Think healthy for New Year

Published 8:53 am Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Dear Editor,

New Year’s Eve is a time of reflecting on the past year and resolving to not repeat bad habits. We focus on weaknesses, e.g., overweight, out of shape, spend too much money, bad relationships, poor job performance. We “reflect” on things we don’t like about ourselves, “select” the ones we’re ready to get rid of and resolve to” remove” them from our lives.

Is it not as easy to reflect on successes and add to them, rather than ponder on areas in need of improvement? It’s just as easy to ask what went well as to ask what didn’t go well. A healthy self-view leads to a bright future, while a wounded self-view leads to an unhealthy introspective of failures and disappointments.

The Bible reports the greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart and soul and put him at the forefront of everything in your life. The second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself.

Love is a behavior-patient, kind, puts others first, forgiving and not easily angered. Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres.

If you travel by plane, you no doubt have heard a flight attendant say to first attend to yourself before helping others in an emergency situation. The same is true about loving your neighbor. It’s only possible to give patience, kindness, forgiveness and loyalty when those qualities are first within you. Loving yourself is not selfish, it’s required in order to give it to others. You can’t love your neighbor if you don’t love yourself.

This New Year’s Eve, make a conscious effort to pay attention to your successes. Pat yourself on the back for the things you’ve done right and motivate yourself to continue in that direction. Then, and only then, identify those areas in need improvement. Love yourself, accept self, forgive yourself and extend the same to your neighbor.

Mollie Brown