I’ve lived my life so far thinking that I should run from the idea of self-love. After all, if I loved myself wouldn’t that just mean I am self-absorbed and prideful? A total snob?
The fact is, in fear of this, I’ve turned my focus to the opposite of that of self-love, taking”deny thyself” to a whole new level. Sure, being a wellness advocate I understand the idea of self-care… but I have sometimes forgotten that the first part of self-care begins with the way I view myself. I care for myself on the outside for the betterment of myself- but how am I speaking to myself in the quiet moments?
I’m Worth It
This belief that I should run from the idea of loving myself has fueled my anxious life for years and spurred me on to make many destructive decisions about how I care for and about myself. I’ve believed the lie that I am never enough, not worthy of a whole lot of anything. And this belief has driven me to become highly motivated (to the extreme) to always perform, to constantly output into other’s lives without taking the time to draw upon anything for my own good. This has probably fueled most of my life, frankly. The driving thought that I can “always be better…”
At my lowest point, I felt like there was no safe space away from my self-criticism. Even in my own home, alone with my own thoughts, this was the worst place I could find myself. Sound unhealthy, much? My own thoughts spoke so loudly against myself, I could have screamed. That’s when I knew I had to make a change. But I had no idea that simply turning toward how I valued myself would be such a game changer, such a critical turning point in my wellness journey.
A number of instances, people, scenarios and Godsent opportunities had finally brought me to this realization of how far I’d really fallen.
I knew I’d never find rest until I could rest in the knowledge that I was enough just the way I was. And I am! This is me. I am worthy of receiving grace, love, success, and all of that is okay. I may not always get what I want, but I was made for better purposes than that.
I kept thinking “Okay, I need a plan! A self-love plan… I don’t even know where to start or how to do this…” But there again, I was making things too difficult. I simply needed to start. To just begin.
So I just looked at myself in the mirror, face completely soaked in steaming hot tears and said to myself, “It’s gonna be okay. You’re worth it. Let’s get to work.”
The Real Life Change
We can all look at specific moments in our lives that have changed the game in one way or another. This was yet another one of those. Each life has several. This is just one – brief and monumental.
I definitely cannot continue to blog about my wellness passions without addressing the beauty and importance of self-acceptance, self-love, and the positive effects of that on physical and relational health.
Truth is, my relationships were beginning to rot away. I could feel it. As I tore down myself in every scenario, I was experiencing tunnel vision, not noticing the needs of others, not showing others unconditional love, not accepting the grace of my Creator, and for that matter, not giving my Creator any credit for creating me! Good grief.
My digestion, another topic, has begun to steadily improve with each day as I re-learn how to speak to myself. So much less upset. More on that later.
So can loving yourself help you love others? Yes, yes it can. And this is my key takeaway for myself, and also the message I want to spread on to you.
Don’t deny yourself day after day in the name of humility and self-sacrifice… and pretending to be awesome and unaffected.
Get right with yourselves, let the Creator show you what love looks like. You cannot be love until you know what love feels like.
Further Reading I found especially helpful!…