Do you love yourself?
Really and truly, do you? Someone on Twitter sparked off this thought in my head when she asked the TL to list 10 things they loved about themselves. Quite fascinating experiment, actually – a few people (read: me) found it difficult to put their feelings to words.
Imagine being able to express love for everyone except you… that’s not good enough and it is unfortunately, common.
The Good Lord gave us two commandments to sum up all the laws, the words of the prophets and sacrifices we could ever imagine
⁃ love the Lord your God
⁃ Love your neighbour
Something’s missing right? Yeah. The third commandment wrapped in the second commandment – “…as yourself”. Remember that one?
A friend of mine had a poster up on her cupboard in university. It simply said – LoveJoy:
I feel the arrangement is a bit off. Remember when John asked how we could claim to love God without loving our brothers? 1 John 4:20. Yeah. Add my question to that – How can you love others without loving yourself first?
Self love is not selfishness
What is selfishness? Oxford Dictionary explains it as “lacking consideration for other people; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleas”
Lacking consideration for others is not what we’ll be doing here. No one is an island.
What then is Self Love?
Self love is treating yourself with patience and kindness and respect – self love is speaking to yourself with confidence and gentleness and being disciplined. Self love is admitting your fuckups and working to make things right. Self love is letting go – letting go of the guilt and keeping no record of wrongs. Self love is telling yourself the truth and protecting your energy. Self love is not deliberately hurting yourself. Self love is not reducing who you are or dimming your brightness! Self-love is being the light and shining your light.
Self love is holding yourself accountable and being responsible. Self love is knowing when to switch trains and knowing when to turn back. Self love is knowing when to stop, when to start and when to keep moving.
Self love is you hoping in, believing, trusting yourself. No matter how many times you fail or fall or falter – self love is picking yourself back up again.
How do you love someone you know nothing about?
Eh? Let’s do this. Let’s study ourselves.
1. Schedule a date with yourself (and the Holy Spirit Who brings all things to your remembrance). If you can – go out. Somewhere that makes you happy and is perfect for thinking.
⁃ Take a notebook and a pen.
⁃ Go on your self-love date and answer those questions. Be completely honest with yourself. Totally, Freely.
2. While you’re preparing for your date, identify people who love and respect you and ask them any of these questions:
I admire ______ and ______ about you. It inspires me to be/think/do better. Can you tell me something you admire/like about me?
If I could continue doing/saying/being one thing for the rest of my life, what would you recommend?
I’m being sent off to an island for 3 months. What are the 3 things you think I’d miss the most from my regular life?
There’s nothing wrong with finding insight through other people, but you still need to look deep within. Deep deep deep.
Now that I’ve met myself…
Treat yourself right. If you’re in a relationship with someone else, what is the one thing you value from that person that makes all the difference? Give it to yourself! There is nothing as beautiful as being able to do for you. Nothing.
The one key lesson I’ve learned about love is seen in John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave…”
How about that, sis? How about that? How about you give yourself room? How about you give yourself the strength to flourish? How about you give yourself the willingness to stick with things? How about you give yourself love? Pure, undiluted love?
What happens when I see things about myself that I don’t like?
⁃ Fix it.
⁃ Eliminate it.
This is where the patience and firmness of self-love comes in. Give yourself Coach Carter pep talks if you must, but you need to make decisions and respect yourself enough to stick with these decisions. I love the MSG translation of the Bible (if you no know before, now you do) and I particularly love the fruit of the Spirit as explained there. Particularly longsuffering and temperance of the KJV fame – a willingness to stick with things and able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
Love is a journey and not a bus stop. Wake up every morning and choose to love yourself. How about that? A 3rd Person pep-talk to help close this out?
“Omozele, we didn’t do so well yesterday, but I love you. I love you and I believe in you and I know that we will make today work. God loves you, I love you. My beautiful self”
Put your name there. Add your own affirmations. Protect your energy. Love yourself.
A big shout out to the sisters T&T over at LifeWithTwoTees for inspiring this post!
Love and Light,