Communicating that you value people over projects is simple, but it requires you to be intentional and disciplined. I know your life is a blur of projects – important ones I’m sure – so, here are my favorite ways to communicate that I value people more than projects.
Do you know when washing dishes becomes delightful?
When you’re doing it next to your little brother and having a conversation together. That’s when washing dishes becomes delightful. You could have, of course, rushed through your sink of pots and pans completely ignoring that your brother was next to you. But you didn’t. And the moment you slowed down enough to value people over your projects, washing dishes became delightful.
One of my favorite things about exercising outside is watching the seasons change before my eyes.
Yesterday, I ran through a giant’s tiara as crystal branches defied their lifeless state. Today, straggly and leafless, the trees remind me of death. Stepping out in a few days I know I will be greeted by tiny green shoots promising new life.
The hike makes the view worth it.
I know the hike is hard and long right now. You have skinned knees and sore feet. I heard you tell yourself it wasn’t worth it, but may I be so bold as to tell you that sometimes the purpose of your goal is something other than what you’ve always thought.
I was in a hurry to leave for work. With a purse on my shoulder and fancy shoes shouting my hurried pace i jerked the fridge open. Flinging a bag of lettuce and a can of tuna on the counter I frantically searched for a can-opener. Finally I started jamming a lettuce tuna wrap in my mouth careful not to smear my perfectly painted red lips – my signature feature.
As I bent to grab my purse that had fallen during my sophisticated scavenge through the kitchen for a five-minute meal my eye were captured on the neat but empty kitchenette. As if in a daze I dragged my purse to the bench and we ended the table’s loneliness – my purse and I.
I’m not sure what I thought would happen. The table and chairs would thank me for being their friend or a bright light from the ceiling would burst around me showering me in pixie dust…but that’s not what happened.
I saw you hopelessly staring at the piles in your living room yesterday and watched you pick at the duct tape on the floor with your toes. I also heard you sigh as you stared out the kitchen window only to have your vision obscured by cardboard covering a whole made by a stray arrow from your brothers’ heroic adventures. You see messes caused by a busy life, but that’s not what others see.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed and beaten up by your emotions. Before you know it you’ve been thrown from your boogie board. Your face is being ground into the sand while relentless waves tumble you like shoes in a dryer. Disoriented you don’t know how to escape and claim the precious brilliance of light and hopeful air. You’ve been beaten and the only hope of survival you have is owning the fact so that you can be pulled to the surface.
Snow White was right, “It’s important to know when you’ve been beaten.”
Loving yourself isn’t about you, it’s about others.
All your life you have been taught to serve, lay your life down for others, and go out of your way to make others’ lives better. That’s not wrong. But…
How do you expect to love others if you don’t know how to love yourself?
If you’re never giving to yourself, what do you expect to give when you’ve burned out?
If you’re never thinking about yourself, what are you thinking of others?