...self care is never a selfish act- it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch.

Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Because you are loved (3)

We can't offer others what we don't have
We confuse love and pity and tend to "love" people we can "pity" and "rescue."  The ACA Laundry List
 
We will choose to love people who can love and be responsible for themselves. The ACA Promises

Don't talk of love. Well, I've heard the word before. Simon and Garfunkle, I Am a Rock
 
"Love" may have been used on us- to excuse abuse, or indifference or neglect. The adults in charge may have told us that, whatever happened, it happened for our own good, or because we were "loved."

The word took on a toxic connotation as it was associated with  harmful experiences.
 
Because we cannot offer love if we don't experience self-love, we sometimes settle for pity as a default. It's easier to be attracted to weaknesses because we can feel in control as rescuer. Pity puts us over others. In feeling sorry for someone, I'm often led to give relief or aid. That makes me feel better about myself. But it's not love.

When Jesus taught to love others as we love ourselves, he also provided an insight into how love functions. We will love others as we love the first person in our lives: ourselves. We cannot offer love, acting in the best interest of others, if we don't know what it means to act in our own best interest. 

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Having been in ordained ministry in the UMC for 34 years, I've experienced the truth that although, clergy are frequently present for others, no one can offer what they don't have.That's why if you're a clergy person, you need someone who will listen to you. Not the random next closest person available, but rather someone like a spiritual director, a therapist, a peer who can be fully present to you. I hope the links and posts you find here will give you ideas, humor, hope and encouragement. Scott Endress

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