God's Masterpiece
Being all that God Created you to be.

Ephesians 2:10
"For we are God's Masterpiece. Created anew in Christ Jesus, so we can be all He created us to be."

I lived in Manhattan's Upper Eastside about a seven minute walk to NYC's Museum Mile. This mile stretched from 82nd. Street to 105th Street. Although I was a member of the Metropolitan Museum of Art which ran from 82nd to 86th street, I spent most of my time, every Friday, at the Guggenheim Museum on 88th.

The Guggenheim was home to my favorite Surrealist Artist, Salvador Dahli. The Met exhibited my favorite Impressionist Artist, Pablo Picasso. I actually owned one of Picasso's earliest drawings. I also owned a book that I donated to the Guggenheim that had hand drawn pencil illustrations by Dahli. When friends came to my apartment they had difficulty understanding and appreciating these incredible creations. It wasn't until I told them who created these works of art did they appreciate what they were viewing.

We all need to understand and appreciate that we are All Masterpieces, unique, special, works of art created my our Master and Creator God. God created us in His Image. We all have unique gifts, and talents that enable us to serve Him and bring Honor and Glory to His name.

Additionally, how we are perceived and treated by others is dictated by how we perceive ourselves. So, if we want others to treat us differently and better, we need to perceive and treat ourselves differently.

Whenever we allow our circumstances or other people in our lives bring us down and attack our character, by such things as: you are worthless, dumb, make bad decisions, have many bad habits, aren't pretty enough, wise enough, smart enough, or are in relationships with the wrong individuals, you need to realize that is the Enemy attacking you so you can't do God's Will and be all He Created you to be, a Masterpiece!

Today's message is about being yourself so you can recognize that you are one of God's Masterpieces.

To take any steps toward your own well-being you have got to be on your own side. Not against others, but FOR YOURSELF!

For many people, that’s harder than it sounds. Maybe you were raised to think you didn’t count as much as other people. Maybe when you’ve tried to stick up for yourself, you’ve been blocked or knocked down. Maybe deep down you feel you don’t deserve to be happy.

Think about what it’s like to be a good friend to someone. Then ask: Am I that kind of friend to myself?

If not, you could be too hard on yourself, too quick to feel you’re falling short, too dismissive of what you get done each day. Or too half-hearted about protecting yourself from mistreatment or telling others what you really need. Or too resigned to your own pain, or too slow about doing those things—both inside your head and outside it, in the wider world—to make your life better.

Plus, how can you truly help others if you don’t start by helping yourself?
The foundation of all practice is to wish yourself well, to let your own sorrows and needs and dreams matter to you. Then, whatever you do for yourself will have real oomph behind it!

How You Can Embrace Yourself As God's Masterpiece.

Several times a day, ask yourself: Am I on my own side here? Am I looking out for my own best interests? Or, am I allowing others make those decisions for me?

Best times to do this:
* If you feel bad (e.g., sad, hurt, worried, disappointed, mistreated, frustrated, stressed, or irritated)

* If someone is pushing you to do something they think is best for you.

* If you know you should do something for your own benefit but you’re not doing it (like asserting yourself with someone, looking for a new job, or quitting smoking, seeking the relationship that's best for you.)

At these times, or in general:
* Bring to mind the feeling of being with someone who cares about you. This will help you feel like you matter and have worth, which is the basis of being for yourself.

* Recall what it feels like to be for someone. Perhaps a child, pet, or dear friend. Notice different aspects of this experience, such as loyalty, concern, warmth, determination, or advocacy. Let the sense of being on someone’s side be big in your awareness. Let your body shift into a posture of support and advocacy: perhaps sitting or standing a little more erect, chest coming up a bit, eyes more intent; you’re strengthening the experience of being for someone by drawing on embodied cognition, on the sensorimotor systems in your brain that underlie and shape your thoughts and feelings.

* Recall a time when you had to be strong, energetic, fierce, or intense on your own behalf. It could be as simple as the experience of the last part of an exercise routine, when you had to use every last ounce of willpower to finish it. Or it could be a time you had to escape from a serious danger, or stand up for yourself against an intimidating person, or doggedly grind out a big project in school or work. As in the bullet point just above, open to this experience and shift into embodying it so it is as real as possible for you, and so that you are stimulating and thus strengthening its underlying neural networks.

* See yourself as a young child—sweet, vulnerable, precious—and extend this same attitude of loyalty, strength, and caring toward that little boy or girl. (You could get a picture of yourself as a kid and carry it in your wallet or purse, and look at it from time to time.)

* Imagine having this same sense and stance of loyalty, strength, and caring for yourself today.

* Be mindful of what it feels like in your body to be on your own side. Open to and encourage that feeling as much as possible. Notice any resistance to it and try to let it go.

* Ask yourself: Being on my own side, what’s the best thing to do here?
Then, as best you can, do it.

Being for yourself simply means that you care about yourself. You wish to feel happy instead of worried, sad, guilty, or angry. You want people to treat you well instead of badly. You want to help your future self—the person you’ll be next week, next year, next decade—to have as good a life as possible.

Your experience matters, both for the moment-to-moment experience of living and for the lasting traces that your thoughts and feelings leave behind in the structure of your brain.

It is moral to treat people with decency, respect, compassion, and kindness. Well, “people” includes you! You have as many rights, and your opinions and needs and dreams have as much standing, as those of anyone else in the world.

When you take good care of yourself, then you have more to offer others, from the people close to you to the whole wide world.

When you take care of yourself, you can be that Masterpiece God has Created you to be and fulfill the destiny the Master and Creator has in store for you.

You change how others treat you.
By embracing the Masterpiece God has Created you to be.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Bill Fetter has over 30 years of experience improving organizational performance using management, organization development, training, team development, and executive coaching for strategic change. He has served as both an internal and external consultant and senior manager for several Fortune 200 Companies.

Bill's track record includes success in corporate, non-profit, and aerospace; including astronaut and crew training for Space Shuttle and the International Space Station, and consulting environments. He is an internationally recognized leader in innovative Training and Development Solutions. Bill has been published in over 55 professional journals, publications, and books; and, has been on TV and Radio stations worldwide for his contributions in advancing learning technologies and cognition.

In addition to Bill's technical training design and development skills, he also has facilitated over 100 seminars and workshops including career development, customer service, time and stress management, management coaching, sales effectiveness, meeting management, performance management, presentation skills, Leadership Development, Samurai Leadership, and many others.

Bill started his professional journey as a Registered and Certified ASCP Microbiologist and was a Clinical Virologist for the Texas State Department of Health.