Through every reporting of the latest mass shooting, the refugee crises, terrorist attacks, mass kidnappings/human trafficking, I’ve found myself a new habit. I look for the helpers.
This method keeps me from spiraling into hopeless despair and inaction and encourages me to look for–and act on–the good. In other words, to be part of the solution.
Mrs. Rogers’ words to her little boy, and the result clearly seen in her full-grown son, show that she actually raised a helper.
How do we go from looking for the helpers to being one?
Loving means identifying the object of love with their source
I have a decades-long hunch that it starts with loving oneself. To me, loving myself means identifying myself with my divine source, infinite goodness. It means seeing that I have a place in the universal whole that no one else can fill. It means that I’m valuable for who I am; and that means that I have a unique contribution to make.
A few questions to consider
If I don’t love myself, how can I forgive myself the mistakes I’ve made, learn from them, and move forward?
If I don’t love myself, how can I forgive others–and stop taking personally–the mistakes they’ve made with me? Even outright abuse isn’t about me–it’s about (stay with me now) the other person not loving themselves.
If I don’t love myself, how can I even admit that I have a valuable contribution to make? Another way of asking that is, how can I make a contribution without devaluing what I have to give?
If I don’t love myself, how can I be courageous in confronting the biggest problems on earth that are begging for resolution? I don’t have to have the answers ahead of time, just have the courage to start working it out.
“When I love myself, I’m actually less selfish”
Loving myself isn’t pride. Pride divides, love unites. Loving myself isn’t holding myself superior, but it is holding myself in line with supreme good. Loving myself isn’t degrading others, it is overflow with which I love others. Love doesn’t taint or tarnish, it purifies.
When I love myself, I’m not afraid of giving away too much, missing out, being taken advantage of, being forgotten, or having nothing valuable to contribute. When I love myself, I can be out of my comfort zone. When I love myself, I’m actually less selfish! When I love myself, I take inspired action. When I love myself, I can be a helper.
"I'm glad to be me!"
There’s a family story that when my sister-in-law was very little, she ran out of the family room after watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, squealing, “He loves me!”
Kids who read the Petalwink books are known to squeal, “I’m glad to be me!”
That might just be a good start in raising helpers.