Do you love yourself as much as you expect others to love you? I read this question today, and it stopped me in my tracks. Do I?
‘Loving yourself’ is challenging for most of us. Someone somewhere told us to put ourselves last, and this has created a culture of self-hate that has damaged our value and worth. We are now really good at criticizing ourselves yet still have a deep craving to feel loved. So we look for it in others, thinking that will be enough.
When I picture the me that I wish I was, filled with confidence, doing what I am made to do and being full of life, there seems to be an underlying sense of security there. I have often wondered what would it take to actually be in this space?
I hear myself ask the question, ‘Why does it feel so wrong to love myself?’ The Bible says to ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ Quite honestly, if I took that literally to heart, my neighbor would not be very well-loved…
When Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” we can infer that He expected us to love ourselves. Somewhere along the way, this has been interpreted to mean: love others, not you. How heartbreaking it must be for Him to see His beautiful creation engaging in so many forms of self-harm these days. Many of the major issues we as women face stem from our lack of self-worth and belief that we are enough.
“You is kind.
You is smart.
You is important.”
This quote from DreamWorks’ movie “The Help” has made its way into many conversations, memes, and into our hearts. Why? Because we all want someone to believe in us and tell us we are all that in a way that we can agree with it.
Sisters, let’s choose to believe that loving ourselves is not arrogant or obnoxious. It is expected by the Creator because He believes that what He created is worth all of His love. Let’s get His perspective of our value, and agree with Him.
I believe this is the key to freedom.
Freedom to walk the way we were designed to walk. To discover the multitude of abilities and gifts He has placed within us…for His pleasure.
Do you know that if you never did another ‘good work’ in your life, He would be and is pleased with you? You make Him smile. He is proud of you. Why? Because you are you. That is enough. Period.
If you have been exercising your inner critic a lot, tell her to go on vacation, and spend some time in the quiet listening to the voice of the One who loves you most – He will tell you what He thinks about you. Write down what you hear. Maybe He has an endearing name He likes to call you. Ask Him what it is.
Notice the loved ones in your life. The ones who love you well. What do they do for you that makes you feel so loved?
Let’s practice doing those same things for ourselves. I believe our perspective will change, and we will see ourselves through our Creator’s eyes.
Soon we will be able to say a resounding, “Yes!” to the question: Do you love yourself as much as you expect others to love you?