LOVE THY SELF 🖤
Ok girls ... Why on earth are we sooooo hard on ourselves?
The amount of “self-ughs” we factor into the daily grind is alarming.
“Ugh... you’re fat”
“Ugh.. why did you do that”
“Ugh... You idiot ... that was so stupid”
“Ugh... You really stuffed that up”
“Ugh... you should have done better”
“Ugh ... You can’t do this”
“Ugh ... What you think doesn’t matter”
“Ugh ... you’ll never be like her”
“Ugh... you can’t ... that’s selfish”
Ugh! Ugh! Ugh!
How in the world do we think it’s acceptable to talk to ourselves in such a way? This is such FLAWED, dangerous, toxic thinking that is harmful and totally detrimental to our well-being. We must learn the importance of being kind, compassionate and loving towards ourselves... In the way we talk... In the way we act... In the way we live.
I recently set a reminder in my phone that goes off twice, daily.
it’s a simple reminder to “LOVE THY SELF” !!
(Old English because let’s face it - it sounds cooler😏)
But yeh, “LOVE THY SELF” ...
It’s a concept lost on a lot of us girls.
Well ... I’m not an expert ... but ... my thoughts ...
• I think we are hard-wired to love, nurture and care for others ... it’s embedded within us to do so ... but in doing-so... we can tend to forget about ourselves ... OR we deny ourselves the time to prioritise enjoying pleasures because we’ve somehow told ourselves (and believed) that it’s selfish.
• I think that society/culture forces us to set impossibly high-standards of ourselves... and we beat ourselves up when we fall-short or fail to meet even our own expectations. Obviously social media has launched this problem into a whole new stratosphere!
• I think that as girls there’s a natural inclination within us to first put ourselves down ... before we realise we need to be building ourselves up. And the hard-work is made harder to repair what we ourselves have broken.
So... The majority of you girls know that I’m a Christian, I love Jesus and I live my life off bible-based principles... (I’ve really tried to make ‘The Secret Garden’ a welcoming space for anyone to come and be encouraged no matter what you believe ... so please don’t let this deter you).
But for the sake of my revelation... Jesus says in Matthew 22 to “Love Thy Lord Thy God with all thy heart, soul & strength ... annnnnd ... love thy neighbour as thy self”
And recently I have realised how much all my energy goes into ...
🖤 1. Loving Thy God (first and foremost, always and forever, this will never, ever be compromised and is EVERYTHING🌹)
🖤 2. Loving Thy Neighbour (The pressing need to love others is essential and at the forefront of my purpose here on earth... it’s the way... it’s the mission ... it’s the call 🌹)
BUT then... why, oh why, oh why... for some strange reason ... is ...
🖤3. “Loving Thy Self” lost in the equation sometimes?? 💔💔💔
Maybe because we are also taught to “die to our self” .. and “deny our flesh”? Which is truth. It’s biblical. It’s Christ-like. Its countercultural. It’s the perplexing and yet beautiful paradox found in salvation. But this surely does not give permission for us to give in to the self-hatred monster that can consume us! Or deny ourselves the care/nurture/pleasure we require/desire? 🤔
Maybe we’ve felt like making moments to prioritise ourselves could somehow limit our opportunities... so we push ourselves to please others without valuing the importance of rest and play? 😬
Maybe we’ve forged all sorts of misguided truths about how loving yourself could be ... wrong? For example: I distinctly remember as a younger woman being fearful to admit that I “liked myself” because it could be misunderstood as something self-absorbed or vein😢!!
BUTTTT... (Lots of “buts” today)... “BUT”... loving yourself... as in ... practicing ALL the virtues of love and actively directing them to yourself... is not selfish ... it’s not wrong ... actually .. in fact... it’s crucial... It’s critical... It’s essential... to our health and well-being.
How could we be guiding others to wholeness when we are misguided within our own brokenness.
I’ve always said/thought/felt ... the golden rule ...
“do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
I wanna suggest a variation of this... ( just for kicks 😊)
How about ...
“Do unto yourSELF as you would do unto others!”
Because maybe we seem to treat others way better than we treat ourselves.
A friend of mine explained it like this:
“treat yourself as you would treat a friend”
I would NEVER be unkind to a friend ... I would never want to make them feel unworthy or unimportant ... I would never want to make them feel like they aren’t enough ... I would never call them cruel names!
🖤 If they were going through a tough time ... I’d take time to listen, to show compassion, to seek to understand what they feel ... and why they feel what they feel.
🖤If they were hurting ... I’d try to make them feel better ... offer words to soothe their pain ...
🖤If they were talking themselves down ... I’d correct them with words of life/hope/positivity/encouragement/kindness to build them up.
🖤If they made a mistake ... I wouldn’t rub it in their face and make them feel horrible about what they had done ... adding to their guilt and shame... we would talk ... and work out pathways forward to make things right ... ultimately getting to a place of forgiveness and freedom.
🖤🖤🖤THIS IS HOW WE SHOULD TREAT OURSELVES🖤🖤🖤🖤
*Fairly and realistically (this is important) ... BUT with Kindness. Compassion. Love. Mercy. Affirmations. Encouragement. Time. Patience. Gifts. Etc. etc.
Sooooooo... my little reminder pops up on my phone and I’m prompted to think about how I’ve gone today with practicing self-kindness/love/compassion/care etc etc ...
🖤 Have I been easy on myself for the moments I may have fallen short?
🖤Have I empathised with myself when I’ve been hurt?
🖤Have I encouraged myself when I’ve battled negative thoughts?
🖤Have I congratulated myself when I was brave and showed courage?
🖤Have I refocussed my thoughts on what’s positive?
🖤Have I strengthened and energised myself to keep going ... to fight back ... and to not give up when things get really tough?
🖤 Have I made time for myself to do things that will refresh/recharge me?
LOVE THY SELF.
LOVE THY SELF.
LOVE THY SELF.
Friendly disclaimer: Don’t completely check-out of life altogether. You’ve gotta keep showing up. You’ve gotta hold to your commitments. You’ve gotta keep preferring others. Life is life. Life presents us with a time and a place for everything. So learn/pay attention/act within the rhythms of grace / the ebbs and flows. X