Let’s be honest. When you look in the mirror first thing in the morning what are the messages you hear?

“Look at those bags under my eyes!” 

“Is that a new wrinkle?” 
“Is that acne? I thought that was supposed to stop when adolescence was over.” 
“Is that an age spot?”  

I recently asked this question of some young people. And while their messages did not refer to bags and age spots, they also had some less than positive things they say to themselves in the mirror. Their messages certainly gave me a larger window into understanding why anxiety and depression is so prevalent.

I challenged each of the young people for one month to look in the mirror first thing in the morning and say to yourself, “I am a blessing.” To begin each day reminding yourself first and foremost that you are a beloved child of God who is created in the image of God.

I went on to suggest to them that this exercise was actually a spiritual discipline. A discipline intended, before any other message (either self inflicted or suggested by another), to critically ground you first and foremost in the blessing of being God’s beloved.

I then went on to suggest to my young sisters and brothers that after their feet were firmly planted in the assurance of being a blessing, that they might ask themselves who they could affirm this day that they too are a blessing.  This as well, I offered, is a spiritual discipline. A discipline we affirm every time we commit ourselves in the Baptismal Covenant to, “seek and serve Christ in all persons.”

In this season of Epiphany when we are opening ourselves to the multitude of ways that Jesus has and is being made known, one of the many ways we do so is in claiming our blessedness and affirming the blessedness of others.

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