Brotherly love and boundaries 1

Is it easier for you to show compassion towards others more than it is to show compassion towards yourself? Why do you think this is?

A lot of times, we choose what is hurtful to feel better. Would you call it hope?

“I was jilted by a guy so I believe a better man is definitely coming my way”

“I was poor so I believe I can be rich”

“I wasn’t the best in my class but I can as well as be better than the best in my school”

“I sacrificed myself for others so much that I have been taken for granted so therefore better people are coming my way.”

A lot of ideas that run through this line: Compensation for defects (let’s call them that)

They make great stories, you must agree.

We always like to believe that only a sad and pathetic beginning can make a wonderful ending.

Just imagine, 

A child brought up in a wealthy home ending up to be a billionaire…..

Now, compare that to a pauper child ending up to be a billionaire…

Be honest, which would you read about?

We employ the victim mentality believing that that is the only way we can have a success story.

“I was deceived, lost, molested and such but I am here today.”

This is what makes a good story, yeah?

This is why it is better to stick with a partner or friend who isn’t good enough and prefer to be sympathized with than to move away and have people question or not agree with your decision.

Be plain here, many would choose the former. I used to show the former. I believed it made a better person. 

So definitely it is easier to pick others over ourselves? 

The world thinks it’s odd and selfish to pick yourself over others.

And our subconscious has allowed us to believe we must suffer for others before good things can happen to us.

Personally, I have lived most part of my life (to be honest, until recently) with the belief or assumption that good people put others before them – that success and good things always happen to those who always and without hesitation, “do the right thing” – that I will live a good life if I put the needs of others ahead of my own

Wow! 

Well, is this not what conventional wisdom typically tells us?

Let’s not forget that in the bible, it literally states, “Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself.” Philippians 2:3-4

So over time, from the early stages of our lives, we have internalized the idea that we are to be caregivers, to take care of ourselves, only once we have made everyone else happy. We hold on to this misrepresented idea that it is selfish to do things for ourselves, to prioritize our own needs. 

Hold on, do not misinterpret what I am saying. Selflessness is virtue, I agree. I, for sure, understand and support the philosophy behind this. This world as it is, definitely could use some benevolence. We should always make room for those who have a genuine and authentic concern for the well-being of others (especially in hard times like this. God save us from the plague of coronavirus) 

Yet, it is this way of thinking that can lead to distress and sometimes leave us “caregivers” with feelings of inadequacy, insecurity and resentment.

We operate under the assumption that if we give and give and give that it will come back to us in wonderful and fulfilling ways, and life will be all sunshine and dandelions. 

But honestly guys, is that how it really works?

Why? Because there is something missing in all of this – OUR OWN NEEDS.

“You can’t pour from an empty cup, take care of yourself first” remember that phrase? 

After all, if we are not making ourselves and our needs a priority, what kind of message are we sending to our subconscious? That our needs are not as important? That they should take a seat back to everyone else’s?

Consider what this might do to our self-esteem. I certainly know the effect it had on mine.

On a similar note, what kind of message does this send to the people in our lives? If you are constantly putting someone else’s needs above your own, this might cause others to depreciate you, or lose some respect for you.

The irony here is that,-in meeting our own needs – we become more capable to meet the needs of those around us.

Oh dear, 

I had to look at the life of Jesus to truly understand the full meaning of ‘LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR AS YOURSELF’

Few years back, I was advised to keep certain people around me which I was definitely and absolutely sure that their chapter in my life was over, for reasons like:

“You never know what you might need them for in the future? They might help you in the future?” – To rebuff that right now, how are you sure that if I stay friends with them, they will help me in life. Not all ‘friends’ help one another. And that begs the question: does my help come from God or man? Does he have to use your friend to help you?

“What do you think family will say since they know you together?” believe me, family will be the first to tell you to stay away when they see an unacceptable trait. Every family loves their own first, always remember that.

“What if God wants you to use to being these people to him?” that begs this very important question: “Will he do this at the detriment of your peace of mind?” God gives us almost impossible tasks at times but his peace always follows us.

When God was ready to give me an answer to the phrase, “Love your neighbor as yourself” in relation to the ‘necessary evils” in my life and also relating with those I do not understand. 

Because I get to the answers, I have a quick question for you: have you ever imagined Jesus in your own personality? Do you think people will be saved if Jesus had your personality?

This question bothers me.

Listen to me, lovers,

For a person not deeply rooted in his relationship with God – mind you, I didn’t say an unbeliever or a Christian or worker in the vineyard of God – I said relationship with God – and he does not have a full understanding of his person, he would tie his character with compliments and criticism given by others.

Take a minute.

Inhale. Exhale.

With your eyes closed, describe yourself in five words without the voices of others loud in your thoughts.

Are you sure you don’t say you are smart because a friend said so?

They say ‘you don’t praise yourself’ in this world now, complimenting yourself is praises now in fact.

There was a day I said I was a good person and I was told I shouldn’t say that. Because then, I would be praising myself.

Wow!

If you don’t call yourself names, the society will give you one and call you by that name. And whether you like it or not, your subconscious will accept that name.

You be lucky if that name is good. If it isn’t, well…

But please, don’t mistake compliments for pride or arrogance.

This is very personal for me because when I say things about myself to them,  their expression say “You are proud” “Who do you think you are?” 

A pointer to you: self-complimenting is more of a confession into oneself. Have this in mind.

The real idea behind their expression or perception of this is more of curiosity. Maybe annoyance, I don’t know.

Like where does she get this strength and courage from? To call herself these names and actually believe them?

There is no way I can explain the concept of ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ without explaining the idea of ‘yourself’ first.

Because of the statement ‘You don’t praise yourself’, a lot of people don’t say anything about themselves. And miraculously, you believe they should be bold and confess God’s promises about them when the devil comes….

Come on…

Like for real?

This is what I am saying:

I don’t know how it is humanly or divinely possible not to confess certain things into your life boldly in front of others and magically do so in the face of danger or have them instilled in you.

The bible says, “What you believe, you proclaim with your mouth”

I am not encouraging arrogance or pride. As a pointer in fact, arrogance or pride is subjective.

If I cant say I am beautiful and smart out loud, how can I fully believe that with no doubt?

Don’t forget the devil strives in silence…

We have a lot of things wrong…..This especially…

To have someone to say the things they believe about themselves to someone who has no idea of the truth about himself or herself…….That is the bomb.

People are okay with you for as long as it serves their ego. 

Don’t forget God called himself ‘I am that I am’ and many other names. When Jesus was being prosecuted, he told them his name regardless of their reactions. Well their reaction was not good either way anyway. Mark 14:61-62 said, “But Jesus was silent and made no reply. Then the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” Jesus said, “I AM. And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Imagine that!

But that is okay? Why? Because he is Jesus? And because you are human, is it not okay to say you are smart or beautiful or a good person? I am not saying you should give yourself names above God but compliment yourself. Be bold to say out loud what God thinks of you. 

To be continued…….

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