How are you? A question asked and answered almost daily by most of us that most of us rarely answer fully. It’s much easier to just say, “Fine,” than to lay out either our great joys or great concerns, or even a simple, “meh.” But, it’s a question we don’t answer honestly even if and when we ask it of ourselves.
As leaders in the church and other areas of our lives, we tend to put others and their needs before our own. But what happens if we aren’t listening and responding to our own needs? How can we be any good to anyone else?
You may not be someone who makes resolutions for the new year. Resolutions are too often broken, dropped, or forgotten within weeks, days or even hours of making them. However, if there is one thing we all need to do better this year, it is to listen to yourself.
Take time each day to check in with yourself. In Christian tradition, there are many practices of prayer and discipline that include this check-in. The Ignatian Examen is a classic example of a daily spiritual practice that centers checking in with yourself. However you do it, being honest about what went well, what didn’t go so well that day helps us move forward to the next day.
Checking in with yourself and being honest in answering those questions are just first steps. If the answer to the question, “How are you,” is, “Not so hot,” do something about it. None of us are happy every day. We all have days where we seem to fail at every turn. If you are tired, take some rest. If you are overwhelmed, ask for help. If you just feel blah, try something new. And if the not-so-hot days are outnumbering the okay or good days, you might need something more.
Take care of yourself. The people around you want you to be whole and healthy for you, as well as for your ministry and leadership. And God wants that for you, too. Jesus spent a lot of time asking people how they were, and healing bodies, minds and spirits in response.
So – How are you today?