Sept. 9, 2016: 23rd Week in Ordinary Time C
How can we be like Jesus? After all, he’s Jesus Christ – son of God, consubstantial with the Father. How could any human being ever be like Jesus? Yet, in today’s gospel Jesus tells us that every disciple will be like his teacher. (Better choose our teachers wisely…) In light of these words we are reminded of an important fact; if we strive to become disciples of Jesus Christ then we will be like Jesus in due time if we keep seeking him.
Jesus instructs us to take the wooden beam from our own eye first. Yes, we must first find the healing we need so that we can see clearly. How do we do this? Where do we start? I believe we start by looking within and listening to our inner voice. Do you speak kind words to yourself? Do you love and appreciate the beautiful creature you are? Have you forgiven yourself for past behavior and wrong-doings? Remember, you are created in the image of an all loving God and this offers eventual perfection. Yet, all of us must take the steps necessary to reach perfection. We must finish the race strong!
SELF-FORGIVENESS: AN EXPRESSION OF SELF-LOVE
Let’s talk about self-love. You see, you can’t love others until you love yourself first. If your internal voice is constantly belittling you, criticizing you, vilifying you, telling you that you are not good enough, not smart enough, and/or that you are an unworthy sinner forever sentenced to a life of wretchedness, how could you ever fan the flames of the divine light God has placed within you? Your internal light is flamed with love – the fuel the Holy Spirit wants to shower you with.
You must love yourself before you can love others. While at first blush this statement may appear a bit cliché, it is an essential component to your emotional well-being. As we discussed earlier, it has been estimated that the average person experiences somewhere between 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts per day. While this number is up for debate, what is not debated is the fact that every human being has thousands and thousands of thoughts every day! Some of these thoughts are statements you say about yourself. Of these thoughts, some of them are true in the eyes of God, while others are lies planted by the Evil One with the sole intention of separating you from receiving all the glory God has for you.
You know you are speaking truth to yourself when your thoughts are congruent with God’s vision of who you are, a perfect and lovable creation. You are his child, a child of the one true King, and therefore you are special, unique, and perfect just the way you are. Thoughts that are loving, kind, and compassionate toward yourself and others are thoughts from God, anything else is a lie and in need of transformation and release. Additionally, thoughts that find their root in God promote a sense of internal well-being, peace, and happiness, which you now know from earlier reading have a profound effect on your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
When your internal tape player repeats messages that are in alignment with God’s vision, you experience thoughts of truth, life, and light. In the presence of such truth, every cell of your being exists in harmony with Love itself and is therefore divinely supported. Much like a lie-detector test, your body will not be deceived by wrong self-talk. This is why we are programmed to seek happiness and not heartache. As your internal tapes play words of truth, every cell of your body, heart, and soul experiences the vibration of God’s love. In this environment, you become strong and vibrant. You then share this frequency with the world. In a nutshell, you can’t send love into the world when you internalize words in opposition to love about yourself. Remember, thoughts are things, and given this, they profoundly affect you.
Through forgiveness of false beliefs, you begin the internal healing transformation necessary so that you can become filled with the internal love God has for you. Remember, love and love’s companion emotions cannot occupy the same space in your heart that opposing emotions hold. Love cannot be present when anger is in your heart. Peace cannot be present when fear is in your heart. Hope cannot be present when despair is in your heart. Either you have love in a particular space in your heart, or you have some opposing emotion. If you find yourself speaking internal words that are self-deprecating, mean-spirited, belittling, and even possibly hateful, I recommend you write those false beliefs down and begin with them first. They have no business in your heart, and it is time for them to go.
I hope you learn how to love yourself like God loves you. He delights in you and created you as a lovable and adorable creature. I hope you learn how to be like Jesus on your life journey my friends. May you forgive and love as you experience the life God has for you!
– Carolyn Berghuis