Take a moment and think of one thing you like about yourself. Just one thing.
Maybe it’s the color of your eyes. Maybe it’s something you’re good at. Maybe it’s your ability to make friends easily, or learn quickly, or balance your checkbook to the penny, or shuffle cards quickly. It could be anything.
Now take a moment to think about why you like that about yourself.
Maybe somebody once told you that you have kind eyes, and you’ve always remembered what a nice compliment that was. Maybe people have said that it’s easy to be with you, or you’ve been helpful on a team. Maybe the feeling of organization you get from that beautifully organized checkbook helps you feel like you’ve got a handle on your life. Or your ability to shuffle cards quickly and efficiently makes you feel like you’re a flashy Las Vegas card dealer, and you enjoy the entertainment value.
There’s a reason why you like that thing about yourself, and you can probably figure it out without too much mental energy. So take one more minute and say thank you to God for that one thing that you like about yourself.
The holidays are upon us and in all of the hustle and bustle, there will be some version of pressurized stress. Pressure to have gifts organized. Deadlines to get tasks completed. Worrying that the kids aren’t having Santa-related meltdowns. Badgering yourself not to eat too much, but still wanting pie. (Because there’s so much pie!)
And in all of that pressure, it’s just possible that you could forget to be kind to yourself. It’s possible that you could forget some of the reasons that you like yourself.
So take a minute as each day gets a little shorter, as we grow closer to the wild festivity of it all, and just be kind to yourself. Give yourself a little freedom from your inner critic. Tell that inner critic to take a break or even go on a winter hiatus. You’ll be trading in all that unpleasant criticism for God’s radical grace and kindness to yourself.
Remember Psalm 116:7: “Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.
Peace to you in this season of peace.
Gracious God, guide our thoughts in this season toward self-kindness. Help that kindness spill out of us to others. Remind us that your words to love one another include loving ourselves.