Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c)2015 Nancy Virden
“It’s okay to honor you. You have value.” I will never forget the day a psychologist said this to me.
I rolled my eyes. Outwardly I joked, but his words had almost knocked me off my seat, and made me feel uncomfortable. What is there to honor? What does honor look like?
My family of origin did not practice honor amongst each other. It was not a safe place to show fear, sadness, doubt, excitement, or love. What does honor look like? For over two years I wondered if that statement could be true. Is it actually permissible to honor me because I have value?
Thanks yous, gifts, and special moments- these are some ways we honor others. Respecting people’s boundaries and speaking courteously are two other honoring characteristics. How about we each learn to do these things for ourselves?
Need support? We can ask for it. Affirmations lacking? We can look for healthy people who can offer some, or better yet be courteous in our self-talk. Have a special source of joy? We can make sure it is a regular part of our life.
Does this sound selfish?
Truth is, we will struggle to show honor to anyone else if we do not believe in self-worth. How will we ever believe in God’s infinite love?
Honoring ourselves includes honoring our values, because no one likes a phony (especially if that phony is in the mirror.) What is important to you? Who do you want to be?
I still ponder the statement, It is ok to honor you. You have value. Perhaps I will always wrestle with this idea. Nevertheless I try to practice it. That is one gift I offer to myself.
NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help can be yours.
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