One of my cousins addresses us with, “Hello again, Dear Ones.” The greeting was especially endearing this morning. I calculated how many people greet me with such words. Carole has a young professional connection who not only hugs her hello, but hugs me as well. She probably hugs all of her clients, but her gesture sure makes me feel good. I’m still smiling five minutes later.
So, I’m sitting here with my coffee making a list of people I consider a “Dear One.” That list is longer than the list of Dear Ones to whom I would say that out loud. Not everyone is comfortable being hugged or being addressed face-to-face as “Dear One.”
I’m finishing a book called Seams to Me with a chapter called “Truth in your Emotions.” God told Joshua,
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
Not all of those commands are about emotions, but each has an emotional element. God is not saying, “Don’t ever let the Canaanites see you sweat. And I mean it!” Perhaps He was saying that terror and discouragement should not characterize our lives. Even if my interpretation is wrong, I like it. How do we build that brand—when people see us coming into the room they feel better?
How you feel about yourself is interactive with, but a different category than what you say about yourself. It is a real feeling, not just a subjective thought process. A slogan for my anger-management seminar is that “Anger is a gift; hostility will kill you.” Add the feeling of hostility to rational and positive anger and you put your life at risk. Hostility is a feeling. A feeling as in, “Right here, Doctor. It hurts right here.”
Feeling good about yourself has been on my mind as I’ve finishing the chapter and taken care of business. Two basic habits and personal characteristics help.
Thank God for Ira. The writer of 2 Samuel begins the list of people who sustained King David and served with him. They have impressive titles like “David’s 37 Men of Valor.” The commander-in-chief is listed with the chief bodyguard, the historian, secretary and the chief priests. Then…
“Ira the Jairite was David’s personal chaplain” (2 Samuel 22:6 TLB).
Carole and I were engrossed by a Catholic telecast talking about spiritual growth in some words we don’t often use. They talked about having a “Spiritual Director.” I like that concept, but I’ve never had a personal spiritual director—Ira—who got into my head and soul and helped me build a place called “Truth in my Emotions.” No one has ever been that brave. “Get into his head? Not me! That’s got to be a scary place—no doubt there’s contagious stuff in there.” I suspect there to be a connection of feeling good about yourself and having a person that Roman Catholics would call a personal spiritual director. I’ll call her Ira.
The second characteristic habit is praise. The habit of praising God regularly helps us see people differently. Praising God is to celebrate who He is. The second element in that is gratitude. Praise is about who He is. Thankfulness is about what He does.
Good to talk with you, Dear One.
©2014 D. Dean Benton
Benton Quest House
Developing the I’m Possible Life