Love. Happens to be the word of the month right? Isn’t it crazy though, that love usually describes a majority of things like French fries, family members, friends, our children, husbands, but rarely when love is thought about is it your own face that pops up.
We were brought up in a world that if we thought about ourselves we were considered selfish and then it would be proved in the word-bible- that self love is evil. Obviously, if you’re all about yourself and could care less about anyone else around you that’s ugly.. But, loving yourself and thinking of yourself is not evil. Or selfish.
Let’s get into this then:
Do you like yourself?
Do you love yourself?
Did you know that if you answered, “no” or “not fully” to either question it could be the root to many other problems or issues you may be facing?
Because if it isn’t rooted in love… It’s rooted in the opposite. Which is always related to fear.
Mark 12:31 gives us the second greatest commandment from Jesus himself, “love your neighbor as yourself.”
This is the only place in scripture that is the closest to saying, “love yourself” and notice he didn’t even make it as a prerequisite to loving others or say these were the three greatest commandments.. He said first, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.”
If we truly loved God in that way I think He believed we would be able to reflect the love He has given us and be able to love ourselves well and then in turn love our neighbors as ourselves.
I honestly don’t feel we do though. Sure we love ourselves, but it’s conditional. No mercy, grace, forgiveness, and then we end up loving people around us with this same love. When it should be at a standard that Papa loves from.
If you don’t have love how can you give it? If it’s to a certain measure it’s given at a certain measure even if you’re thinking you love greatly and you probably do, but it can be greater still.
So what is loving yourself? ask yourself to answer this from your actual reality, don’t sugar coat it with all the right things to say if that’s not how you truly feel, get vulnerable.. Just because you may know the truth doesn’t mean it has become your reality yet.
(Each one of us has a different definition of what this may look like because we are all DIFFERENT. So if you find your definition looking outcast don’t freak out.. It’s actually good to figure out what you believe and why instead of jumping on bandwagon beliefs and really have no backing to the why. Understand? 😊)
To me, it’s being thankful and appreciative of who you are, how you look and who He’s created you to be. As well as, making sure you’re taking care of you in every area.
You see love requires action here, it’s not some thing you’re trying to get. It’s an action expressed to others through your living.
Ok you’ve answered what your definition to what loving yourself is, now I want to ask:
HOW do you love yourself? What’s the normal action taken behind your definition?
I’ve taken the liberty to write down a list of a general “how to” but still yours could be more personalized according to you.. This is just a basic skeleton of how to love yourself:
* Make sure you have a solid connection with your source of love Papa..
– You were made by love, from love and for love. Spending time with Him helps you connect more to yourself because in those time He usually reveals something He loves about you and how could you not end up loving the same thing in response? The more you draw closer to Him the more transformation happens to take place (within the areas that are hard for you to accept and love about yourself)
* Take care of your body, your finances, your personal space and your time.
– eating right and exercising alone will make you love yourself because of the crazy effect eating healthy has- try it, eat something not so healthy and watch how you feel afterwards, mostly you’ll feel like a slob and contemplate if you’re good enough for whatever reason. Then try eating something fresh and healthy and afterwards you feel energized, happy and confident, it’s true.- feed yourself well.
-getting the right amount of sleep and the endorphins that get released from working out. Are equally important having same effects as good on you.
– financially stable people tend to love themselves more because they feel less stressed and pressured with bills and other financial responsibilities. I know we happen to love shopping, but let’s not allow that label of taking all of daddy’s money or our spouses to hinder our financial breakthrough or freedom in being responsible stewards with our money.
– taking care of your personal space and time is vital. If you tend to run late or are disorganized in your time you relay this sense that you aren’t worthy enough to be taken care of in these areas. When you respect your time and other people’s time and space you show yourself worthiness.
* get around loving people.
– people who will not only champion you in loving yourself but love themselves and you makes the love in the atmosphere sticky.. And it will end up all over you. Which may cause a shift in perspective of yourself.
* Do what you love.
-work takes up a big part of your day. Sometimes it may be working with others or it may be just a small office alone.. Or working from home as a housewife, babysitter or mother. If you are not loving what you constantly have in your daily routine you will have a dreadful feeling. Doing what you love or finding a way to love what you are currently maybe seasonally doing will prove yourself worthy and feeling loved once again.
* create a balance in your schedule.
-it can’t be all work and no play or all play and no work.
Which stinks cause we’d like to play all day for money but that’s not how it works ha. Even in busy schedules make time for YOU. And the things you want to pursue.
You have to take the lead in loving yourself aside from Papa. If you expect others to make you feel loved while you’re abandoning your own self.. It’ll never be enough.. Even Papa’s love. Yes that’s true. If you can’t love yourself in some level it will be harder to receive the Father’s love.
Learning to take responsibility in loving yourself, fills you up with the capacity to receive His love and in turn give it away.
A couple scriptures about how Papa loves us and sees us:
You’re the apple of his eye. Psalm 17:8 when he looks at you.. You’re all He sees.
“You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.” Song of Solomon 4:7 (my all time favorite scripture) I would sit there in my moments of not being comfortable enough with loving myself and would repeat this scripture over and over and by just the third or fifth time I was in tears because it became more real to me how much papa thought I was flawless. And how much He loved me.
Suggestion: Read all of Song of Solomon. Study it because it does have interesting comparisons but, it’s insanely romantic and so beautifully written. It makes me cry because that’s how much He loves us and sees us.
To Him.. We are perfect.
I want to take a moment right now to allow some breakthrough to take place..
I want you to write down what you’re uncomfortable loving about yourself, whether it be physical, a characteristic or ANYTHING dealing with you. Write it down. Don’t be “christianically” correct either, if it’s there write it down.
Don’t move on in reading this until you’ve done so…
When you’re finished read it.
Not one of you has an empty paper.. There are realities written on those pages.. Even if it’s the smallest thing.
Now, I want you to begin to pray for your ears, eyes, hearts and minds to be attentive to what Abba is saying.. And ask Him what His response is to this list of things or the one thing. Be patient, quiet your mind and listen. Begin to write His response to you on the same piece of paper.. And when you’re done save it. Re-read it. As many times as you have moments where it is a needed reminder.
We are all still growing daily. No one said we had to have it all together now. If anyone tells you they do, I’d be careful in trusting them ha. But honestly, we are well on our way. Pursue what it looks like to love you. 😊
Papa, thank you for love. For being love. You’re the greatest love we could’ve ever encountered. I pray we would come into a greater understanding and knowing about how to love ourselves to better be able to receive the love you have for us and to be able to give that love away. May your voice be the loudest one we hear. The voice of truth.. You are it all. Without you love doesn’t exist. Thank you Abba for you. In Jesus name, amen.
Tanisha Poni 💜