Before I get out of bed each day, I follow my buddy’s suggestion to name a handful of things for which I’m grateful. When the alarm rings, instead of rushing out of bed, I give myself the gift of a few minutes to stay snuggled in the sheets and begin the day by making a gratitude list in my head.
Most days, my wife, best friend, dog, children, grandchildren, and God are at the top of the list. The gift of breath, and another day of life usually round out the list.
The other morning, the thought occurred, I’m grateful for myself.
What? That sounds self-centered. But, is it?
Wouldn’t God—the One who created us in the Divine image and likeness—want us to step back, look at ourselves with a smile, and say with all humility, “I’m grateful for me”?
Healthy Self-Esteem is Good
I don’t know why being grateful for ourselves can be such a tough thing to do. But studies show having a healthy dose of self-esteem is vital to our overall well-being.
According to an article from Mayo Clinic, Self-esteem check: Too low or just right?, having a healthy self-esteem means you have a balanced, accurate view of yourself. You know your strengths and recognize those areas that need work.
When you value yourself, you feel secure and worthwhile. You have positive relationships with others and feel confident about your abilities. You’re open to learning and receiving feedback, which helps you acquire and master new skills. You discover your purpose—your reason for living.
With healthy self-esteem you’re:
- Assertive in expressing your needs and opinions
- Confident in your ability to make decisions
- Able to form secure and honest relationships—and less likely to stay in unhealthy ones
- Realistic in your expectations
- Less likely to be overcritical of yourself and others
- More resilient—able to weather stress and setbacks with greater ease.
Self-esteem affects virtually every facet of our lives. As the article from Mayo Clinic points out, “Maintaining a healthy, realistic view of yourself isn’t about blowing your own horn. It’s about learning to like and respect yourself—faults and all.”
For most of us, our self-esteem level fluctuates. One day we’re Superman or Superwoman—ready to take on the world. The next day we’re Eeyore—dripping with shame and negativity.
Grounded In God
Grounding ourselves in our relationship with God is the key to sustaining healthy self-respect. It helps us know who we are: both human and divine.
As I was talking to God in my quiet time one morning, I heard him whisper to my heart, “You know, Brian, it’s not all about you. It’s about me and my unconditional love for you.”
Those words rang deep within me. They reminded me of a verse from scripture that has long been an anchor: “May you come to know the depth and breadth of God’s love for you” (Ephesians 3:16).
It will take me, perhaps all of us, a lifetime to fully understand the depth of a love that has no limits. As we awaken to it, we recognize God’s unconditional love in us, and all around us.
We see that endless love revealed each day in the morning sunrise, the rich taste of brewed coffee, and the warm smile of our loved ones. Perhaps our pets who love us with no expectations are signs and symbols of the One who created us and loves us best.
Grateful for Me
When our self-esteem is grounded in God’s unconditional love for us—as we are, where we are—we’re right-sized. We know our worth as beloved sons and daughters of the Source of our Being. We can say with true humility, “I’m grateful for me.”
This Thanksgiving and every day, add being grateful for yourself to your gratitude list. Let it be rooted in the knowledge of God’s amazing and endless love for you.
—brian j plachta
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The Spirituality of Fear—Practical Ways Fear Can Become Your Teacher
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