Inherent in the greatest commandment is a not so apparent vital skill that can be life-threatening if not mastered. It’s quite simple, but, not always easy to do if you’re not paying attention.
Do you know thyself?
If you are going to LOVE THYSELF, you need to know thyself.
I’m not talking about knowing what your favorite color is or even what pisses you off. I’m saying are you aware when the pressure from your life has altered your attitude, your mood or your ability to stay calm. Do you know when you have upset your “ness?” You know, your “ness.” That essence that only you have. No one else has it but everyone can see it, feel it and experience it when you walk in the room. I learned to have “ness” from my Mom. Oh-ho-ho! Cita (what my nieces and nephew call her) has “NESS.” It’s huge! Massive! It fills a room! You can smell the perfume of her “ness” in the atmosphere. When you sense it, you know she’s not far.
If I’m honest, my “ness” is pretty significant. I mean it’s not as sizeable as Cita’s, but it’s blatant. However, there are times when I’m just doing too much and not enough at the same time. That ever happen to you? I get overwhelmed by the bombardment of responsibilities, the people, the calendar and time that slips away in seconds. It took me this lifetime, so far, to figure out that there is a tactic that tries to derail my effectiveness. It is in these times when I must take a moment and pause to figure out what’s going on with me. My Mom, in her “NESS” taught me a principle that I’ve written about before. However, I feel like it’s a skill that must be honed.
She taught me to H.A.L.T. The "H" is for Hungry. The "A" is for Angry. The "L" is for Lonely. And lastly, the "T" is for Tired. If you are too hungry, too angry, too lonely, or too tired you need to HALT. A simple pause can make a big difference. Halting brings perspective to an emotionally charged moment that may just need you need eat. What is it about needing food that is attached to your attitude? I know when my brother is hungry he becomes like an angry BEAR – ROAR!!!
Halting can make the difference in a confrontation that has the potential to destroy a relationship; or it can just be a tough conversation that builds upon a precious friendship. Halting helps to forgive which is just as much for me as it is for the one who hurt me. Forgiveness is difficult; however, it preserves the most meaningful connections. It makes me stronger so that I do not become a victimizer. Don't succumb to the temptation of victimization. No one wins.
Halting can turn a weepy Saturday night into a humble realization that you need a gut check, a renewal in your spirit, or something as simple as a song that can change EVERYTHING! Loneliness makes it diabolically easy to stew in. I know this is one of my weaknesses. I often find myself in this position. And I have been challenged to make a phone call or my famous A.P.B - “all points bulletin-type texts.” You know the ones where I just text your name and an exclamation point. Sometimes I’m putting out an A.P.B. for some friendship, love, time and attention.
Halting can mean experiencing the sweetness of a power nap. I know my 77-year old aunt (who falls asleep behind her glasses every Sunday) “says” that she can’t take naps. But, I live for one of those 30-minute power-snoozes that revitalizes my very soul. You know the kind when the alarm goes off and the first thing you do is wipe the slob from your ear. M-M-M.
For me, if I’m irritated and snappy, I need to Halt. I need to stop and take a pole of the condition of my soul to assess what I need so that I don’t injure those who I serve and love. But, more importantly, it is a good way to take care of and love myself. Your turn…
I am Tifiny and iambutNaked…