No you’re not!
Our youngest son Zach has always been very loyal to his brother and sister. All the kids are loyal to each other but we especially noticed it in Zach, being the youngest. He adored his big brother and sister. He did not tattle on them, no matter what. And if someone leveled criticism at either of them, he would staunchly declare, “No he’s not!” or “No she’s not!”
One time I was talking with a friend I’ll call Joan who criticized a mutual friend I’ll call Susan. I reacted to Joan’s criticism of Susan with a kind of a mini-rant in defense of Susan. When I finished, Joan said, “Wow, it must be nice to be your friend.” I thought, yes, I hope so.
Today when I read the passage below in The Universal Christ by Richard Rohr, I thought about this kind of loyalty we show our loved ones:
God loves you by becoming you, taking your side in the inner dialogue of self-accusation and defense…God stands with you, and not against you, when you are tempted to shame or self-hatred.
Self-accusation, self-hatred, shame. What we say to ourselves in our inner dialogue can sometimes be filled with these. “I’m so stupid, why did I say that?” “Mavis, why did you do that?!” “There you go again, you blew it, like always.” “I’m so fat.” On and on it can go. Right? We are our own harshest critics.
When I read this passage saying God takes my side and stands with me in my inner dialogue, I imagined God standing beside me as I flung those harsh criticisms at myself. And God said, “No, you’re not!” God defends me like a loyal little brother or friend, even against my own self.
I’ve heard of people learning to look at themselves in the mirror and say something like, “I am a good person,” or “I am beautiful” or “I am strong.” That’s great. Now I can also imagine God standing with me and saying, “You are a good person,” or “You are beautiful,” and when I deny it and call myself bad or fat or whatever, I hear God saying, “No, you’re not!”
God loves you and is your loyal friend.
Originally published at https://www.mavismoon.com on November 14, 2020.