Yesterday our youngest was telling my wife & I that he loved us.
“I love you mommy. I love you daddy. I also love Shadow [our puppy].”
He then said something that caught my attention even more.
“I love me, too.” [speaking of himself]
Later that evening as I was putting him to bed, as we always do, we shared what we are thankful for from the day. He used to daily say, “I’m thankful for me,” again, speaking of himself. It’s the cutest thing.
So, last night I asked him if he was thankful for himself. He said, “Yes.” And then I reminded him of how he had said he loved himself earlier that day.
He then asked something simple, yet profound. “Daddy, do you love you?”
I knew the answer I was supposed to say. But I also knew the real answer. It’s very hard for me to love me. I am my worst critic (yes, I am an Enneagram One). Yet, in many ways, it is probably true that most of us struggle to love ourselves.
I told my son that I do love me, but that I don’t always love me well. Something along that line. We then prayed. I turned his “night-night” music on and then turned out the light.
I read something today that reminded me of this little conversation I had yesterday with my 4.5 year old. So, now, I take a moment to breathe in God’s love for me & my own love for myself, while also breathing out all the self-criticism and judgment that so easily builds up.
God wants us to love whom he loves – and that includes ourselves.Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash