Pentecost 139

Pentecost 139
My Psalms 139

Inescapable Me

Robert Louis Stevenson once said: “The body is a house of many windows: there we all sit, showing ourselves and crying on the passers-by to come and love us.” It is true. We often want compassion without telling anyone why. If we tell them, they might judge. Worse than that, they might withdraw their friendship.

A woman walked into her place of employment after an extended holiday. Without looking up, several of her coworkers responded to her greeting as she walked to her desk. After about an hour, someone actually looked up at her and shrieked. “What have you done to yourself?” “My word!” exclaimed another. Still a third came over and patted her on the back. “Was your vacation because you had a birthday? Which big number did you turn, dearie?” All this was because the woman had changed her hair color. That afternoon her supervisor called her into her office. “George bought himself a new convertible and now you’ve done….this! People will think I’m a horrible supervisor!”

Recently the popular trend, especially among younger adults, has been to put their lives on display in the form of tattoos. Feeling that they need to tell their story or illustrate their hobbies, proclaim their patriotism or loyalty, they have opted to have their skin injected with ink in various design formats. This effort to be unique is at contrast with their clothing which is uniform with the trend of the day.

The search for one’s identity is nothing new. Many feel it was the cause of friction between the Biblical brothers Cain and Abel. Sibling rivalry is often averted when parents emphasize the importance of the existing family members and how a new addition will improve, not compete.

D. H. Lawrence wrote: “Every man has a mob self and an individual self, in varying proportions.” We all have an image of our self current, self past, and self desired or future self. Recently, skin care companies conducted studies and had women describe themselves to an artist. The artist then drew the women as he saw them and, sometimes, drew them based upon descriptions given by their family members and/or friends. The artist’s rendering of what he saw matched with the descriptions by the family and friends. However, the women seldom recognized the artist’s visual portrayal of their own self-description.

Who we are depends upon a number of things – our ideals, our expectations, what we hear from others. Our overall opinion of ourselves determines our self-esteem. If we have a good or healthy self-esteem, then we feel pretty good about ourselves and view ourselves as deserving respect, praise, and friends. People with low self-esteem tend to worry that they are not good enough and unworthy of any compliments or praise.

We cannot escape ourselves. We can leave our phone at home, forget our wallet or purse, lose the car in a crowded parking lot. We cannot escape ourselves. Fortunately, the world cannot escape us either. That which created our environment and those that eventually led to our birth have purpose and so do we. Life is not a predator/prey scenario. It is about the natural order of things and nature exists to be improved upon one generation to another.

Everyone has value. Everyone has purpose and everyone contributes. Those are inescapable facts. Our footprints are present where we go and with whom we interact. Those footprints are indicators of our decisions, our feelings, our direction, and even our hesitations. Improving one’s self-esteem leads to more confidence, greater health, realistic expectation, less guilt and shame, higher resiliency, and more positive assertiveness creating positive outcomes.

What we can escape are negative reactions. The accuracy of an individual’s results in life are based solely upon their methodology in approaching life. When we approach it with faith and positive beliefs, then we can overcome whatever falls in our path. Life will never let us down when we decide not let ourselves down but instead live our beliefs.

My Psalm 139

I am here, O God.
I don’t know why but I am here.
You were there at my birthing.
You were there at my crying.
You are there in my loving.
Heed my call, O God, and lead me.
Let me believe in your love that lives in me.
Let me believe in your love for me.
Let me live your love for others.

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