Love for Self, Others, and God: An Interview with MemoryBlogger Vivian Cumins
"For decades, I set unrealistic expectations of myself in an effort to gain approval – not the approval of others, but the approval of myself, because that is what perfectionists do. But the day I received the call – the day I was referred to the Huntsman Cancer Institute for treatment – well, that was the day I traded perfection for compassion."
This month I had the amazing opportunity to interview and learn from the creator of MemoryBlogger, Vivian Cumins. Check out her wonderful insights. Also, enter to win some fabulous items from MemoryBlogger.
TCA: How do you show love to yourself?
VC: Showing myself love is something I have learned within the past two years. It took being diagnosed with melanoma for me to view myself as someone worth fighting for. You see, I am a recovering perfectionist. For decades, I set unrealistic expectations of myself in an effort to gain approval – not the approval of others, but the approval of myself, because that is what perfectionists do. But the day I received the call – the day I was referred to the Huntsman Cancer Institute for treatment – well, that was the day I traded perfection for compassion.
I show self-love in a variety of ways now, but the most advantageous to me has been to allow myself to make mistakes. There is so much to learn when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and authentic. Another way I show myself love is to take care of my body and mind. When I was sick, I learned that there were things I could do that would help me to be strong and healthy. I drink tons of water now; I exercise five times a week and I eat clean (most days!). I am learning to meditate and practice mindfulness – simple changes reap such large rewards. And most importantly, I show love to myself by turning over my life, plans, and dreams to God. He has my best interests at heart – and I want the best.
TCA: How do you show love for yourself when you are outside your comfort zone and feeling vulnerable?
VC: I am going through this right now as an aspiring published author! It is easy to allow the inner critic to take over and sabotage every paragraph and every chapter. I think it is imperative that writers, especially new writers, make a pact with themselves to engage in positive self-talk on a constant basis. I have found that when we say things aloud, rather than in our head, it is more effective because when we verbalize something, we hear it. I make it a point every day when I am in front of my computer screen to tell myself these four things:
“You can write!”
“You are creative!”
“You have interesting ideas!”
“The world needs your message!”
TCA: How do you show love to others?
VC: One of the best ways to show love to others is to first show love to yourself. I think it is impossible to really love someone if love is not first expressed inwardly. Giving myself grace has helped me to give grace to others. Not being critical of myself has encouraged me to not criticize others. Patience, understanding, and genuine concern for my well-being have shown me how to love others in a way that is authentic. I believe it starts with the heart.
TCA: What is your favorite scripture about God and love? How have you felt God’s love for you? And how have you shown love to God?
VC: I have two favorites right now – they are my life scriptures for 2023.
Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Isaiah 42:9 – Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.
I feel God’s love in everyday activities, but I never felt it as strongly as I did when He delivered me from cancer. I am humbled at His mercy. That experience has brought me closer to God and given me the courage to lay everything down and follow His direction for my life. I think God has been waiting a long time for me to do that – and by doing so, I believe He accepts my gift as an act of love and can now do a wonderful work in my life – Behold, I do a new thing.
FEB 2023 GIVEAWAY
This month win a beautiful MemoryBlogger journal ($13.99 value) or MemoryBlogger mug (14.99 value).
To learn more about the MemoryBlogger visit https://memoryblogger.com.