I was talking with our family friend a while back. He was a another Christian Denomination Pastor now a practicing Catholic. He, his wife, and their wonderful children converted to Catholicism for many reasons. To simplify the big picture he stated the Catholic Church has precise answers found in the Catholic Catechism, spoke the truth, and has The Lord Jesus Christ present in the Holy Eucharist. Anyway, he was saying in this world we all want to be self actualized. You know the triangle.
The first are psychological needs such as food, water, and shelter. You need to be physically healthy enough to move on. For some perhaps, that means to learn what your downfalls would be under stress. For instance, how you react to lack of sleep. You learn the details that cause you to ignore your surroundings and lack balance of your responsibilities. You take a mindful note of what causes you to forget to eat or to eat to much. You make sure you drink enough water. If we are communicating about a Christian viewpoint we as Christians need to provide food, water, and shelter for those that do not have it. All members within the shelter are to move onto the next very basic step which is safety.
If you have ever been without safety you can understand how incredibly important that is to establish. You need to figure out what rules to make and follow. You need to figure out how you are going to follow the very basic rules of safety, the commandments. Each situation in life may take a new teak on how your going to follow the rules. You need to reassure those in fear that you are trying to be kind and loving. It is a difficult step because we live in a world where truly very few people actually care about others. It feels unfamiliar. If you ever have tried to care in a hostile situation you also know the first couple swings are a miss. When you actually try to care it can be easily misunderstood. Also safety of oneself needs to be established prior to moving onto a more precise focus.
The next step on the self-actualization is love and belonging. As a Christian family that means a family of brothers and sisters. You have deeper, more meaningful relationships in your circle of friends and in your community. Not based on shallow gossip but a true friend that wants you to move higher on improving. So they care to help you not fall. Also you would have an established deep and rich prayer life. Visiting the Holy Eucharist in Adoration. Bringing prayer to mind when there is nothing else better to do like provide necessaries and safety. People have your back. They care about you, notice what you do, say, and how you live. This group is there for you when it is actually needed. They may notice your many mistakes but find ways to encourage you on the path. If you are on this level you will notice the crosses of your brother and sisters within the body of Christ.
Esteem is the top of the mountain. Say that we made it in life to accomplish the highest degree. It is said that very few make it into heaven, the gate is narrow. It is more than just always saying yes to the Lord and getting forgiveness when you slide down the triangle. You actually have to have a way with parameters to not repeat the exact same mistake. Make a truthful dedication to the Lord that you will try better.
Now in the traditional sense of the best version of yourself triangle the world holds those people on top with the highest prestige. They are the famous. They are the rich. They are the ones society looks up to. They are the ones on tv and featured in magazines. However, they are not actually a self-actualized human until they use their time, talent, and treasure to serve others. In the Catholic Christian world they have all the followers, trolls, haters, and crucifiers. (Pray for them, support them as best you can) As many that are turning towards our Christian leaders for leadership there are many more turning towards them to make sure that they do not succeed.
If you follow Christ on Good Friday you can see the differentiation between how he looks and how those we may look up to as most self- actualized actually look. Jesus hardly has any followers, even his closest followers betray him. It is hard to tell that he is the Son of almighty God. He is stripped and hung to die. He was all used up. Beaten down. In the end he is struggling and suffering to even have the basics of food, water, and shelter. Not exactly regarded as the glamorous one to follow. The part that got me, is triangle is upside down according to the world’s standards. Likewise, as Catholics we hold a high regard for the Saints that can serve others with their whole life. They do not just do one heroic thing, although many do heroic things. The Saints do everything they can, even give up their very life for others. Jesus chooses to be the most humble serving all above him for the glory of God. That is what will lead to the glorious transfiguration of our own body and soul. Mother Teresa says, you should start where you are at. So in your own family, in your own parish, in your own community, where are we at in serving?