Finding God's Goodness

Week Eighteen. Fortitude to Love. Mystery

Month Five. Fortitude to love myself, expands my hope and kindness

It takes a lot of fortitude to love myself the way God loves me. As humans, we are filled with irrationality and contradiction and are never predictable. Our past behavior tells us more than anything about how we may behave in the future, but we are prone to self-defeating patterns of behavior rather than remembering and dealing with the underlying conflict associated with them. We are victims of self-deception. We sacrifice our health to make money, then sacrifice money to recuperate our health. We are anxious about the future so that we don’t live in the present. We live as if we aren’t going to die and then we die not having fully lived.  All this is to say, as humans we are a mystery.

I had an encounter with this irrationality and contradiction when I encountered God’s love for me. I had worked so hard over the years to not love myself without even being aware of what I was doing. I ran myself ragged and was not taken loving care of my body, mind, and soul. God’s transforming love allows me to see the ways I’ve deceived myself through my inflated sense of self, my achievements, my agenda, and misplaced values. As my heart remembers to love as it was designed to love, I’m drawn to a different meaning of love as I learn how to will the good of others and learn how to love myself. My value in God gives me the wisdom to lean into the lifelong journey of learning to love myself. Fortitude gives me strength to accept my irrational and human ways. Learning to love the transforming love of God is very different than the way I’ve been conditioned to love by the world.

Christianity is an entirely new way of being human.

Maximum the Confessor

Thank You, Lord, for the mystery of who I am.

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