"How do you love yourself?"

We have a phenomenal Relief Society in my ward. I truly just can't get over how incredible each girl is and when I look around the room every Sunday, I can see a visible glow radiating from each sister in the room. We have amazing instructors as well and I always am grateful for the time and preparation that goes into their lessons. (Seriously though, I know of one instructor started working on her lesson a month ago and this will sound REALLY dorky, but I have already started writing down thoughts for my lesson in January.) Two weeks ago, we had the Presidency Message lesson in Relief Society. This lesson is taught on the first Sunday of every month by the presidency and it is such a great opportunity for me to get to know myself better as well as the counselors I have the awesome privilege to serve with. Carly, the first counselor, taught the lesson about Sister Silvia H. Allred's talk on Charity. This {whole talk} is fantastic (seriously, read it), but here is just one great part of it:

"What is charity? How do we obtain charity?

The prophet Mormon defines charity as “the pure love of Christ,” while Paul teaches that “charity … is the bond of perfectness,” and Nephi reminds us that “the Lord God hath given a commandment that all men should have charity, which charity is love.”

In reviewing Paul’s previous description of charity, we learn that charity is not a single act or something we give away but a state of being, a state of the heart, kind feelings that engender loving actions."
( emphasis added)

After we talked about this, Carly talked about before we can love others and achieve that charitable state of being, we must first love ourselves and love God. She asked us, "How do you love yourself?"

Girls started listing qualities they liked about themselves, ways to gain self esteem (one I really liked: looking in the mirror every morning and saying out loud three things (physical or spiritual) you like about yourself whether it's something about your personality or the way you hair looks that day) and things like taking care of your body or getting a pedicure can make you feel loved (I agree).

I had never really thought about myself that way. I think we all do from time to time, but I don't think I had taken a solid five minutes to think about ways I take care of myself and things I like about myself like my handwriting, my green eyes, my long brown hair, my "dainty" hands, my smile, and other seemingly "cheesy" things like that. 

However, those answers the girls gave and that question was the perfect reminder to me that we do need to recognize things we love about ourselves and take care of ourselves before we can reach out and lift others. Another girl made the comment that YOU are the only YOU. You are the only one that can touch someone's life in a certain way or say something or do something in a way that could influence many people. God has put you where you are right now for a specific purpose and you must learn all that you can from everyone you can in your life...right now.

That comment completely hit it out of the ball park for me. I was just astounded with how powerful that thought was. When I was first called to be Relief Society President, I was petrified, because I was initially told that I had a lot of things to work on and that I "may not quite fit the bill". I was so discouraged and I felt so low the first few weeks. But as the weeks went on, I was told that I was called for "specific reasons" and that I "have gifts and talents that would help the girls in ways [I] would never know about." This was humbling to know that the Lord could work through me and use the gifts I have been given to bless at least one person's life. You know that I don't feel like this all the time and I know I always have many things I need to improve on, but it is comforting to look back on those words and know that I might be able to be of some help or use to someone in my life. Without a doubt, I do know I'm where I'm supposed to be and doing what I'm supposed to be doing right now in all aspects of my life.

In my institute class this week (most likely my favorite class ever), we discussed talents, gifts, and abilities. My teacher made a similar comment to the comment made by the girl above. It was such a good reminder to me that I don't have to have the voice of a Broadway star, be able to play the piano like Gershwin, or be the next Mia Hamm to have a talent or gift. Those are all wonderful talents and gifts, but I have talents of my own and I know that I can use them to lift others in ways that others may not be able to. We have been given EXACTLY what we need to fulfill our mission in this life and we are put EXACTLY where we are supposed to be to learn and grow. We may be given talents or gifts to fulfill a certain calling or for a certain season in our life, but we must use and magnify and increase the gifts we are given so liberally.  I hope that I can always do all that I can to make the most of what I have been given and I am grateful for these constant reminders in my life to help me do better and move forward.

So in this crazy, busy life, I would ask you to please remember to take some time to LOVE yourself and recognize your capacity to do great things with your unique talents and abilities. What are some ways you love yourself or take care of yourself? What are your thoughts on this?

1 comment:

  1. this post was great. i loved it. seriously so awesome!
    it reminded me of this video-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qR3rK0kZFkg
    if only we could be that happy with ourselves every morning!


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