Today’s prompt is: ” What is one of your best traits?” Anyone who knows me knows that this will be a very difficult thing for me to write about.
I’ve written here before about the public shaming I received from some people at a Bible study when we had to go around the room and name our strengths. When it was my turn, I named my intellect as my strength, and they all laughed big hearty belly laughs, and one person even said, “And humility, clearly.” I was really confused, because the whole purpose of the exercise was to name our strengths; it wasn’t an exercise designed for humility, and it took a lot for me to put myself out there like that, so being shamed, then, for participating was a really difficult experience.
Anyway, a few days ago on the sobriety app that I use, the quote or challenge had something to do with looking at yourself in the mirror and telling yourself three things you love about yourself or that are good about yourself. And they can’t be physical. I still have yet to look at myself and tell myself the three things. There are things about myself that I love, for sure, but the act of looking myself straight in the face and telling myself what I am good at or that I love about myself is really difficult.
So, to answer this prompt, one of my best traits is that I love people. All people. So much.
I do my very best to look at the person in front of me as a person who contains a divine spark, who is created in the image of God, who is loved by God and who should be loved by me. I try my best to make sure that I don’t make people feel like they have to earn my love, to let them know that they can’t avoid or break my love, and to let them just exist in love and light without expectation.
And, even in this, as I write this down, my brain is racing through all of the times when I haven’t achieved this in the way that I would like to achieve it. I think of all the times I’ve fallen short, all of the times when I’ve encountered someone while bringing my own expectations to put upon them, all of the times when I have had to set a boundary around a person for my own safety or well-being (physical or mental), and all of the times when I have walked past someone who needed my love. Whether my excuse was that I was too tired, or they were too much, or I didn’t want to be bothered, or I didn’t they fit my agenda, these were just excuses, and bad ones at that, to shy away from what I know is the right thing to do.
I know that I am human, so I am bound to get love wrong sometimes. I am thankful for grace when I do mess up. So many times I have had to circle back with people and make things right, and I am so grateful for second chances and the opportunity to learn from mistakes.
Even when I don’t always get it right on the first try, I will say that one of my best traits is loving people. And, when I do get it right, loving others is the very best thing I have to offer.