When I get a message from three different sources, I tend to pay attention. In a recent issue of O magazine, there was a piece in which Katie Arnold-Ratliff described doing some really dumb things. Instead of agonizing over her blunders, she learned to shrug them off and chalk it up to being part of life. In the Guide for Spiritual Living magazine, today’s reading was on the myth of perfection. Rev. Ron Fox opened with a quote from Michael Beckwith: “Self-acceptance, which is independent of the praise from the outside world, accelerates our potential for growth because it nurtures us from within.”
The third source came from the July 9 Sunday service at Agape. Guest speaker Rev. Kevin Kitrell Ross gave a message about being born worthy, during which he gave a short demonstration. He held up a 100-dollar bill and asked the congregation about its value. Then he crumpled it up and asked if it still had value. Next, he dropped it on the floor and stomped on it. Still have value? Finally, he kicked it across the stage and repeated his question.
Each time, the congregation acknowledged that the money still had value. Nothing Rev. Kevin did made it lose its value. What about us? He looked around the room and proclaimed that no matter what we’ve been through, no matter how much life has kicked us around, we must remember that we still have value.
The more I age, the more opportunities I have to reflect on (or worse, ruminate over) mistakes I’ve made in the past. When I let such thoughts run away with me, I start to doubt my worthiness. And as I look in the mirror and see more sagging or wrinkles, I am tempted to wonder if they, too, are some kind of sign that my value is shrinking.
With the magazine article, the daily reading quote, and the Sunday service message, I am reminded that nothing can diminish my value. I can learn from my mistakes and stand tall. Signs of aging are nothing more than the crumpling of that 100-dollar bill. They do not take away my value.
Self-acceptance, self-love. These are necessary for us to be what we came here to be. For us to step out and do what is ours to do. So let go of whatever regrets you’ve been carrying around. Move into the day knowing you are more than worthy.