Love is patient.
Love is kind.
What does that mean?
Does anyone even use that word anymore?
I looked it up in the dictionary. That didn't help, so I looked it up in the thesaurus.
antonyms: affectionate, compassionate, considerate, friendly, gentle, gracious, kindhearted, kindly, loving, mild, sympathetic, tenderhearted, thoughtful, tolerant, understanding
synonyms: bitter, cruel, mean
"Jerri, love yourself more."
Be affectionate to yourself. Not so much.
Be compassionate to yourself. Mmm...I understand compassion. Keeper.
Be considerate to yourself. Did this yesterday.
Be friends to yourself. Huh. If I want to convey value to my friend, how do I do that? Keeper.
Be gentle with yourself. This brings up strong pictures and emotion. Keeper.
Be gracious to yourself. Nothing coming to mind.
Be kindhearted to yourself. I'm thinking of kindhearted people I know. This has some possibility. Keeper.
...sympathetic...Going to think on this.
...thoughtful. I know how to be thoughtful. This could be a big stretch. I like it. This could be the mind-altering one. Definitely keeper.
...tolerant. Are you kidding?
...understanding. I would too easily write this off as excuse. No. I need something far more concrete.
Compassion--Know you need some down time, and let it be okay. Know sometimes life is weighty, and a glass of chocolate milk is not. Go get a glass, sit down, and enjoy it. And don't let anyone or anything invade that time.
Let yourself hurt and know it is okay. Some things in life just hurt. Give yourself time to hurt. The house will hold till tomorrow. Give yourself time to grieve, and if need be, rearrange the schedule. Those who love you will have compassion, too. Who knows? Maybe they'll bring the chocolate milk. Some of them will even bring cookies.
Friends--You take time for your friends to let them vent, relax, or be just them. Give yourself the gift of time. You leave laundry to fold for them. You can leave it to fold for you. Jer, be your own best friend.
Gentle--I think of a mom with a small child who needs some extra TLC, a bit more time, a softer voice, a gentler touch, a bit more reassurance.
Be gentle with yourself. You are your first line of encouragement. I give you permission to be a great cheerleader and mentor.
Kindhearted--The person who handed me a kleenex when I needed one, the squeeze of the hand because no words were to be found, letting me with my big pregnant belly go first to the restroom.
"Doesn't take much to be kind,
just the realizing that sometimes that person needs to be first."
The words rock me, but some foundations are supposed to crumble.
Some would call it blasphemy, but the Voice asks close to my ear and deep in my soul...
"How can one know the powerful impact of being first if one is never first when she really needs to be?"
And I stop.
That says it all.
Love is patient--considerate, understanding, forgiving.
Love is kind--love puts a person first when she/he needs to be.
God loves you like that. It's okay for you to love you like that, too. :-)