For most of my life, I have not really liked myself. I just sort of put up with me like an intolerable sibling that you wish you could shake but know there is no way. I secretly wished I was more intelligent, more witty, more pretty, more accomplished and just more. When I experienced rejection, disappointment or heartbreak subconsciously I attributed it to the fact that I was not enough. Yet when things went my way, it must have been dumb luck because I was not really sure how it happened to me.
I hid my distaste for myself pretty well, you would never know it to interact with me or even as my friend.
It was not something you could easily see and I always said self affirming and confident comments concerning myself but I was hiding. In hindsight, I do not believe I was intentionally dishonest, I just did not know me and I just said what I thought I was supposed to say not what I really, truly felt. The truth of it all was that not only did I not like me, I actually hated myself.
Can you relate to any of this?
It can be tough to love yourself in this world. This world encourages comparison, materialism and accomplishment. The house of self-worth and self-love is often built on the shaky foundation of image, positions, relationships and possessions. It is conditional tied to outcome and not intrinsic. So, I love myself based on conditions, because I have this car, this job, this opportunity, this partner, even if my hair looks cute today, it is based on external things, conditions outside of who we truly are, which is dangerous. Oftentimes, the shaky house must come crashing down for us to discover what it truly means to love oneself. We can then see the foundation for what it truly is, weak and flimsy. And then begin to build our house on a foundation that is unshakable.
A big part of loving yourself is knowing yourself. Well that creates a problem because many of us will not take the time to get to know ourselves, slow down from the rat race, the continuous checklists, appointments, events and need to dos in order to spend some alone time. I know that life all too well, I had no idea who I was, had no interest in getting to know me, I much preferred hearing how others experienced me. Until the day came, where I had no choice but to face myself and get to know who I actually was, the good, the bad and the ugly. One of the most fascinating parts about learning oneself is that it is a lifelong journey, you will evolve, change and progress and learn more about yourself as time goes on. Each lesson learned and opportunity provides an experience to love yourself more.
Why is self love so important?
Simply because it affects everything in your life, the way you see yourself will affect how you see God, the world and others. It will affect your ability to follow God and do His will. It will affect your capacity to serve others. It will determine the presence or absence of joy in your life. It will dictate your friends, your job, your surroundings and even the spouse that you marry. It will affect what type of parent you will be or currently are and how you will raise your kids, it will determine how you show up in situations, what you permit and what you do not allow. It will determine your ability to achieve the purpose God has for you in this world.
The awesome part about this journey is that God does not leave us alone to figure this out, He would much prefer that you see yourself through His eyes with His outlook. As our creator, He can provide detail and context that you cannot possibly understand. The best way to understand and fully optimize anything is to understand the purpose and instructions for use from its creator.
Let’s take a look at how God sees us to see how it measures up to how we think about ourselves.
First God, formed and knitted us in our mother’s wombs, He determined how you would look, the way your eyes would look, your smile and your hands, your temperament and your laugh. He created all of that. In all of his time, God has NEVER made a mistake, never created something that was just OK. Everything he creates is good so by process of elimination that must mean you are good too.
God also says that we are his masterpiece created to do good works. Mona Lisa is probably one of the most well known masterpieces in the world. Painted by Leonardo Da Vinci, the original is housed in the Louvre in Paris, France with armed guards, under climate controlled LED bulletproof glass. The original is worth nearly a billion dollars, the Mona Lisa has been imitated, reproduced and even spoofed but there is only one. That is how God sees you as His masterpiece, He created only one of you and you are priceless to Him so much so He gave Himself up for you.
When there is an exchange that takes place, it demonstrates equal value between the two items in question. To God, He believes your life, your worth and value is comparable to His own. What incredible love….
When you see yourself through the eyes of God, it is no longer about where you measure up, it is all about the inherent value that you have just by being His child, His offspring.