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Express Christmas Love — Love Yourself and Others

By Marjorie Foerster Eddington

Christmas is a special time when we celebrate Jesus' birth. How important it is to celebrate the meaning and the message of his life, not just his birth! Jesus did more than anyone else in the world to transform lives. And he expected us to do the same. So, how do we transform lives? Through love.

For the month of December (and then for the rest of our lives), let's express the Christmas spirit. Let's express love totally and completely each and every moment.

We start by loving ourselves. This means:

  1. See ourselves as God's child
    1. write down how God made us (look in the Bible)
    2. then apply that to ourselves
    3. don't buy into the labels of the media or popular thought on how we should look, think, act, dress…
  2. Value and appreciate ourselves
    1. write down everything that is good about us (and we can't say "nothing") -- this could be things we do, how we work with others, qualities about ourselves, how we think…
    2. note when we make little or big successes in school, work, personal relationships...
    3. refuse to get depressed about problems in our lives
    4. don't criticize and condemn ourselves
    5. don't get caught up in believing that we aren't good enough, strong enough, good-looking enough, smart enough, popular enough, rich enough…
    6. be grateful for all we have and are
  3. Take care of ourselves
    1. pray for ourselves daily
    2. set aside time to read or think or just do whatever enriches our lives
    3. be kind to ourselves
    4. take care of our bodies
      1. make sure we eat what's appropriate for us, not just what we want
      2. wear clothes that express dignity and respect
      3. set priorities and follow them
  4. Forgive ourselves
    1. allow ourselves to make mistakes and learn from them
    2. be gentle with ourselves
    3. don't keep going over mistakes and dwelling on them; let them go
  5. Listen to God
    1. listen to the angel messages, the inner voice, telling us what we should or should not do; then obey
    2. don't give in to peer pressure, no matter how tempting it may be
  6. Obey God
    1. remember that God has our best interest at heart
    2. it takes discipline to be obedient, but the reward is happiness

Now that we are discovering more and more each day about how to love ourselves, we want to reach out and love others, especially those who need love the most -- those whose lives may not be the cleanest, brightest, or strongest; those who appear different, crude, egotistical, sick, or sinful; those who struggle with challenges we may not know they even have. The steps for loving others are patterned after the steps for loving ourselves (and hence, all the specifics are not written out again). Let's take time to be as detailed for others are we are for ourselves in our prayers and actions.

  1. See others as God's children
  2. Value and appreciate them for who they are
  3. Take care of others
    1. See if they need something and help meet their needs
    2. Sit with them at lunch
    3. Walk them home
    4. Write a note (anonymous or not) appreciating them
  4. Forgive others
  5. Listen to God to hear what God is telling you about others
  6. Help others stand up for themselves and obey God

Enjoy expressing love -- loving ourselves and loving others unconditionally as Jesus loves us.