It sounds unbelievable but there are adults who have been given certificates of completion for doing a course to help them count up to three. It might sound like something you would do with a pre-school child but some adults are so challenged by cognitive impairment that it is a considerable achievement.

We often think of certificates being awarded to a child who had completed a mathematics qualification that few adults could do. Yet they have done this because they have been stretched to do as much as they can do.

How many of us would think of trying to stretch those who we know are less able? The reality is that if we do not stretch or make an effort we run a risk of not growing or worse possibly shrinking.

Admiring their achievements is essential

Think of how parents make a child feel good about themselves. They tell them how well they have done. Strange how this results in a smile on their face and most parents like to see such smiles.

Think of the adults who struggle to feel that they are enough and one of the reasons is that they have not been affirmed as children. They were so often told that they were being silly or were a nuisance that they struggle to take off the label.

Help yourself first

The sad thing is that some people struggle to admire what others have done because they do not feel enough. The Bible talks about loving our neighbour as ourselves. That can be interpreted in a different way i.e. unless we love ourselves we will struggle to love others.

We need to have the right assessment of ourselves as being acceptable and good enough. This is a better expression of what some would call loving yourself. We only see others through the grid of our own experience and expectations. If we expect others to say we are not enough we will struggle to help others see that they are enough and are doing something that can be admired.

There are whole books written on this topic so there is no way that I could do more than give a taster in this short article. What I would suggest is that you pray the following prayer to help you be the sort of person you ned to be to help others.

God of all the universe, the true and living God will you show me the right impression of myself. You love me and want the best for me even if I don’t know you very well yet. So will you do two things for me please. Firstly will you let me feel your love and acknowledgement that I am good enough to love. Secondly will show me the full extent of your love in terms of how you are able and willing to transform my life even though it was at the cost of the death of your dear son, I might have fallen short but you love me anyway. And by the way, Susan says it would be a good idea if I got to know you a bit better so help me with that as well. Amen

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