Loving yourself, no, truly loving yourself is the scariest and boldest decision you will ever make in this life. In order to truly love oneself like God intended will cost one absolutely everything. That is why I believe that although many of us believe that we love ourselves, the cost that one must pay in order to be truly free to love oneself is often too heavy for most. As a result, most people engage in “lets- pretend- we- love ourselves” or spend there lives chasing external things hoping that the next best or must have thing will finally make them feel worthy.
Loving yourself like God intended will require putting everything you have ever been told about yourself by those who love you, those who dislike you, those who never cared enough to love or dislike you, those who were cruel and mean to you because they were having a bad day or simply ignorant, on the altar. Loving yourself like God intended will demand that you uproot the unhealthy images of self-love modelled intentionally or unintentionally by those who came before you. Those who were probably wounded and as a result modelled an unhealthy image of self-love. Whether we like it or not, how we love ourselves is affected by what we saw in our homes, how did mum or dad love themselves, was it a healthy image of self-love, and how has it rubbed off on you? Also, how our parents showed us love also affects how we love ourselves.
Did your father only give you a nod when you passed in school; was he never home and simply treated you like a second thought? Did you mother imagining that she was making you more disciplined only affirm you when you were a perfect child, and as a result you now believe you are only worthy of love if you are perfect. Did your parents make you believe that it was only your sibling, the “family favourite”, who was worthy and thus the only way you could be accepted was if you acted and did things like him/ her. As a result, you now mistakenly believe that there is something wrong with you, that you are not enough. This is not to say that all parents or guardians were malicious, God love them, but sometimes they did not know better. So, you must discover what your story is, the childhood memory from home, school, church , the playground or TV that you have mistakenly allowed to define how you love yourself, that script you are playing on rewind that prevents you from truly loving yourself.
Yes, loving oneself will demand nothing short of critically interrogating and laying every belief system you hold, everything the world has communicated back to you about yourself, every lens you have ever used to look at yourself through, at the altar. It will require that you strip yourself bare. That you stand before yourself naked in spirit, all the pretences, all the illusions stripped to the side. It will demand that you truly look at yourself, everything that you think you love, everything that you think you hate about yourself and give it to God, that he may give you the lens through which he looks at you. God’s love is unconditional; we can never earn it as it is given freely. He loves you just as you are, and not how you imagine you should be in order to be “deserving”. Only then will you be truly free to love yourself as you are, beautiful and proud!
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