Relationship: Loving Yourself
This part of the series is probably the hardest for me to write because I have struggled most of my life to truly love myself. Until recently, I had been seeking love in all the wrong places like business endeavors, shopping, food, and relationships. I have relentlessly chased false perfections (labels) that I believed would make me whole. I have learned that loving myself means to fully embrace who God has created me to be, not taking on the characteristics of someone else.
As I began to see myself through God's eyes, I discovered my true purpose. When I saw my calling so clearly, I found strength, security, and peace. I've learned that when I focus my eyes on God, there is no room for insecurity, anxiety, or confusion. The labels I had gathered from others and slapped on myself have begun to fall away. I am becoming more and more confident in who God has created me to be.
When I asked God to give me an answer to the question, "how do we love ourselves?", His response didn't surprise me. Loving ourselves begins with loving God. Listen, when we put all our energy into knowing and loving God, we don't have time for body-shaming, house envy, or F.O.M.O. What we put into our heart, mind and soul pours out of us like candy from a broken piñata. We love because God loved us first (1 John 4:19). Learning to love ourselves through God's heart clears the fog and allows us to love others freely.
I can’t finish this post without acknowledging that you may feel a bit hopeless in loving yourself. There may be deeper, core wounds that make it seem impossible to see yourself the way God sees you. Lean closer, friend…I promise, there is hope for you to live in freedom. It took professional counseling for me to see the lack of kindness I was showing myself. There is zero shame in seeking help. God is ready to show you the beautiful creation He has made you to be.
Before I share a practical way to start loving yourself better, I want to share the prayer of my heart:
Lord, you know each person reading this post. You hear the way they talk to themselves, you can see their blurry vision. God, reveal their value, show them Your way. Remove the labels that the world has placed on your Child. I humbly ask that you would move in a significant display of Your power and grace right now. Begin to erase anything that is not your truth. God, show them who they are in your Kingdom. Give them courage to ask for help and provide a way for them. In Your most precious name I pray, Amen.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Practice "intentional gratitude". Say a prayer of thanks for everything. In her book, “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, Marie Kondo shares an important lesson…
surround yourself with things that spark joy
As I was doing the hard work of re-discovering my identity in Christ, I picked up this book and God used it to help me clear out some emotional and physical clutter. I took one of Marie’s methods and shifted it to align more with my beliefs.
As I was sorting through memories and mindset, I chose to be thankful for each experience and feeling. For example, one of the things I had to wrestle with was a time I experienced abandonment during a critical season of my life. Instead of letting the negative emotions of that memory take over, I chose to say a prayer of thanks for the experience. Did I actually feel thankful for the hurt and shame, heck no. As I continued to be thankful for the hard stuff, God revealed to me that He used that experience to grow empathy in my heart for others in similar situations. My “thankful” prayers turned into a heart of gratitude.
As I decluttered my home and heart, I began to see the joy in the things and people around me. Flip the switch on the lies of discontentment and insecurity. It will begin to shift your mindset, you will live in more freedom.
You are enough because God is enough, He holds you close.
There are bonus worksheets available to go a little deeper into a Biblical perspective of relationships.
The worksheets will provide you with practical applications, challenges, and content.