Do you ever wonder how to get a place where you feel like you are enough? How can you find this peace with yourself where you can accept and love yourself?
My tagline for this website is “loving yourself, loving other people and the planet we live on”. This is what I strive for. I am not there yet by any means – I don’t think love is a concept where we ever reach perfection, love is a constant work in progress.
Most of this blog focuses on the “how” – how we can grow in love and what it looks like practically. However, I wanted to take a moment and talk about the “why”. Today’s post will be all about loving ourselves and why I think it is important and what my values and rationale behind this is.
Self-love is a trend
Self-love has become an increasingly popular concept, there is a myriad of podcasts and articles about being kind to ourselves and if you head over to YouTube you can watch a vast number of videos showing people’s ‘self-care routines’. Pinterest is full of pretty hand-lettered quotes reading messages like “you are enough”, “you deserve love” or “being cherished is your birth right”.
I don’t think that these things are very helpful, I see them increasing a sense of entitlement and feeding our already selfish and self-absorbed nature. Yes, I do agree that every human being is precious – we are created in the image of God, that alone gives us value and worth. However, it does not give us ‘a right to happiness’.
You are not enough
When I talk about self-love I am coming from a different perspective. I don’t think that I deserve love. I am not enough. The Bible tells me that I have fallen short, that my heart is not pure but full of selfishness and rebellion and that the consequence of this is death. And when I am completely honest with myself, I know this to be true. When it comes down to it I am not a nice person. I am selfish, interested in my own wellbeing and image more than that of others. This has been especially evident to me since getting married. I love my husband more than I can express in words. And still do I sometimes hide my chocolate because I don’t want to share with him. You might think well chocolate justifies anything but that only shows that you are just as selfish as me (no offense). We are all wired in the same way, our hearts are full of selfish ambition and destructiveness. It is easy to deny this but we just need to look around to see that this is true. People cheat, gossip, bully, lie, steal, kill and torture. This is the human race. We are not good people. We are not enough.
Self-love = accepting truth = freedom
But the good news is that we are not left in this state. God offers us forgiveness, restoration and redemption. His grace is enough. Not me.
So, self-love for me is to accept truth and to remind myself of it constantly.
I am loved by God. I am His child. His grace is new every day. I don’t have to work for his approval, he has accepted me. I am precious in His eyes. My life has purpose in him. Because of Jesus’ death I am free. I am no longer motivated the approval of others or of society. God approves of me. I am no longer full of sin and shame, because of Jesus I am clean. I am no longer bound by addiction and strife but am completely satisfied by His love.
He is enough.
And because of this truth I can be kind to myself. I can say ‘oh well, that sucked but it does not define me’ when I fail. And I also don’t have to constantly try and prove to myself and others that I am worthy. I can let go. I am loved by the Almighty God – what other approval could I possibly need?! The more this knowledge becomes a truth I don’t only have in my head but hold in my heart, in my core the more I am free to let things go. To forgive. To stop worrying what other people think. I stop putting unrealistic expectations on myself. I stop judging myself. I can be kind and loving. And I can stop constantly thinking about myself. And that is incredibly freeing.