I’ve been pondering the meaning of welcome lately. What does it mean to welcome someone into your life? Into your home?
In Judaic law, if you shared a meal with someone they could no longer be considered your enemy.
This is hard for me, but not with other people.
When I welcome people into my home, I focus on meeting their needs. I take time to listen to them. If they need space, I try to stay out of their way. If they need help, I try to provide it. I try not to make them conform to my own patterns of life, but rather try to accommodate their preferences as much as I can. My hope is that they will feel loved and comfortable and important during the time they are with me.
Why is that so hard to do with myself? Why is it so hard to find time to listen to me? Me when I’m tired and need to rest. Me when I’m full of food and don’t need to eat. Me when I need a new pattern and don’t need to conform to the one I’m in now?
This week, I’ve been trying to see myself with a different perspective: one that welcomes me as I am and not a version of myself that may never be. One that sees that I’m doing what I can, but also encourages me to do just a bit more, like taking small walking breaks through the day. One that also recognizes the things that my sweet Jason says are amazing and that focuses on my capability instead of my weaknesses.
And y’all — it’s hard.
Life is hard. Really hard. I think and feel like I’m doing my best and then I completely drop the ball or words fly out of my mouth at the wrong time and place and they can’t be pulled back in.
Or they fly through my head and just bounce around in there and don’t have a release.
It isn’t welcoming to constantly tell a guest how they could have done something better. It isn’t welcoming to remind them of who they used to be or might be in the future, but are failing at being at the moment. It isn’t welcoming to sigh every time you see them wearing a size of clothing that’s larger than you think they should.
So it’s a goal that I’m adding to my previous goal to talk to myself the same way I would talk to others. I want to also welcome myself as I am right now in the same way I would welcome others; to welcome myself in the same way that Jesus welcomes me:
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.