Pine Rest Blog

“Love is Patient, Love is Kind.”

Valentine's Day Cookie and Heartsby Jude Vereyken, LMSW, CAADC

Over the years, I’ve repeatedly returned to this bible passage (1 Corinthians 13:4) as it speaks to me. It was read at my wedding ceremony because it spoke to both my husband and me. In this month of Valentines’ Day, it is speaking to me once again—this time, however, not only about love shared with another human being but about love of myself.

 

Every morning for several years, I’ve read this passage as a part of my meditation quiet time with focus on learning how better to love myself. I am better at showering others with love and care than giving to myself. I am often not patient or kind but rude and self seeking in my attitudes towards me. I can be the most patient person with just about every other person on the planet, but not so with me.

 

My sister sent me the book, When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron several years ago. I’ve read it a number of times, each time gleaning more and applying more to my life. Some chapters I’ve reread over and over. The chapter “Not Causing Harm” however isn’t one that I reread until more recently. Initially, I took the meaning to be about not causing harm in the world around me and believed that I understood it enough that I didn’t need to focus my attention there. But several months ago, I started the book over and have found myself stuck on that “Not Causing Harm” chapter, looking at it not as applying to the world outside of myself but rather inside of me—I cause harm to me all day long!

 

In a recent session, one of my hard working clients posed a question to me that she had gotten along the way from someone in her life: “How can I act self-loving?”

 

Wow—I like that question. In reflecting on the opposite behavior, I’ve realized how self-absorbed it is to not act in a self-loving way, too. All the focus in my head is on me when I behave that way—it is all about what I should or shouldn’t have done, said, thought, reacted…you get the picture. I am very “me” focused thinking (all negative, of course), and it zaps me of life when I go to that place!

 

So, here are my challenges to you this Valentine’s month:

  • How can you act self-loving?
  • How do you give yourself the gift of knowing you are worth a “Be Mine”?
  • What random act of kindness will you give to yourself?

 

Jude Vereyken, LMSW, CAADC is a Fully Licensed Master of Social Work with over 22 years of clinical social work practice in the Holland community. She has been at the Pine Rest Holland Clinic since 2003.

Posted by kris.brown@pinerest.org at 3:37 PM

Comments

That was beautifully said. I have always heard, "you cannot fully love someone until you love yourself." It is also true that we find it easier to love others more than ourselves. Why is that?! Thanks for the post!
Posted by Tarah at 10:10 AM on 2/19/2014
Good question Tarah and not a simple one to answer. Our culture itself makes it hard for us to disclose our issues with shame which we ALL have! You might find the book : The Gift of Imperfection by Brene Brown very insightful. She is a researcher who has studied shame and compassion and love. Her writing is compelling to read and thought provoking. Keep asking yourself that wonderful question too so you can figure out what that is about for you and heal it! Thank you for sharing your thoughts! Jude
Posted by jude at 4:59 AM on 2/20/2014
I find this to be so true, especially to all the people who are the caregivers of the world: the counselors, the teachers, the clergy, the health professionals, and many more. The question that comes to my mind from this is, "How can we effectively minister/teach others if we are unable to minister/teach ourselves to be caring and loving to ourselves? In essence, doesn't our care of others improve exponentially if we come from a place of happiness and peace within ourselves? Good thoughts and questions to be thinking about, Jude.
Posted by Lorraine at 5:05 PM on 2/23/2014
Thank you Lorraine. I agree with you completely. I think my own life work has helped me be able to see so much more now after so many years of life and working on me and does impact on how I relate with others in my work as well. But we all have to go through a life learning curve. No one gets seasoned in life till we put in the miles and life is full of opportunities to learn!
Posted by Jude at 4:36 AM on 2/24/2014
Jude, thank you for being so very transparent. Counselors and therapist certainly are not exempt from the journey here on earth. We are all humans struggling to stay on the learning curve of life. Your post spoke to my heart and will propel me in my journey. - Anne W.
Posted by Anne at 11:30 AM on 3/26/2014
Anne- We are all very human for sure and not any different than any one else on this earth! Keep steadfast on your journey with courage and the knowledge that you are not alone! hugs to you- Jude
Posted by Jude at 4:28 AM on 3/27/2014

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