When I’m an old woman I hope to be working with teens who struggle with depression and suicide. Everyone needs compassion, but these days it seems all we do is compare one another and ourselves. We give ourselves numbers to describe ourselves. You know who else used numbers to identify individuals? The Nazis. Gah.

If you’re like me, then you’ve prided yourself on not caring your entire life, which is a load of baloney. Of course I’ve cared. I just always tried to ignore it. But I’m kind of tired of never being the one who gets a double take, ya know? So it looks like I’m losing weight. To fit in. To get approval.

This me would make convicted middle school me cry.

But that’s not what it needs to be like.

Love yourself. Take care of yourself. Believe that you deserve compassion. But above all, make sure that those around you know that they deserve compassion. We have to break this vicious cycle of self hatred by spreading compassion.

Still not convinced that you deserve love? Well I hate to break it to you, but you are loved. And my proof of this is Biblical. Christ died for all of us, before we were even close to being alive. He died for the men and women who died before he was on earth, and for those who would be there once he was gone back.

To say that I’m a bit of a worrier is an understatement. I had one of my semi-regular panic attacks the other night, about fear. I was terrified that I wasn’t doing enough, that if I were to die tomorrow, I’d go to Hell. What I couldn’t get out of my head was the verse where the people die and say “But Lord, didn’t we do anything you asked?” and God says “I never knew you.” I cried and cried and cried. Thank the Lord for my mom, who always talks sense into me.

Maggie, those are people who don’t have love in their hearts. Do you have love in your heart? You’re going to mess up. But God forgives us over and over and over again. Seventy times seven. And you remember the verse about how the birds and the lilies of the valley neither spin nor sew yet the Lord looks after them? And how much more does He look after you? Or the one about never giving your child a stone when he asks for bread, and how much more does He love us? Maggie, you are so loved. You can’t keep comparing yourself and what you do, are you trying to be Jesus? Because you can’t hold yourself to that. Nobody can. You are loved, just the way you are. And you want to help people? Get your degree, so you can go out and help people the way you want to, the way you can. Don’t you think you help people already? When you’re at work, and you’re kind to somebody, you help them. When you hold a door open, or when you smile at someone. It may not seem big, but don’t you feel better when others do that for you?

Somebody needs to give my mom a Nobel Peace Prize. The woman is fantastic.

So, after this, I went to church and we sang the song that says “Everyone needs compassion, a love that’s never failing, let mercy fall on me”. And I cried some more. (Good thing I was on the end of the pew, and the only person next to me was like two heads taller than me so nobody saw. I hate crying in front of people.)

We are harder on ourselves than anyone out there. We hate ourselves more, we hold ourselves to standards that we hold no one else to, and we beat ourselves up for not reaching these standards all the time. But just hearing that we are loved and that we deserve love helps. So show compassion, show love, and keep on living, because you are loved.

That Abercrombie guy probably just needs a hug.


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