“You should go and love yourself….”
These words may rest in the lyrics of a catchy Justin Bieber song, but I am taking them out of that context and encouraging you to really go and love yourself.
I am a firm believer that people can never fully give and receive love until they learn to love themselves. Some would argue that loving yourself means you are self-centered and selfish. I define loving yourself as being secure and confident in who the Lord has made you to be. Loving yourself is being kind and encouraging to yourself, not tearing down and comparing yourself to those around you.
Today’s society is filled with so much hate talk. We talk hatefully about others and we spend endless amount of time talking hatefully about ourselves. We aren’t pretty enough, smart enough, muscular enough. You name it and you probably don’t believe you are enough.
I’ve spent more time than I would like to admit hating myself. I hated my looks; my attitude, my past mistakes, I even hated my intelligence because it made me “nerdy.” Stupid, I know!! I buried this self hate under a lot of fake confidence and cockiness throughout high school. On the outside I was a beautiful, smart, funny, a cheerleader, and on the inside I was a hateful mess.
It wasn’t until I got to college that I realized that the more I hated myself the more of mess my life was becoming. I made bad choices, bad grades, had bad relationships; I was a mess. I realized I would end up self-destructing if I didn’t learn to love myself for who I was and who God says I am, despite my flaws.
Making the decision to start loving and respecting myself is a pivotal moment in my life. It’s been a long hard journey to get where I am now, and there will always be room for improvement.
Maybe you’ve find yourself in similar boat as I was in. You wonder why people don’t respect you, you wonder why you are always doubting and lacking trust, you wonder why you aren’t enough.
I am here to tell you two things. One, you are more than enough. Don’t just take it from me; take it from the man who created you. Two, maybe it’s time to stop focusing on the negative, to stop the self hate and to start loving yourself.
So how do you learn to love yourself, you may ask? I am going to give you a few of the many things I did when I started this process almost two years ago.
Changing your attitude toward yourself is hard; trust me. I’m confident that you have probably stood in front of a mirror and ripped yourself to shreds; I know it can’t just be me. This is the hardest habit to beat. And yes, it is a habit. So what can we do instead? I used to stand in front of a mirror and thank God for everything about myself, good and bad.
This is the most practical to love yourself. Write down ten things you are good at. For example, “I am a good listener.” Hang them all over your room, bathroom mirror or wherever you will see it and read them once in the morning and once at night. I believe that you are what you think, and if you are thinking about the good things instead of the bad, you will love yourself a little bit more each day.
My favorite way I have learned to love myself is by trying new things. This can range from learning to paint or going hiking at an unfamiliar spot, volunteering or even trying new foods. Exploring is fun and it is a great way to find something new that you love doing, that might turn into one more thing you love about yourself. You might even find a new passion along the way.
These are just a few of the many ways you can learn to love yourself again. It’s not an easy journey, but take heart; God is with you and I am cheering you on!
What are some other ways you love on yourself? Big or small, I want to hear them all.
Also, please feel free to contact me or leave a comment if you have any questions about my journey. This is a very brief snapshot of a very large picture.