I was reading Susan’s musings over at Creo en Dios! and pondering her thoughts on The First Shall Be Last. I have to agree — so often I find myself giving over to someone else’s needs and not listening to myself. The upshot is that I finally am so depleted, so angry, so tired, that there is no way I can put someone or something else before me. There’s no energy left.

To me, it seems that there are ways of being first and last that work better than others. If my goal is to be able to serve others, then I have a responsibility to stay healthy enough to do that. Otherwise, I fail at the primary goal of serving others or just being a good steward of my own resources.

I had a talk with someone last week where I rather felt that I was being selfish when I started it. I owned up to some hurt feelings, which uncovered some other deep-seated anger. But afterward, the air was more clear, and I think we came to understand each other a bit better. I was much more at peace which made it possible for me to hear the other person a bit more clearly without the roar of anger in my ears.

Sad to say, I more often fail to honor my own feelings as I try to make things ok for the other which makes for an un-pretty scene. The second of Jesus’ commandments is to love your neighbor as yourself. If I can’t love myself, how can I possibly know how to love my neighbor?