There is nothing more precious than to watch a young girl, who has not yet been tainted by the standards of the world, celebrate her gifts, beauty and identity. I’ve been blessed to witness both my daughters celebrate themselves, but especially in the carefree spirit of my younger one.
One day, she was just standing in the mirror staring at her self while she sang a made-up song. Her sister asked her what was she doing and she responded confidently and boldly, “I am admiring myself!” On another occasion, she was planning a “party” over some break or long weekend. As she announced her plans, her sister said, “You can’t have a party if no one comes.” With the same boldness she calmly stated, “I don’t need anyone else to have a party. I can have one all by myself!”
If you have been nurtured in a healthy and supportive family, you, too, probably have the foundation to affirm who you are. Even for those who have been blessed to have a healthy foundation, different life experiences and interactions with other people can make us question our abilities, talents, value and beauty. And, yes, sometimes the people who make us question ourselves are in our own family.
My carefree child reminds me of two lessons. The Bible affirms self-love. David declares in Psalm 139: 13-14, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Who better to marvel at God’s creation of us than us? As the old adage goes, “It’s a sad dog who won’t wag his own tail.” In Mark 12: 30-31, the great commandment tells after we love the Lord totally, we should love others compassionately and love ourselves appropriately. Self-love is not a sin. It only becomes a sin when we love ourselves at the expense of others.
The second lesson I learned from this is the practice of solitude. Great companionship, fellowship, and friendship are a treasure. So is spending time with ourselves. We all need time to retreat from the world, think, and to be in and feel the presence of God. Because we can’t always depend on others to be the life of the party, we have to learn to live and make our own.
I pray that my daughters will forever “admire themselves” and know that it’s all right to have a party of one.