“Kind words are like honey— sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”
“Sorry, everyone. I’ve run out of papers. Looks like I didn’t copy enough. I just need to pop out and copy more. I’ll be right back.”
I turned to leave, paper in hand, when a clear voice piped up.
“You don’t need to apologize! That’s no big deal. You go copy that paper. We’ll be just fine.” The voice was accompanied by a hand flourish and an emphatic, seriously intense gaze.
Seriously. I can’t make this stuff up.
I held it together until I was in the hallway, then grinned and chuckled as I got down to business. What a sweetie.
It’s small kindnesses like these that makes me love my job, love my interactions with these littles of mine. Just like a mouthful of honey, that total acceptance and understanding and grace goes down sweet and smooth.
Imagine the opposite.
“You moron! Why can’t you count? You’d think you’d get this right by now!”
My inner dialog used to run along a similar harsh vein.
I was so hard on myself. Forgetfulness or inconsequential mistakes were excuses to punish myself. This interior running commentary ran unchecked for years, building a seriously toxic pattern that ran a deep rut through my psyche.
I had to become aware of it to be able to change it.
I have a long way to go, but I sure have come a long way, too. And the complete enthusiastic authentic grace of the children in my care has been one of the instruments of healing God has used in my journey toward showing myself kindness.
I need to use kind words with those around me, for sure.
But I also need to extend that same kindness to myself. I need to value myself enough to treat my own heart with consideration and compassion. I have been so quick to jump all over the mistakes in my day – now I am learning to give consideration to the ways in which I served well, showed grace under pressure, or extended mercy to another.
Surely, it would be demonstrating deep respect and honour to treat myself to something sweet – from myself.
What is your inner dialog saying about how you view yourself? What does it say about your perceived value? Do you need some healing in this area, just as I do?
Isn’t it time you allowed yourself a mouthful of honey?
Father, thank You for honey. Thank You for the reminder that we can learn to treat ourselves with dignity and respect and kindness, while we learn to do the same for those around us. Bless us with a deep capacity to use our words to build others – and ourselves – up. Amen.