recognizing good in ourselves is widely seen as vanity and pride.
Since acknowledging positive qualities in other people is good and acceptable, why wouldn’t doing the same for yourself be so? You should love yourself – not just like yourself or appreciate bits and pieces of your personality, but I’m talking the whole package. Your own body and soul, your achievements great or small, your tendencies, etc. Love it all. Take a second to list a few things that you love about yourself. It’s a bit of a challenge for me and I admit that I hesitate. Ask someone to list what they dislike about themselves and the litany begins; ask someone what they love and they might hem and haw, “Gosh, I don’t know!” or maybe they’ll muster the courage to admit they have straight teeth. Why do people in general hesitate to acknowledge their gifts and talents? The truth is that doing so isn’t actually vanity, but an aspect of humility as long as your approach is right.
Humility is knowledge of self, according to St. Catherine of Siena, and part of knowing yourself is recognizing A) that you have blessings and achievements and B) that they come from your Creator. A bit of logic: God is good. We are made in His image and likeness. Therefore, we have goodness within us. So go for it! Acknowledge God’s goodness within yourself. It’s about putting your worth in God; more specifically that you are spectactular because of the gifts and talents He bestowed upon you. It’s not vain to be proud of these things, it’s vain to credit yourself for them. God blessed me differently than He has any other soul – I am unique, special, and beautiful because of it. It’s funny how difficult that is for me to say. It’s important to note that this same approach applies to recognizing the goodness in others – it’s all a way of praising God.
My friend Alzbeta wrote a post to this effect and challenged her readers to list what they love about themselves. I’ll start here, but I’d also like to know what you love about yourself. Write it in a comment, a Facebook status, blog about it, whatever! Take pride in your humility and go ahead! tell me how great you are at painting or public speaking and know that your value isn’t in the gift itself, but the Giver.
What I love about myself -
- I love that I excel in a professional atmosphere. I love the thrill of mastering something new, making deadlines, and the surge of satisfaction when I produce something that surpasses expectation.
- I love that I have a great marriage! Andrew and I need each other and love each other and say so all the time.
- I love that I am very good with grammar and I use words well.
- I love that I am a happy person who fervently believes in finding joy in the little things.
- I love that I am a joyful during pregnancy, delighting in our new little gift.
- At 2 pm on TOMORROW, we find out if this little one inside is Sugar & Spice or another addition of Snips & Snails :) I have been waiting so excitedly for this day and I can’t wait! I feel like I’m waiting for Christmas!
- I presently have a fresh batch of brownies cooling on my stove. My friend from college used to bring brownies from home all the time and they had melted Andes Mints on them – DELISH. Though my batch isn’t adorned with Andes, I put some hazelnut chocolate squares on the brownies right when they came out of the oven so a nice shell will form on top. With a fresh pot of coffee when Andrew gets home, it’ll be the perfect “Welcome Home From Work” snack :)
- Last night I had an insatiable urge to get up and get goin’ and after starting on a pleasant, evening walk, I turned around to go home and cut the grass. SO GOOD. Mowing the lawn has always been one of my favorite household chores and I spent about an hour cutting the front and sweeping the sidewalk and porch. I hear my dad echoing in my head, “Always looks better when it’s clean!”
- When Liam wakes up from his naps, he yanks the cord of a musical stuffed animal on his crib to make it play. Everytime it reminds me of a butler bell – as if he’s summoning us to come get him.