Learning to Love Yourself

Learning to Love Yourself

Can you believe that it is already February? A month that is known for celebrating black lives; their history and talent, Mardi Gras, leap years, and Valentine’s Day.

With love being one of the tenants of celebration this month, I want to explore not how you will love on someone else, but how we will love ourselves. I am not talking flowers, candy, and external acts of self-care – here. I’m talking about truly, deeply loving yourself.

Do we all take loving ourselves for granted? Have we gotten so busy in the grind, that we haven’t realized popular culture has created a scoring system of worthiness by which many of us are mesmerized?

How high do you rank at your job? Check.

How much do you make? Check.

How do you measure up in your friend group? Check.

Do you have a husband, a kid, and a big, beautiful house? Check.

Does your significant other respond to and dote on you? Check.

How often are you asked to speak? Check.

How sexy are you? Check.

How is your social media presence? Check. Check. Check.

What if we stripped away all of it? What if no one knew you had all that talent or made as much as you do? Would you then realize that you don’t value yourself? Would you then realize that you have only considered your worth in things, feats, and pretty things?

How many of you could say, “I love myself, and I like who I am” outside of those?

There is this quote from “More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are” by Elaine Welteroth, where she says:

“What I know now is that when we derive our worth from the relationships in our lives—the intimate ones, the social circles we belong to, the companies we work for—we give away our power and become dependent upon external validation. When that is taken away, our sense of value, and identity, goes with it.”

What’s absolutely amazing about the “validation value” is that it sneaks up on you. One day you are minding your business and doing your best to just ‘be you,’ and then the next, you are using a ruler to determine the length and depth of your worth.

Have you ever had a moment like that? A moment – where you stopped and realized,” I’m not kind to myself”; “I don’t really love myself, like I should.”

Well, I have.

Please do not misunderstand me; I do not think there is anything wrong with striving to be the best version of yourself. But – the line is fine between you being ‘your best’ and you measuring your success by (wo)man’s standards.

To genuinely love one’s self is to understand that the act of loving yourself is a journey that is traveled daily.  As you learn more about yourself, there will be details that you will confront your sense and sensibility. Sometimes your love will trickle in, and sometimes it will crash into you, like a wave at the shore.  And when you are tired, the lies will get louder than the truth.⁠

Be honest with yourself and aware of these feelings and use the following tools to deal with them. 

To properly love ourselves, we have to understand why God loves us, and so this month, I would like you to take a deep dive into some of these truths with me:

-You are unique, and no one is like you.

-You are His, made perfect in his image.

-You are loved unconditionally. Healed and whole.

-You are worthy. Chosen and forgiven.

– You are protected by His mighty hand.

First up is your uniqueness.

Next week we will dive into it and why it is an attribute that you should embrace. Until then, I want you to wake up every day and tell yourself:

“I love myself today, and the way that I am is enough to push myself to become the best version of who God wants me to be tomorrow.”

Women of Judah, you are all these things and more.

 

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