Be encouraged that you are unique and special and beautiful! Embrace who you are!
Loving myself was a process. It took time and patience with myself. I had to learn to be kind to myself. I had to learn to speak good things over myself. Self worth comes from knowing that you are not defined by your weaknesses, insecurities, flaws and past tendencies; although, learning those did help me check myself. My personal growth and maturity were developed when I decided to acknowledge my mistakes and mishaps in order to forgive myself for them. From that place of growth, I embraced and celebrated my strengths!
See yourself in the present. Gaze upon yourself in the mirror and learn to love what you see. I saw my scars as my reminder that I overcame. I saw my reflection as a testament of what God and I were developing. I understood how God made me beautifully and wonderfully.
Be encouraged that you were made, because there was a need for you. You are so valuable!
My self love journey broke me out of my comfort zone and exposed my brokenness. Loving myself is now a priority positioned after my first priority of loving God. My self love journey led me to journal to express my joy of writing and enjoy the therapeutic relief. Self love motivated solo movie nights and wardrobe additions. Self love supervised my money management and budgeting skills. Self love embraced singlehood as a time to invest in what God has in store for me. Bishop T. D. Jakes encouraged a crowd of single people to observe the season of being single as an opportunity to love yourself. I observed my season of being single as a time to love myself enough to be amazing all on my own. I focused on being the best version of myself with the expectation that in God’s perfect timing I would be prepared for a life of prosperity. Loving myself required practice. I had my work cut out for me dealing with myself. I was intentional in my discovery of what I needed to improve on. I had to break off bad habits and welcome good habits.
Be encouraged that you can love yourself better than anyone else can other than God.
I am honored to share the words of my sister in Christ, Kevon Wright. Be encouraged by her self love journey:
In a society, better yet, a world of disfigured statues of insecurity, how does one plant their feet in the concrete foundation of self love?
When I say disfigured statues, I mean the ones who consistently hide behind the mask and the false illusion they create for themselves. That mask can be anything. That’s a heavy phrase right?! Self love. What does that term even mean to onlookers coveting the vain imagery others flaunt, and wishing they had an ounce of confidence the other portrays? I’m not sure who coined the saying “beauty is only skin deep”, but I beg to differ. You must know how to be beautiful internally to radiate beauty externally.
It’s a beautiful thing when you can love yourself. I mean all of you! I mean 100%, 24/7, no one can tear me down, because I am so confident and built up, kind of love. I’m talking about when I wake up in the morning I love the crust that forms in my eye, the kinks in my hair from my head scarf slipping off and the dry raspy voice I tend to have in the a.m., type of love!
I admit I haven’t always loved myself in this way. I could blame my father not being in my life for positive affirmation, I could blame rejection, or losing myself in a relationship, or comparing myself to all the women who have “good hair”, coke bottles shapes and flawless skin.
Playing the blame game and the “woe is me” role is never healthy. What is healthy is finding the break down, the root of all the pain and reasoning behind self damnation. Self discovery may take a while, but it’s worth the time investment, and guess what? You can call in reinforcement. Who? God. The one who created you, uniquely you, on purpose.
During this process, surround yourself with positive things, and people, and listen to uplifting messages such as YouTube videos, podcast, and this channel. Realize that there is only one you. In fact, the Bible speaks in Psalms 139:14 on how wonderfully complex and marvelous we are. This is your strength to initiate self love. Look in the mirror and compliment yourself, quote an encouraging scripture, remind yourself of what’s so great about you.
I realize there is a fine line between vanity and self love, so balance is necessary. There will be days where you feel like giving up, where you feel worthless and unaccomplished. How do I know? I know, because today was one of those days for me. I stayed in the bed half the day eating junk food, upset about things I have the ability to change in my life, and some things I had no control over. I finally said a quick but sincere prayer that I could barely express, and God helped me to pry myself out of bed, do a store run, cook a healthy meal, complete house chores and pamper myself. Some may think this is minute, and has nothing to do with self love, but if you stay in a negative place for too long it affects everything you breath on, even self love. I started thinking negative thoughts about myself, but I realized anyone who is willing and able can improve in an area. So let’s improve in the area of loving self. No more comparisons, no more playing the victim and no more fear. This is the day of love…self love.
I am honored to share the words of my sister in Christ, Erica Tolliver. Be encouraged by her self love journey:
As a child we don’t think about how important self love will be to us in the future, because it comes natural to us. It is in its purest form. We love ourselves and others, because we haven’t learned the concept of hate. The purity of a child is amazing!
As we get older, we learn what we like, what others like. We are indoctrinated with the ideals of others. Our own thought process begins to be molded by our environment, our family, our experiences, world views, and society. During this time, it is easy to forget what pure self love is. We can sometimes get distracted or lost by all the voices.
Self love is more than having self esteem. It is also about having identity. It is about being free to be who God called you to be. It’s about being healthy and whole. It’s about being stable and secure. It’s about remembering you!
In such a busy world, it’s easy to forget, to be distracted, to be uprooted. We must fight to remember ourselves, our beliefs, our likes. We must fight to love purely in spite of. We must love ourselves as God loves us. We must see ourselves as He sees us. We are royal! We are chosen! We are unique!
We must reaffirm ourselves, even through hurt and tears. We must make time for ourselves. We must make our health a priority. We must not compromise!
I have not always seen myself as God sees me. I lived in the bondage of condemnation and regret. I didn’t trust myself to sometimes make the right decisions for my life. Hurt, depression, the need of acceptance, the need to be loved, to be protected, to be secure blinded me from me. But through it all, God loved me. He never left me. He protected me, even when I couldn’t see His hand in my life. I am forever grateful. But me loving me has been hard sometimes. Walking in my God identity and not the one I created is still a learning process for me.
I tried to change overnight and would become frustrated, because I didn’t want to trust the process or invest time in it.
So, I have learned to admit I need help. The best person to help is the One who created you. The One who created the heavens and earth, and put just as much care and love in creating you.
I started simple. Baby steps. The first thing I worked on (and I’m still working on) is my mind. Positive thoughts and self talk is very important. Our minds are so powerful, but they can also be deadly.
Next, I focused on my appearance. I would make sure I had on earrings. Make sure my clothes weren’t messy. I ask God to help me put outfits together all the time! Lol. I try to put on eyeshadow. To some, this is normal stuff that is done automatically. I’m a very simple person. I dress for comfort. My clothes are clean, but not always ironed. My favorite hairstyle is a ponytail. I try to keep my eyebrows neat, but it’s not a necessity. And every now and then when Im feeling fancy, I paint my finger nails! So for me to do these extra things is me creating good, healthy habits.
Which leads me to my next point. I love to eat!!! So, I worked on being conscious about what I ate. I created healthy eating habits. I am working on being consistent with exercise.
In this new found process of self love, be gentle with yourself. Allow for healing. Forgive past mistakes. Learn about God and what he says about you. Clean up your surroundings and your friends. (Everyone can not go where you are going.) Then, continue to strive to be your best self and fulfill your divine destiny and purpose!
Be encouraged by Erica’s words that your purpose and relationship with God can be at the center of your self love journey.