“Remember, when you put yourself at the bottom of the priority list you are cheating not just yourself, but also everyone around you.”  Dr. Phil

In this whole midlife divorce struggle, where are you on the priority list?  During my divorce, in terms of real everyday-life value, I felt at the bottom.  My wasband obviously didn’t think I was worth much.  I feared that my friends thought something was wrong with me behind closed doors, or he wouldn’t have had to go looking somewhere else.  I felt as if I didn’t really have a place at church in the middle of all of those couples and families.  My children had seen me at my absolute worst.  So feeling valuable was difficult.  Plus, I had always been taught to put God first, others second and myself third.

The God part is right.  We need to put God first.  But God tells us we are his “precious jewels, his beloved children.” We definitely have value to God.  But the “put others second” gets muddled when we mainly try to be what everyone else needs before embracing our own personal God-given value first.  (Love others as I love myself indicates that the loving myself is necessary before I can truly love others.)  Sometimes I believed it when my wasband said I wasn’t “enough” in dozens of ways.  Sometimes I should have stood up against things that were not good for me in my marriage instead of being so eager to keep the peace and put others first.

Today, let’s think about “How much do I love myself?”  You are a unique, creation of God that has infinite value in the eternal (and everyday) scheme of things.  It is only when we really value ourselves that we can be what we need to be for others … confident, strong, authentic, true to who we really are.  That means confidently standing up to someone who is constantly trying to bring us down.  Allowing that to happen is not good for us, for them or for those we love who are watching.

“… ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  The second most important is similar:  ‘Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself.'”  Matthew 22:37-39