I’ve always had a pretty healthy self-esteem thanks to my mom. I grew up knowing I was loved, valued and purposed. But there were periods of time in my life where I struggled with liking who I was. My faults, shortcomings and weaknesses kept my mind pretty busy.
It is still an on-going process but I am growing in my capacity to not only love others but myself as well.
How about you? Do you love yourself? Do you like yourself? How do you know?
Of course our automatic knee-jerk response to questions like these is “Yes”. We don’t dare let anyone know we have any issues with our own selves’ right? I mean it’s one thing to have issues with a spouse, or a parent; but to have issues with your own self??? Now that’s crazy talk!! It’s like we’re acting as a traitor and our own worst enemy.
Let me start by saying that in order to assess how you feel about yourself you have to be willing to be honest. If you’re not willing to be honest there’s no point in digging deeper. Jesus says that the truth will set you free and I have found that to be so true in my own life.
But before the truth can set you free, it’s gonna hurt a little.
Actually a lot. That’s the reason we don’t like facing these types of questions. The reason we avoid digging deeper. It’s what causes us to self-deflect instead of assuming responsibility for our own junk.
As I’ve mentioned before we don’t like pain. It can be painful to look inside your heart and take an honest look at your shortcomings. But we know that truth + pain = freedom. It may take a while to get there but the only way out is thru.
How can you tell if you love/like yourself? I don’t know if there is any easy way to tell but you can start by asking a few questions.
How do you act when you make a mistake? Are you easily embarrassed? Do you bounce back from disappointments quickly knowing that in the grand scheme of things you’re still loved, purposed and valued? Are you always meditating on your faults? Do you carry a lot of shame? What is your self-talk like? Do you say things like “I’m such a loser,” or “I hate my (fill in the blank)” often? Or are you loving and kind to yourself, constantly reminding yourself that you’re trying your best and getting better every day?
Learning to love yourself is a life-long process. Instead of trying to figure out your worth in someone else’s eyes you need to know firstly how much God loves you and then secondly grow in love towards yourself.
Let’s face it; you and I are never going to be perfect. We all have annoying habits and things we don’t like about ourselves and we will always miss the mark somehow but that doesn’t mean we should be continuously down on ourselves.
So what’s the solution for those of us struggling with our confidence level? I’d say start with learning about how much God loves you. A few years ago I did a two year study on the love of God using my concordance, a bible and a lot of Christian resources. I also decided to take some time off from dating during this time to minimize distractions.
Over those two years a lot of changes happened in my life. This blog was birthed, God awakened some forgotten dreams in my heart, and I grew in my capacity to love others. But it was not all roses; there were some painful discoveries and sad things that happened too. Overall there was sunshine and rain.
Am I saying you should take this exact same approach in your self-love journey? Not necessarily, you have to find out what works for you. As I’ve said before there are no formula’s for our walk with God. What works for one person may not exactly work for the other and what worked for you in one season may not work in a new season. Ask God what the right plan of action is for you.