“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. Matthew 22: 36-38
Recently God has led me on the journey of learning to love myself and as I go into this journey I have already learned so much. I know it’s so cliche to say but loving yourself is so key to experiencing a change in yourself and your life. Whether your trying to attract a specific person into your life, get your ex back, get a raise, start a business or expand a business, do more fulfilling work or just have a more fulfilling life, surprisingly enough, self-love is a key factor in it all.
The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31
For me, self-love has become the missing piece with my relationship with God because I believed what God said but I didn’t believe it for me. I didn’t believe it in my core that I was worthy of His unconditional love and I still felt that I needed to “deserve” it.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
And this is all subconsciously. On the surface, I thought I believed it and some days I didn’t but it’s not until God really opened up this journey for me that I really started understanding, reprogramming, and accepting His truth, unapologetically. I am now 33 (almost 34, in 2 weeks) and I am just understanding and getting this even though I always heard about loving yourself.
I’m going to let you in on a secret though… to truly love yourself, you have to love God. You find yourself when you find God.
When I first started this journey, I was searching for something and hiding from God. Although if you asked me if I was hiding from God I would have said “no” but the truth was, I was. I was separated from my husband and on the way to divorce, happily. And I felt guilty. But that is all another post.
But what I found in the world’s journey of self-love is that it was all focused on self (shocker huh lol). They were missing the major piece, which is God. How can we edify the same mind and body that self-destruct us?! I felt it was a vicious cycle and where is the release?? The release is identifying what God says about us, what He believes about us, and who He is because we are made in His image.
This quest is not apart from learning to Love God as he commands… “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’” Mark 12:30
Honestly, I think I did think I loved myself, I mean I considered myself a pretty confident person but as I actually been on this journey I started to realize that I didn’t. I think most people think they love themselves because they are confident but I can almost guarantee that no matter where you are in life, a self-love journey will take you deeper mentality, spiritually, and physically. But the missing link is God.
So for those starting, here are some points to get started…
Commit to the Journey
I know a lot of people will say that you start loving yourself by “treating yourself well” or “accepting yourself” but for me, that didn’t work or at least not long term or ongoing. I felt like that was more of a struggle and I felt more resistance to that. As I’ve learned to “be still” through meditation, then I’ve been able to get into more of a flow and allowing space.
There is definitely an obvious place and necessity to start treating yourself well and of course, accepting yourself but again I believe everything begins with making the decision and commit that no matter what you are going to experience this journey and growth, even when it’s hard, hurts, or don’t make sense. It’s asking God to help you, strengthen you, give you the resolve to press forward in His truth of who you are.
Remember your working to renew your mind, change your thought patterns about yourself and your life and it can be exhausting at times. I honestly don’t know how people do it apart from God’s strength. Sometimes on this journey, it will not make sense and it can get exhausting mentally trying to reprogram your mind new beliefs because your mind will reject them at first.
So I would say to first commit to the journey of loving yourself. Yes! Journey… so that should help you feel better that it’s not about making it anywhere but to instead every day progressively move in that direction of loving God so that you can love your self.
Affirmations to start…
Affirmations are statements that you affirm to yourself. Now start with the affirmation “I love myself” and/or “I am loved”. Say it over and over and over and again. Outloud and in your head, in meditation, in the mirror, while driving, while walking, working, etc. Say it! No matter what! No matter how it feels because it will feel funny at first. You’ll also start to get some resistance.
What this statement did/do for me?! As a Christian, the Holy Spirit started to speak to me. When my thoughts would fight back “no you don’t”, or “how could you”, or “what about this”, the Holy Spirit would/will start whispering His truths in my ear, “you are fearfully and wonderfully made”, “you are My masterpiece”, “you are very loveable”, “you are CHOSEN”, etc. So basically when I used this simple affirmation to affirm for myself, God started to reaffirm and the foundation was being built from God’s word, His UNDENIABLE TRUTH!
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us,who can be against us? Romans 8:31
While I’m saying these I think about God’s love for me and most times I say it but honestly when your first trying to gain control over your thoughts than I needed quick short go to affirmation.
Ways to say them:
First thing in the morning, gratitude then “I love myself and I am loved by the King”.
Take 5-10min in the day and quiet your mind (through meditation or deep breathing) and say these affirmations.
In the mirror. Look yourself in the eyes and say “I love you”, “You are loved” and compliment yourself.
Allow and Accept
Saying one or both of those affirmations will seem like nothing at first and weird. It will even feel not worth it. Your mind will fight you on these words because it wont to believe them. It will try to give you all the reasons you can’t love yourself, mistakes you made, flaws, etc. It will bring up people who treated you in nonloving ways that were supposed to love you but keep saying them, over and over and over again.. out loud and in your head. No matter what your doing, say it!
To allow means to allow the resistant thoughts to come, don’t fight against them but accept them and continue to imprint that “I love myself” regardless. For instance, you’re saying “I love myself” and your mind is like “what about your weird big toe, you don’t love that”, “but your too fat”, etc. You accept it by saying “yes, I LOVE how God created me, I am made in God’s perfect image”. Drown out the negative thoughts with a positive affirmation, with His truth.
At this time, while you’re reprogramming your mind to love and accept yourself, all of you. Just focus on the affirmations, not on choices that you might have made or are making that are unloving. That will come.
Analyze and Adjust
As you focus on these affirmations and your body starts to accept it, your body (for me it was the Holy Spirit) will start talking to you and because you are becoming more in tune with yourself, you start to hear it more, hear Him more, recognize His voice… LISTEN! This is when you’ll start making changes naturally. The Holy Spirit will guide you, teach you, and direct you. As you feel yourself with love, God’s love, everything else that contradicts it has to leave.
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have told you. John 14:26
Your body starts talking to you by feelings and resistances. As you flow throughout your day, feel it out, observe it. What feels good and what brings up resistance or a feeling of uncomfortability? Some you can separate from and some you have to find another way to adjust, like if it’s your job lol…
As people, we are not to live solely by our feelings, which is why we need to get the Word into us so that Holy Spirit can guide us based on the truth we put into our bodies. But God did give us feelings for a reason and as Christians we often times ignore our feelings and in the world, we often times follow our feelings which both often lead us in the wrong direction, the direction of guilt, shame, and regret.
So if you normally hang with critical or negative people, you will naturally start feeling resistance towards them because you guys energy is not on the same level anymore.
When you first start feeling the resistance towards your “normal” things, you may not be ready to make the physical change yet. It’s okay. Continue to say your affirmation, constantly, still over and over and over again. As I have begun to dig further into God’s love, I’ve found that God is gentle in the way He loves us. Patient. Encouraging. So in turn, this is how we should treat ourselves. See… this is the TRUE JOURNEY of “SELF”- LOVE! It’s bigger than “me” and so, therefore, the foundation is solid.
Forgive and Be Gentle to Yourself
Apart from loving yourself is learning to forgive yourself and being gentle with yourself. As you start to reprogram your mind, as I said before, it will challenge you with old past choices and current choices that you may make that is not very loving like, smoking or something, your mind might say “if you love yourself, then why you put that in your body and you know it’s not good for you”. Then you can start saying, “your right, I’m so stupid, etc.”. It sounds funny but it’s how our mind works and us. But don’t. Proclaim God’s goodness.. “I am God’s masterpiece”, “I am fearfully & wonderfully made”, “God loves and accepts me, just as I am”. Than continue… “I am loved, I love myself, I am loved, I love myself, I am loved, I love myself… “.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26
Remember your choice to love you right where you are. Just as you are. Unconditionally. Flaws in all. Perfectly imperfect. With no requirements. Full acceptance. JUST AS GOD LOVES YOU!
This is a simple way that I found that has helped me really kick off my self-love journey and when I’m feeling flustered, I default to “I am loved” and “I love myself”. I also say “I am love”.
In essence, as a Christian, I found that the journey to loving one’s self is learning to love God. As you fall in love with God, you fall in love with yourself. It is contradicting to think you can have one without the other. This “self-love” leads you to want to “love your neighbor”. If you find that you’re becoming selfish in your self-love journey then you missed the mark.
As you do this small exercise, the results are magical both inside and out.
I challenge you to do it for at least 21 days in a row. I also recommend this book, called “Love Yourself Like Your Life Depended on It”. I have it on audiobook and listen to probably like once a month. It’s really short but it made me be more consistent with saying it and seeing the results.
Next post will be talking about HOW to love yourself…
Make sure you leave your comments below. I would love to hear how it goes for you.
If your having trouble letting go of something in your life, whether temporarily or permanently, be sure to check out my post on “The Art of Letting Go”
Many Blessings and Love.. India