Loving ourselves is a hard concept, I mean as women we are so hypercritical of ourselves. WHY? What would happen if we all truly loved ourselves to the fullest? What if we started to see ourselves as God made us, in His image? I can only assume amazing things would emerge from us all.
One of the areas in making my comeback was to learn to love myself, I had lost myself in the craziness of life, motherhood, being a wife, moving, taking care of my husband, new jobs etc, I lost who I was and started to become someone I did not know. It wasn’t me and I did not like who I was turning into; I started to hate myself because of it. I hated when I lashed out, had anxiety and felt depressed. I hated that I could not get control. I hated my body too, I had gained weight from being on anti-anxiety and anti-depressants and I would look at pictures and think, well at least I was skinny back then. I wasn’t extremely overweight but I just didn’t like who I saw when I looked in the mirror. I had grown 2 dress sizes and was wearing stretch pants, and stretchy things, I hated pictures of myself and I knew other people noticed and that made me hate myself even more. It all actually had nothing to do with the weight it was about being genuinely happy, about genuinely loving myself, loving who God created me to be.
Mental health is a huge part of this. We must work on it just as much as we work out, read and better ourselves in other areas. It’s not just a mindlessly read your Bible every day kind of thing. You have to fight for it, and it will be hard and daunting and there will be days you just want to say this is just how I am I can’t change, but let me tell you, you can, you will and you’ll be so thankful you did.
We have to re-wire our brains in how we approach this life, our daily issues, disasters and the habits we create. Through my journey of discovering to love myself (funny even writing that). All the chaos, all the noise, the needs of everyone else, what if someone told you that you could actually help and meet everyone’s needs ten fold if you first loved yourself?
So how do you find the time, strength and courage to love yourself? I can only share what has worked for me and I think it’s different for everyone.
I love reading, which spurs learning and growing, I have devoured several books on the concept of loving yourself, power of the mind and how to be happy. I have attended conferences and learned more about psychology and the human mind. Secondly, I reached out to others and shared my heart, my struggles, my true raw feelings, which was powerful for me, because it is easy to keep all my ugly, true feelings inside, but to actually speak them out loud was so healing! It was an eye opener. We can choose to let unhealthy subconscious thoughts become what we really believe, or we can stop them at the door. I like to stop them at the door, kind of like a knock knock game, only now I don’t let them come in.
I was recently telling someone, how free my life has become by simply not giving fear much time, I focus on Scripture, empowering words, truth, joy, learning, change and growth. I acknowledge fear and negative thoughts and then I simply say “goodbye for now.”
Think what would happen if we spent just as much time on powerful truths as we did on negative destructive thoughts.
I took this for a test drive and I must say it has been A LOT of work but so worth it, you get better as you go, and more and more freedom and truth is released, which is a pretty darn great feeling.
If I could make a habit out of destructive and negative words, ideas and thoughts, why couldn’t I make a habit out of empowering, truthful words and thoughts? It can be done. What if instead of seeing the Bible as one more thing to check off the to-do list, we actually read it and believed it? What if we actually believed we could change and be better. And don’t forget to celebrate along the way, even for the smallest things, when I was just first in my journey in learning to truly love myself, I would celebrate even the tiniest little victory, (and still do) soon you will look back and realize you have a grown a TON and you will genuinely love yourself.