As Christians we know to love others but we can find it difficult to love ourselves. You can’t give something away that you don’t have yourself. When you can fully love yourself, it will be easier to love others.
Do you accept yourself, including your faults and weaknesses or do you withhold loving yourself until you are a perfect version of what you would like to be? Be aware that not everyone will love you and accept you, but that does not mean that you cannot love yourself if others don’t.
Reflect and ponder: Do you love yourself unconditionally, and do you give yourself grace when you fail or make mistakes? Do you take care of yourself and nurture yourself?
How to love yourself more:
1. Start telling yourself what is good about yourself. What are your strengths? Your victories? Focus more on your good qualities than what is wrong with you. Say out loud while looking in the mirror daily, “I love myself.”
2. Do not condemn, reject, or blame yourself when you do make a mistake. We all make mistakes and have plenty of weaknesses. Give yourself plenty of grace when you do fail. Ask God to forgive your sins, and make sure you forgive yourself.
3. Don’t strive to be perfect because you will ultimately set yourself up for failure and self-hate. No one does everything perfectly all the time-NO ONE! Be gentle to yourself when you don’t do something perfect.
4. Stop comparing yourself to others and wanting everyone’s approval-not everyone will approve of you.
5. Stop the mental negative self-tapes that are played in your mind to you to condemn. Renew your mind with what God thinks of you, not what people think of you. Be mindful of what you say to yourself as well, don’t repeat the lies of the enemy or call yourself demeaning names.
6. Put the “oxygen mask” on yourself first before attempting to help someone else. Set boundaries as needed with needy and exhausting people.
7. Accept and appreciate yourself just as you are, and come to terms with those aspects that you can’t change-realizing that God will bring about the needed changes in you in His time. Don’t stress about the parts of your personality that you can’t change, God made you and your quirky personality.
8. Don’t neglect your needs, if you need rest or a day to refresh-then do it!
9. Begin to love yourself without any conditions, such as when I do this or stop doing that than I can love myself.
10. Treat yourself as you would your best friend, with compassion, empathy, kindness, attentiveness and forgiveness.
11. Don’t live in regret of your past or what you should have done or could have done.
God is love, so He wants you to love Him, your neighbor and YOURSELF! Don’t neglect loving yourself, others will benefit from you being kind, gentle and nurturing to yourself. You can exhaust yourself if you give love to others and neglect loving yourself. When you don’t love yourself, you don’t take care of yourself.-this includes rest, eating properly, exercising, having fun and enjoying life.
MEDITATE ON THESE SCRIPTURES:
For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church.
To acquire wisdom is to love oneself; people who cherish understanding will prosper.