What Does it Mean to Have Self-Love?

Is it ok for me to like myself…or even….dare I say it, love myself?
What does that mean?
Does it mean I put up mirrors everywhere and walk around with my chest out and my head growing ever bigger? Does it mean I turn into a conceited, self-obsessed diva?

Maybe to some, but I have begun to see a different kind of self-love that is healthy and has been life-transformative. Growing up in a home where self-love was a dirty word and self-sacrifice was idealized I had to make some big mindset adjustments to allow me to love myself. Let me explain.

My parents are my heros. They are church planters, visionaries, the MOST self-sacrificing and loving and generous people I know. I grew up wanting to be just like them (to be honest, I still do), but as I grew up and started pushing myself, staying up late, waking early, barely eating, saying yes to everything, neglecting myself because I was too busy “serving others” things started to fall apart. In combination with that, I was always trying to be “humble”, always trying to underestimate myself, down play my talents and not take charge of situations because I didn’t want to be “conceited” (side note – you can be confident without being conceited…still learning that, but it’s true). This created a burnt out young woman with no confidence in herself – not a good combination for someone with big dreams and a big heart to see them accomplished!

You see, spending all I had on others may have SEEMED noble….until I would end up flat on my back, sick as a dog, unable to serve or give to anyone. It may have seemed completely selfless to give it all to others and burn the candle at both ends, until I had a nervous breakdown because the stress was too much to bear. And it may have seemed humble to not be assertive with what I wanted or to doubt my own greatness, but all it did was make me decide I couldn’t do things before I even tried them, or half-heartedly start something, all the while telling myself “I’m not good enough to do this!”. I was cutting my own legs out from under me in an attempt to be “humble” and then feeling frustrated because I wasn’t do anything with my life.

Then I learned about self-love.

For me, self-love means seeing yourself the way God sees you:
– Beautiful
– Full of potential and tasked with good works to perform
– Human, fragile, in need of rest and recharging

Once I began to see the value in valuing myself, my mood, productivity, fruitfulness and potential skyrocketed. Once I began to see that I am created in HIS image and capable of great things I began to try things I NEVER thought possible and believe that I can grow into a better person.  In all honesty, this is what’s at the CORE of why I am a fitness coach. I have so many women tell me that the would like to coach (or accomplish other great feats like lead ministries, go back to school, start businesses), but feel 1) too tired to add anything more to their life and 2) don’t think they are capable enough to be good at it.
Bull Shit.
1) Take care of yourself – energy and productivity increases.
2) Believe in yourself – you will be surprised at how capable you are.
God has most certainly given you gifts, talents, dreams and, well… life for a reason – when you neglect yourself you limit your ability to enjoy and use those. When you doubt yourself whether from a false sense of humility or because of past failures – you limit the potential for your life. I have seen it in my own life and in countless others and I am taking a stand and saying it’s time for some self-love.

So, call me a heretic if you like, but I believe in self-love & self-care. I believe it is an act of worship to God. I believe we were created to be amazing and do incredible things! God is honored when we are humble enough to care for our bodies and realize we aren’t God, and bold enough to attempt great things because even though we aren’t God we have the spark of the divine in us and the Holy Spirit empowering us.

Believe in yourself.
Care for yourself.
Honor God with your life and your talents.

Comments

  1. I think this post is so well said!!! I remember when I lived in Argentina, our team leader had us take one day of “recreation” or re-creation a week. He said we needed to recreate ourselves with God…rest, spend time with God and enjoy the life God gave us, otherwise we’d be useless for the rest of the week of intense ministry. Although it’s not possible to take a full day as a mom now, the principle still stands. We need to recreate ourselves in God and that takes rest and care of ourselves. And God truly has gifted each one of us with strengths and when we’re able to recognize our strengths, I think we’re better equipped to serve Him!!

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