#loveyourself

love 2It’s true. You do have to love yourself before you can love others well.

I can remember the time when I didn’t love myself. I didn’t realize it. I sure wouldn’t admit it. I wouldn’t believe you if you told me.

So how did I realize it?

Little by little. I really didn’t realize it until I started to LOVE myself..accept myself. To know I am accepted. To know I am worth loving.

Jesus eroded away every reason I had for disliking myself. (I use the word “dislike” because “hate” is too strong a word.)

How did I start?

I forgave myself.

Forgave what?

Lots of things. All the hidden skeletons. All the regrets. All the mistakes. All the things I should have known better and did anyway. Even some things that were not my fault but I took ownership anyway.

What did the “dislike” look like?

It was all the thoughts and self-comments that said….

“I can’t believe I did that!” (in disgust)

“I have ugly arms”

“I am ugly, I am fat; I am stupid”

“Nobody wants to be around me”

“I have no talent”

“I can’t do anything right”

“I deserve that” (if it was anything bad)

“If I do this perfect maybe someone will notice me”

“If I do this perfect I will be somebody”

“If I do this right I won’t be a failure”

“If I didn’t have bad luck I would have no luck at all!” (yeah, that’s a song…I’m singing)

It wasn’t just thoughts.

It came out in how I expected to be treated.

I expected:   to be ignored, to be rejected, to fail…

It also came out in how I treated others.

“I’m not good at relationships” “I don’t have many friends” “I’m ok alone” “I don’t need anyone”

The relationships would become strained. Sometimes I would self-destruct or sabotage. It was easier. (Did I realize I was doing this??? NO!)

I also blamed others for the difficulty of a strained relationship.

The worst is when it affects your kids. Not loving myself led to perfectionism. A perfectionist mother is difficult to live with. The relationship becomes performance based. Criticism and judgment become the norm all in the name of “helping”. That is really code for “fixing”. When you feel like you need to be fixed it’s easy to try to fix others.

It’s hard to forgive others when you won’t or can’t forgive yourself. Constant negative self-talk only increases the unforgiveness and perfectionist behavior.

Warning signs:

Negative self-talk

Grudges

Difficulty forgiving

Justifying grudges

Addictions

Perfectionism

Being critical of everyone else AND yourself

Judging everyone’s weaknesses by your strengths

How do you fix it?

  1. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you.
  2. Be aware of your thoughts and intercept every negative one
  3. Intentionally say positive things about yourself. Find ways to compliment yourself.
  4. Forgive yourself. Say it out loud! “I forgive myself for….”. Start off easy at first. Then you will find lots of ways you let yourself down. Forgive yourself for each of them.
  5. Ask the Holy Spirit to tell you TRUTH about yourself.
  6. Find scriptures in the BIBLE (since that contains the truth about you…all the positive things) and write them down, say them out loud, put your name in them.

Example: “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” “I am accepted/adopted”

  1. Be patient. It takes time. You didn’t become this negative about yourself overnight. It will take months even years to undo the negative habits. But it will happen.

Then one day…you won’t even have a negative thought about yourself all day.

And the best part….You don’t expect the worst out of yourself or people. You can trust easier. Relationships are easier. You don’t feel rejected all the time.

A negative thought is easily identified and the truth readily applied.

You can’t love others until you love yourself.

Matthew 22:36-40 36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37 Jesus said to him, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

You WILL love others to the same extent as you love yourself.

What does the OTHER side look like? (When you do #loveyourself?)

  1. Instead of perfectionism, you live in excellence. This is much more fun! You do your best. You improve on your worst. It is not performance driven. Not critical of yourself.
  2. Invest in yourself. Because you are worth it! You are valuable. For you, it may be exercise, reading books that challenge you and grow your abilities, or spend your resourced on yourself.
  3. Criticism becomes constructive instead of destructive. You can take criticism without falling apart or becoming defensive.

I’m sure there are lots more benefits haven’t named in my own life yet.

How are relationships affected?

  1. They heal!
  2. Communication is easier
  3. Your kids don’t have to perform to feel loved and accepted. They just know they are.

Can you imagine the environment when a kid reacts and acts from acceptance everyday than judgement and criticism or fear of rejection?????

  1. Since you accept yourself more readily, it’s easier to accept others even in their faults.
  2. More “grace” in relationship and a whole lot more “mercy”.

Try it. How many more benefits can you add?

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: