Stay On Your Toes
Sermon on Time

Virginia Satir and My Telephone

I should think through my telephone greetings more strategically. This one just slipped out today on our home phone, "Good afternoon, Sims' People Factory."

I apologized - sort of - since the person on the other end was, up until that moment, unknown to me. Actually, the explanation, before I even asked who it was or what she was calling for, was most likely more of an imposition. I mused that we are all in the business of building people.

Eventually, I let her ask for my wife.

Andrea was not in the house so I, without prior permission, gave her cell phone number.

Satir And I remembered Virginia Satir.

Wouldn't you at a time like that?

Dr. Satir was the founder of conjoint family therapy, the forerunner of the self-esteem movement, and the author of books on family such as, "People Making" and "The New People Making"

She taught that families were in the people making business and we have a house full of folks being made. She also taught that adults can take responsibility for their own development by the choices they make.

Perhaps her best known quote is an affirmation:

I am Me. In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me. Everything that comes out of me is authentically mine, because I alone chose it -- I own everything about me: my body, my feelings, my mouth, my voice, all my actions, whether they be to others or myself. I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears. I own my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes. Because I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with me. By so doing, I can love me and be friendly with all my parts. I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other aspects that I do not know -- but as long as I am friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously and hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles and ways to find out more about me. However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time is authentically me. If later some parts of how I looked, sounded, thought, and felt turn out to be unfitting, I can discard that which is unfitting, keep the rest, and invent something new for that which I discarded. I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do. I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive, and to make sense and order out of the world of people and things outside of me. I own me, and therefore, I can engineer me. I am me, and I am Okay.”

I believe that God is shaping us, but that He will not override our choices to make us what we are unwilling to become. At the same time, we need the freedom and power he provides to shortcut a l.ot of the garbage that is holding us back. Nevertheless, Dr. Satir speaks to my heart about the people making factory that is me and that is also my home.

It is a high calling for family, ministry, business - to help people become all that they can be upon the foundation of what God has already given them to be.

Here are some examples of the wisdom of this remarkable woman:


“Problems are not the problem; coping is the problem.”

 “Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible - the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family”

 "We can learn something new anytime we believe we can”

 “Over the years I have developed a picture of what a human being living humanely is like. She is a person who understand, values and develops her body, finding it beautiful and useful; a person who is real and is willing to take risks, to be creative, to manifest competence, to change when the situation calls for it, and to find ways to accommodate to what is new and different, keeping that part of the old that is still useful and discarding what is not.”

 “Life is not what it's supposed to be. It is what it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.”

 And one of my favorites…

 “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”

Thanks to ThinkExist.Com

For more information on this extraordinary and gracious woman, visit the Virginia Satir Global Network. Dr. Satir died in 1988.