Friday, April 1, 2011
Yesterday afternoon was chaotic to say the least. We had two soccer practices--one from 5-7pm and one from 6-7pm. We had two kids running in a track meet and one that was going to be participating in track practice.
I hauled the little kids with me on a visit to a family. We, as a Primary presidency have the goal of visiting each Primary child in our ward. If you live in my ward, consider yourself warned. :o) My kids sat in the party van with a video going, and we stood at the door and visited with the three Primary kids. Such cute, good kids; such a great family!
Did this bug me? Yes, oh yes, on so many levels. Of the most important is that it is a rule in our home that the internet cannot be used when adults are not home. Another thing that got to me was that this child's time was totally squandered. All the usual after school tasks were left undone. And so much for the entire half gallon of ice cream. Ugh!
This led to a big discussion. Sometimes it amazes me what these discussions lead to and how much I end up learning from them. Last night, the conversation led to self-respect and the fine line that exists between that and self-indulgence.
It came down to the idea that little ways we show self-respect to ourselves cost nearly nothing and take very little time, and the things we do to indulge ourselves are usually relatively expensive and take a lot of time. It was also very curious that the conclusion was reached that when we show little respect for ourselves, we tend more toward spoiling ourselves with indulgences.
Self-respect is loving kindness to ourselves--things like brushing your teeth, getting enough rest, eating the right food--basically taking care of what God has given you. Self-indulgence is selfish. It's going overboard.
It almost seems like there's something inside us that helps us know that we need to be valued and cared for, and that we have the responsibility to do that for ourselves. When we don't do those basic things or when we try to shortcut them, we try to fill them in other ways that only make us appear and feel selfish.
I gave this child the example of three women. Two of them are women who take good care of themselves. We discussed the things they do for themselves--exercise regularly, read the scriptures and work to build a relationship with their Heavenly Father, and many other things. They are truly good examples, and although they are both quite a bit younger than I am, I want to be like them when I grow up (if that ever happens). The other was a woman who is out of control, but it doesn't seem that she does anything to improve herself or what's happening with her life. She complains a lot, but takes no action to change things. She has, from all appearances, very little respect for herself as a daughter of God. I picture myself as somewhere in the middle of this continuum. I hope these examples helped this child realize that it's not impossible and is, rather, really quite simple.
We can show respect for ourselves and feel good about ourselves. Once that respect has been built within us, it's that much easier to respect and give our time and effort to others. For me, this means that I get up and take care of my needs--washing my face, brushing my teeth, fixing my hair, putting on my make up, and getting dressed first thing in the morning. It means that I take the time to build myself spiritually at some point during the day. It means that again at night, I wash my face and brush my teeth and crawl into bed at a descent hour. These are some of the ways I show respect for myself.
This is merely a theory. Like I said, these discussions surprise me because this wasn't anything I'd been pondering on or exploring in my thoughts before it came out of my mouth. I'd love to know your opinion about this and how you go about showing respect for yourself. How do you honor what God has given you?
Posted by Julie Hess at 3:22 PM