Time to get back out on the porch for a while. I’m not sure we’ve done ANY “porching” yet this year on the Blog. Shame on MEE! This really is a topic I’m passionate about. There are times when I’m lazy, but mostly it’s just finding time to gather my thoughts. I think most of you can understand the dilemma, right? (I think I hear some shouts of “right!!”).
How would it be if there were someone in your life, an “earthling,” whom you could trust completely. How would it be if this were someone who would say to you, honestly, “You can talk to me about anything. It doesn’t matter what it is. I will always listen to you. I am always on your side. And you can trust me.” How would that feel? If you DO have someone like that, you are blessed! (Even if you don’t realize it). When I ponder about this, it feels like something our Heavenly Father might say. “I’ll always be here. You can talk to Me anytime you need to, anytime you want to.” And YES … He is Someone we can trust COMPLETELY.
My friend Shellie learned a lot about her Heavenly Father from/because of her earthly father. If I had any questions or concerns, I could talk to my dad. He was easy to talk to. I knew my dad meant it when he said I could talk to him anytime about anything, because his actions proved he meant it. He paid attention to everything about me — my actions, my tone of voice, my mood, the words I spoke … and the words I didn’t speak. The closeness between me and my father has been and still is a great source of strength to me. He never tried to solve all of my problems for me. He didn’t jump in and share all his wisdom and ideas. He asked me what my thoughts and feelings were, and what my ideas were for solving my own problems. How I value the conversations I had with him. I know the power that comes when one has truly listened, understood, and shown love. I think that as an only child I have learned well the value of being listened to. My father never did interrupt me, and his mind was never so preoccupied with his own thoughts that there was no room for me. That’s what I loved the most — that there was room for me in his life. Interestingly, in my Patriarchal Blessing there is an indication that I will teach people about communication.
What a blessing if we can have a relationship with our earthly father which helps us learn something of the love, kindness, and care of our Heavenly Father. Communication with both of them is so important. Without communication – without conversation – how can there be a relationship? And how can a relationship survive if the conversations don’t continue? I don’t think it’s a revelation to any of us (certainly not a surprise) that meaningful conversations can strengthen relationships — with ourselves, with our families, with others, and with God. And our relationships seen to be “intertwined.” A sweet relationship with our Heavenly Father influences all our other relationships. Have you noticed this? Also, our relationship with ourselves — our sense of worth, belonging, and connection — does the same. Have you noticed this too?
I’d like to share a little bit about the relationship we have with ourselves. What kind of “conversations” do you have with yourself? You might want to “listen carefully” during the day today and see what you learn. Do you tend to be positive, or is most of your “self-talk” negative? (If you’re thinking “yes,” I’m sad – that has to be a difficult reality). I know I’m negative with myself a lot, but I’m also sometimes positive. I just “practiced what I was preaching” and discovered that I’m more negative with and about myself than I realized. Yikes! Maybe some of the rest of you will discover the same thing. We’ve got to stop it!
The more I’ve been thinking about it this morning, the more I’ve come to the conclusion that our conversations with ourselves likely has more influence on our conversations and relationships with others than we’re aware of. This is a relationship which we might be neglecting too much. Perhaps a little more time for introspection – for solitude – for pondering and meditating – would teach us and help us in many ways. Even in a busy life there can be some time found for contemplation. Maybe some time to think about how we feel about ourselves will turn out to be exceedingly important and worthwhile. Certainly our feelings about ourselves are healthier and more positive if we can learn to talk to ourselves in healthy and positive ways.
SO: Back on the porch, friends . . . do a little more positive, encouraging, understanding, compassionate talking with yourself. (If you do it out loud, the neighbors might start to do some wondering . . . .)