I do not care so much what I am to others as I care what I am to myself.
-Michel de Montaigne
It’s so easy to get lost in the beliefs and values of others!
Many of us just spent a pretty intense time of togetherness with our friends and families during the Thanksgiving weekend. And, while many of these encounters were hopefully pleasurable, many probably were not. Why? Why can we feel so on top of our game one minute, and the next minute we can be reduced to a blubbering two-year old having a temper tantrum?
Maybe it’s because we care what others think; maybe it’s because being accepted and validated by our parents or siblings or a community is more important than caring what we think about ourselves. But, maybe we can try to change that.
Yes, it’s much easier said than done, but the starting point is acknowledging that you actually do care what YOU think about YOURSELF. We each come to life with a different purpose, a different way to add to this beautiful and mysterious tapestry called life. And it is our life history, our thoughts and feelings, and our unique connection to God, that informs who we are and how we live our lives. We have to remember that. And then, I think it follows that, as we begin to care about what we are to ourselves, we also want to encourage others to do the same. Baby steps…
So here’s a practice for this week: maybe you can think of one way you can really validate your voice and also a way you can listen to and validate the voice of a loved one.