I don’t know if I shared it, but my word for the year is ownership. Prior to COVID-19 and social distancing, we had planned to purchase a home. I’m not sure if that will happen. In theory, I’m okay with waiting because I never want to bite off more than I can chew again. Financial headaches are the worst. Right now, I’m focused on being mindful of how I make every decision. In this season of mindfulness, I’ve decided to be the honor I crave.
My greatest area of angst is self-care. As I explore mindfulness and being present, I realize that I don’t always set the tone for people to treat me well. By nature, I hate confrontation. I’m a peace lover. Unfortunately, sometimes my desire to please and maintain a sense of control or peace clouds my judgment, leading me down paths I don’t want to travel. It causes discord, disappointment, and, even, financial problems. I have to take ownership of this behavior and create strategies on how to engage in ways that manifest the care I want to have for myself.
Just in case you didn’t know. Self-care is so much more than getting your hair and nails done. According to Psychology Today, “self-care in essence is the mindful taking of time to pay attention to you, not in a narcissistic way, but in a way that ensures that you are being cared for by you.” Self-care is taking responsibility for your personal well-being, your way to honor yourself.
I’m slowly learning that following The Golden Rule of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you (Luke 6:31) works in relationships only if both parties abide by this ideal. Of course, we should help others and treat others kindly. However, in interpersonal and business relationships, we must operate at the standards we set for ourselves. It is also prudent to consider the integrity of the people you’re interacting with. When you fail to consider the integrity of others, you set yourself up despondency.
Self-care includes teaching others how to treat you. It goes beyond doing well by others. It involves monitoring how interactions deposit and withdraw from your emotional bank. When you find relationships that always leave you depleted, you have to decide if it is time to move on. It is rare to recoup your losses from people who drain you. Cut your losses and move on in a way that honors you and them.
I wrote the following statement for myself a few years ago. If you struggle with honoring yourself, I hope this encourages you to be the honor you crave.
An Encouragement: Be the Honor You Crave
Be fierce in appearance and in the integrity of relationships. Clothe yourself in elegance, femininity, and grace. You will be revered and envied. But, don’t be influenced by outside factors. Let your actions reflect the goodness within, setting the standard amongst other women, promoting self-awareness, self-confidence, self-worth, and the priceless value of womanhood. Defy social norms and stereotypes, disavow self-hate; reject behaviors, and attitudes that deflect from being fearfully and wonderfully made.
Be whole, that you may be able to endure life’s tragedies and pain. Be encouraged in relational difficulties, not allowing anyone to steal your strength, compassion, or joy. Forgive others, even when they aren’t apologetic, freeing yourself from the burden of their offense. Serve and give with your heart’s sincerity so that in your time of need, you will receive what you have sown one hundredfold. Be protected by the Truth, for there is only one.
Take time to love yourself and all those around you; make time to be loved. Take time to pray, meditating upon good things, not bad. And lastly, strive to be the best version of yourself. Be fair and judicious, resisting the urge to be right for the sake of being right. Be like Him, the Creator and Sustainer of all things. Trust in the gift of His glory, which resides in you and can get you justly through anything or situation.