Hey y’all. This will probably be my last post dedicated to self-love. I’ve written about this countless times; it’s clearly something I’m passionate about. But when is enough, enough? When do we reach the end goal of finally loving ourselves? When will we have it all figured out? I believe the answer is ‘never.’ We won’t ever have all of the answers. I firmly believe that life is stumbling block and we just have to keep moving forward. There will be moments of clarity but for the most part we’re moving through the dark.
The reason that this is going to be one of my last self-love posts is because I’ve had my moment of clarity. This is going to be personal obviously, but I’ll try to make this general so everyone can benefit from my thoughts.
I don’t blog about my religious views; rarely do I write about what I believe in. I do so, not because I’m ashamed, but because I want everyone to be able to relate to my posts. I don’t feel I’m compromising my religious views because I am influenced by my religion. My wisdom and knowledge comes from my beliefs. In this post I will be blogging about my relationship with Christ because my moment of clarity about self-love came from church this week. Though, I encourage you to read my entire post because I will generalize to provide maximum benefit. I am nervous to open up about my personal beliefs but I have to be honest with y’all.
I was texting with my super cool pastor, who actually encouraged me to start my blog in the first place, and we were talking about self-love. He asked me a hard question and didn’t ask for my immediate response. He wanted me to ponder it for awhile. So for a couple of weeks now this question has been answer-less and nagging at the back of my mind. He first sent me a quote from Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller, “The overwhelming majority of time, I spend thinking about myself, pleasuring myself, reassuring myself, and when I’m done there’s nothing left to spare for the needy. Six billion people live in this world and I can only muster thoughts about one.” His thought was that we love ourselves too much. At first I was thinking that my pastor didn’t get it. He couldn’t get it, because he’s not a woman living in a society that is forcing an unattainable standard of beauty down our throats. But that wasn’t the point he was trying to make. I was viewing self-love through a one-sided lens that’s pretty close minded.
My pastor then asked the hard question that hasn’t left my mind. He asked, “If we assume the Bible addresses us as we are (without holding back) then why, if self-love/acceptance are so critical for our well being, then why does God in his Word never address them?” Obviously this bothered me because self-love is something that I’m passionate about. It’s ingrained in me. It’s part of who I am. In the first five minutes of meeting someone I’ll find a way to utter the words “love yourself” if it’s the last thing I do. How could the Bible not mention self-love? I started thinking that in biblical times they didn’t understand why it’s so hard to love yourself. But those thoughts are wrong because the Bible is transcendent, we use it because it applies to every generation and future generations. It’s God-breathed and holy. The Bible doesn’t mention self-love because it should be a no-brainer.
In church on Sunday, we read the verse Mather 14:62 “And Jesus said, I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” My pastor said that if we believe that Jesus IS, then it changes the way we view ourselves, the way we view others, the way we view essentially everything. See, Christ loved us before He knew us. We find our identity in Christ, (1 Corinthians 6:17, 1 Corinthians 12:27) we are a part of Him. So when we question self-love we’re questioning our love for Christ. It’s not only that He designed us; it’s that He knows every deep, dark thought that we’ve thought and will think and He still loves us (Ephesians 2:4-5). His love is free, never-ending, faithful, steadfast, I could go on. There is beauty in that regardless of your religions affiliations. So after the sermon I went to my pastor and told him that I had the answer to his question. God doesn’t mention self-love in the Bible because He loves us enough and if we find our identity in Him we should never question our love for ourselves. But we are sinful creatures who are quick to forget His boundless love and acceptance, and continue on this path of frustration.
Time to generalize. I found this quote from Find Your Happy Daily Mantras by Shannon Kaiser, I’ll share the page that I found insight. “Day no. 295 I ALLOW MYSELF TO JUST BE WHO I AM”.
“Love yourself in this very moment. As you are, no pretenses, no forced interactions. There is nothing for you to say and do. There is nothing for you to be. Accept who are. If you believe you have to wait to accept yourself, when you lose weight or grow your hair out, or get the job or the relationship, or finally receive the financial support, you are keeping yourself on the outside looking in on your own life. If you have ever lost the weight or had more money or were in a relationship, you know nothing would change. Self-acceptance comes from within. It does not come from the experiences outside yourself. Drop your list of expectations and see how beautiful and awesome you really are.
I no longer resist accepting myself, for I am an expression of love. I enjoy showing the world who I really am. I am love. I drop my list of expectations and accept myself as I am. I allow myself to be who I really am.”
This is quite beautiful and doesn’t actually stray too far from what my religious views. Because we are Christ’s expression of love. Really y’all, why hold back from loving yourself? What are you gaining by putting expectations on yourself? You are really only gaining more stress and sadness. Let go of those expecations and find the love within yourself. We can do this. We can love and accept ourselves.
This journey that we’re all on is difficult, to say the least. We face many struggles. I look to my God when in pain. I encourage y’all to accept the free gift from God. If you don’t want to, it’s your choice, but He still loves you regardless. You can turn away from Him but that won’t take away His love. It’s a free gift and we can’t get rid of it. If you’ve gone this route and didn’t find what you’re looking for, I encourage y’all to try again and take it slow. Happiness and self-love isn’t instant. But there’s relief in the fact that we can screw up time and time again and Christ still loves us. We gotta show ourselves and others the same love.
I hope y’all learned something for this post. Thank you for making it to the end and for letting me be open about something so personal. I hope we all can find clarity while stumbling through life. Have a good week y’all.