I Am My First Ministry by Tresa Simmons
We, sisters, are our first ministry. “I am my first ministry. I am sacred. I am the one I have been seeking (waiting for)” has become my mantras or affirmations as some would say. Initially, words such as these were just nice catch phrases. Words that sounded good that sounded right to my ears. Of course, I can say they made sense….a little. I mean how many times had I heard them before they began to tug at me to view them up closer, to dig deeper for meaning, to acknowledge they have life giving properties that can change my life?
While I have written about three of my favorite mantras that are courting me on a daily basis to spend more time with them, to listen to them, and to snuggle with them, it is ‘I am my first ministry’ that I want to write about. Sisters how many of us continue to put others before ourselves to the detriment of self-betrayal and dishonoring ourselves? We cannot pour from an empty cup not even for ourselves. We cannot give to others what we do not have; and when we put ourselves last, we have nothing for ourselves or them.
Today, let’s take time to replenish ourselves. There are what I call sacred baths where we are intentional about putting bubble bath, bath balms, oils, or using music and other modalities to set the stage keeping ourselves at the forefront of our minds. We are worthy to serve ourselves in dignity and respect with the highest order of planning in mind. When we prepare the ambiance and set the stage to take time to read a favorite book or cook ourselves a healthy and delicious meal, we are displaying love for ourselves. We are teaching ourselves and others how we expect to be treated. Sometimes sisters we have been our own worst enemies. What about exercising in whatever form we choose? Singing, writing poetry, prayer, and meditation are other forms of self-care. The key here is putting ourselves first with intention. Treating ourselves with kindness and love. Standing powerful in our truth that “I am my first ministry” are not just words. They are actions that heal us and allow us to experience the world differently.
If you are anything like me, you know once a mantra leaves your mouth, energetically it begins to create what we say as there is power in our words. However, we also have to align with what we speak; and when we don’t align with the very thing we speak, we are like a planter who plants a seed with expectations of receiving the food planted only to keep digging it up again. That can be scary. After all, what will people think? More importantly is what do we think? We are challenged to question and or deny what we have said that does not line up with our new conversation and way of being. When we continue to ask questions, not only are we keeping the seeds (words we have spoken) creating, but we are weeding them so our own negative thoughts and those of others cannot over-come us. We have to change what we believe about ourselves. Loving ourselves brings out the warrior in us, and this is ok. If we do not take a stand for ourselves against our old mindset, who will? None of the collective or anyone as an individual can champion us like we can for ourselves.
To say I have mastered these words, would be untruthful. To say that I have expectations for them to take root in my very DNA and become my foundation of what and why I do what I do would be true. I desire to remember that I am my first ministry, that I am sacred, and that I am who I seek (who I have been waiting for). Sisters may you all find your mantras or affirmations that lift you up above the ways you dishonor and self-betray yourself. May you be intentional with living a life that you are worthy, you are enough, and you are important! Put yourself first.
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