My Lenten resolution was to work harder on "denying myself and affirming others". Lent has been over for three months - a time, after which, it might be appropriate to take stock. Have I really personalized this resolution or was it "just for Lent".
I think I did a fair job of taking advantage of situations during Lent where I could deny myself and affirm others - especially within the family. But as the weeks have gone by since Easter, I seem less and less to have taken this resolution to heart. Certainly I have the most opportunities and, possibly, the easiest times doing it within the family. My wife is a person who needs and deserves a great deal of affirmation. So, in varying degrees, do my children. But we men have awful conflicts about showing our emotions. The part I need to work on most is denying myself. This includes learning to ignore macho "imperatives".
Over and over again it comes through that the principal enemy to my peace, happiness, and spiritual growth in this life is my inclination to selfishness. Just a simple pat on the back and a "nice job" is the kind of affirmation that helps me a lot. I know it must be that way with others too; and I have it within my power to deny myself and affirm those others. Help me not to let shame or human respect stand in the way.