– Jennifer Louden
So, what am I devoted to?
At first thought, I would say I am devoted to my family. I will probably spend some time ruminating on that today, though, before I land on that for certain.
Devotion DFN -love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity, or cause. “Eleanor’s devotion to her husband”; a feeling of strong love or loyalty : the quality of being devoted. : the use of time, money, energy, etc., for a particular purpose
synonyms: loyalty, faithfulness, fidelity, constancy, commitment, adherence, allegiance, dedication;
No, I guess I really don’t need that much time. If I strip away everything else, I keep coming back to my family and home. A significant amount of my time, brain space, and energy is spent towards caring for my husband and son. They’re the first thing I look to when re-centering my priorities.
Second to that is probably my own development. Pushing through and processing to ensure that my own mental, emotional, spiritual, and hopefully soon, physical, health will allow me to be of more help to my family.
In general, what I want most in life to do is…help. I want to be a help. Assisting and care-taking come very naturally to me. However, I am learning that I need to rein some of that in and apply it to myself for a while. If I don’t, I quickly become a martyr and that helps absolutely no one.
The more I attend to my own basic needs, the more I realize that my unhealthy care-taking was a misplaced attempt at earning the right to take care of myself. If I just could get “done” with the chores of helping others, then I would earn the perk or bonus of time for myself. That’s one of those (faulty?) interpretations of the J.O.Y. acrostic I was taught in Sabbath School – Jesus/Others/You is the intended order of priority for my devotion or attention. Just so messed up.
There’s a real downside when you believe in your heart that you’re supposed to serve and love others more than yourself (as better than yourself). The chronic devaluation of a person can never have healthy side effects. Sacrificing your mental and emotional health as the going price for God’s approval and in exchange for eternal safety, well, those days are over.
I can’t honestly say whether I believe in the idea that God’s Spirit is within me, but if it is, that’s how I’m going to be listening to him/it/whatever. I’m going to be listening to my own heart, and doing what I believe to be in my (and my family’s) best interest. I’m ready to stop second guessing myself at every turn.
So what is my devotion? To make this world a better place for my family to live in.