Saturday, October 7, 2017

Day 7: Affirmations to combat Impostor Syndrome

If your compassion does not include yourself,
it is incomplete.
~ Jack Kornfield

For decades I refused to accept this principle. It was unbiblical. After all, doesn't scripture tell us to die to self? Aren't we supposed to put others' interests ahead of our own? Isn't it arrogant, conceited and egotistical to love yourself?

Delilah, of course, took this one step farther. To be truly humble, she told me, you must reject yourself. Never be pleased with a job well-done, for that is boasting. Never assert your opinion for that is putting yourself above others. And don't think about extending yourself grace. You are unworthy.

I accepted her lies as truth until a few years ago.

I love to travel and have taken numerous trips over the years. Normally I tune out the flight attendant's safety message before take-off. I know the raft is located beneath my seat. I know where the nearest exit door is located.

But recently the words caught my attention: in case of an emergency, place the oxygen mask over your face before attending to the child next to you.

What?! Tend to my needs first? But the child is totally dependent on me. He doesn't know what to do. Won't he suffer if I don't help him first?

It didn't take long, however, for me to understand the command. If I do not take care of my oxygen needs first, my body and mind will suffer. I will be unable to properly help the child. I would be putting him in even more danger.

How have I mistakingly read the scriptures for so long? I thought the Lord commanded us to love others instead of ourselves. How wrong I was.

God asks us to love others AS we love ourselves.

I'm not supposed to hate me so I can love others. By hating myself I have no capacity to love. Hate and love cannot coexist.

What a complete disservice I have done to myself, my family and my close friends.

Delilah would like me to believe the damage is too much. It is beyond repair.

But Delilah is wrong. Again.

It is never too late to learn how to love. 

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, 
and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.
And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.
Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV)


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