I’m working on my planks. When Jesus said to take the plank out of my eye, He knew that if I took it seriously, the task could keep me occupied (and hopefully out of trouble) for the rest of my life. Working on myself means that I really should not have time to focus on the flaws of other people. Jesus said I have a big giant log in my eye but I want to try to pick the speck out of someone else’s eye first. That’s not going to work well.
Isn’t it selfish to think about myself so much? Here’s the thing: I can’t be what others need me to be without this important work of plank removal. As I am processing through whatever it takes to become a better person, I continuously become a better person for those who need me. As I grow closer to the ideal of truly understanding and loving myself, I am better able to genuinely love others. Jesus said I would see better after removing the plank. I’ve found that to be true.
I don’t think it is possible to love others the way they need to be loved unless I am in a mature place of self-love.
You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
So I have some planks I am looking at this year. Some of them I have been working on all my adult life. Some of them I have only recently discovered. I can’t begin to list all my planks; the thought of that is overwhelming and way too much boring information for this venue. Suffice it to say that there are three general areas of planks that I’m focusing on this year.
Plank area 1: healing old wounds. There are a lot of old wounds that keep recirculating in my life and causing me problems in relating to other people. This is an old, known plank that baffles me at times. I have a lot of work to do in understanding myself and repairing the breaches inside. This year I am taking a look at Internal Family Systems and embarking on some self therapy using the IFS model.
Plank area 2: physical health. OK, this is another area that is well known to be an issue with me. I’m healthy, I’m just not as healthy as I would like to be or as I should be. I quit smoking 25 years ago and ever since I have battled with my weight. I realize that I simply took away one crutch and replaced it with another. But it’s way more complicated to figure out than that. I’m using the IFS to try to figure out what is going on there as I once again eliminate sugar, increase protein, and keep moving.
Plank area 3: this one is more entertaining than the first two planks, which are not always all that fun. I am exploring my creativity as I try to reconnect to the flow of income in my life. My jewelry making exploits netted me some pretty good cash flow from 2008 until roughly 2013-2014, shortly after one of Google’s algorithm changes, and I’ve never been able to get back the search traffic I once had. I’ve taken the opportunity to start sewing again, something I’d put away for 20 years, telling myself that it was because of my rambunctious, explorative son who was a highly curious and mobile baby/toddler/preschooler who couldn’t be kept out of the sewing supplies and tools. Coincidentally, or maybe not, it’s also been 20 years since my mother died. She was the reason I started sewing as a girl. Tying back into plank area 1, I think there may have been a subconscious connection between her death and my laying aside of sewing.
All the planks are connected and I’ve got a lot of work to do. I might never get around to your speck.