By now many of us have probably slipped up on keeping our New Year’s resolutions. This is discouraging and our self-esteem deflates. It’s difficult to be persistent. We might want to throw up our hands and quit. But it’s much better to start anew. For me, working crossword puzzles is a good analogy. Sometimes when a puzzle is a real challenge, I’m tempted to stop and peek at the answers to complete it. But I’ve found that if I let the puzzle rest for a day and then return to it, some clues I thought were impossible I now can answer. Maybe today, it’s hard for me to pass up the dessert I resolved to forswear, but maybe tomorrow I can overcome my craving and be victorious. That would make me feel good about myself. This reflection in my book “Heart to Mary with Mary” is a fitting follow-up to these thoughts:
My child, because you are human, there are probably days when you are not happy with yourself. Perhaps you made a silly mistake or an appointment slipped your mind. Maybe you spoke carelessly and hurt a friend’s feelings. When things like this happen, you might be tempted to be hard on yourself. But let me reassure you: you are a treasure!
I may not have been the smartest girl in the village or the most talented, but I had my own gifts. So do you. God made you a unique, irreplaceable individual. You were created out of love in God’s image and likeness. You have dignity as God’s beloved child and mine as well as an incredible destiny. True, you give God glory by using your gifts—but you also honor and please him by gracefully accepting your flaws and weaknesses in all humility.
When your self-confidence is waning, come quickly to me. I will tenderly embrace you and whisper in your ear how wonderful you really are and how much I love you. Then, if necessary, I will help you to mend what has been broken or to start again.
Are there things you don’t like about yourself? Speak to Mary about them.
Is it time for you to renew your resolutions? Do you have a trick for keeping them that you can share?
I wonder if Mary ever felt like giving up. I wonder if her son did too.