A Different Kind of Self Love
In the Selah questions today, I mentioned that maybe the verse that I chose would prompt you to focus less on loving yourself, and more on loving God.
The Big Man Upstairs has been doing a work in my heart recently with this concept. To love God more to love yourself more. Crazy, right?
Hear me out though....the body that we live in, is destined to waste away. That's just a fact thanks to Adam and Eve. And I don't know about you, but I don't want to stand at the feet of Jesus and told him the only good thing I did with my life was keep my body in good shape. That is NOT in our plans. In fact, none of what we go through on a daily basis was in God's plan for us.
Something that I heard someone say to me once is "I want to be the woman that has a soul so beautiful, that it casts out any disbelief, doubt, negativity, or self hate that tries to manifest into my thought life".
Loving yourself is something the world feeds on. Especially right now. And holy moly I am guilty of it. Every where you look people are preaching the whole #loveyourself mantra and I am ALLLLL about it. Completely. But I think a lot of the time we are missing the point.
We get so wrapped up in the idea that someone is giving us the exact answer to how to love ourselves better, or treat ourselves better, or see ourselves differently, that we almost idolize that feeling of self love.
I know it might not feel like way on the surface, but at least for me...loving myself became something that I truly put on the throne of my heart.
I didn't realize it either until a friend of mine told me that with all the self love talk that I speak to others, I sure don't love myself. And that stung, because how dare I be teaching other people and preaching self love, if I don't even have it nailed down?
But then I got this revelation. Self love, is not something we can seek in self help books, from the affirmation of our friends, boyfriends, or husbands, and its definitely not a 5 step program. It is a lifelong journey with your hand in His.
I like to look at it like this:
Jesus and I are walking on the beach. And my eyes are DEAD set on Him. Dead set. My hand is in His and I'm in awe of the beauty of his face. I don't know where we are walking, but I know I'm in good hands, and I trust. And we keep walking, and walking, and walking, and the entire time that we are walking I don't even realize how much time has passed.
The entire time that we are walking, my entire body has changed. Maybe 3 months has passed, maybe three years. But in the time that I spent walking with Jesus, I was also stewarding my body with movement. And at the same time I was stewarding my body with movement, I had no feeling of self doubt, self hate, mean comments, I didn't get tired, I didn't give up. All because my eyes were on Him.
I know that may be a far stretch of a fantasy for you, but thats the way I picture it. If my eyes are on Jesus in ANY journey that I walk, it doesn't matter how long I walk through it, and it also doesn't matter what happens to my body, if I'm walking beside Him, I know I'm being taken care of. My perspective changes. My desires change. And what do you know! My body changes too.
I posted this on Instagram a while ago:
"I'm not pretty, I'm magnificent.
I am excellent. I am extraordinary. I am loved by the One who formed the galaxies and filled the oceans. I am cherished by the same One who created the snowcapped mountains and the tallest trees and the crashing waves. I am prized by the One who created every star, every rose, who paints every sunset and who send lightening and thunder through the clouds. He has blessed me with the ability to speak in a way that no other creation can. He uniquely and intricately designed my innermost being to fit perfectly into the heart of the One named Savior. He has blessed me with the sweet stories of His grace, His coming, His coming again, all woven together in a grace-laced message of unconditional love and acceptance. He has given me a mind, one so powerful that darkness knows it cannot reside. A mind that dreams up dreams of unimaginable peace in a place not too far. He, Lover of us all and Giver of every good and perfect thing, has given me a beautiful will. A strong body. One woven in reflection of the radiance He is. My rescuer, my Defender, the Life Giver. He knows my name.
I'm not pretty, I'm magnificent."
We have bodies that move, lungs that breath air, legs that take us places, eyes that help us see the pastel painted sunsets, and ears that reveal to us the sounds of birds chirping and waves crashing on the shore. Can that not be enough?
I ask, because I am convicted of the same things you are. Sometimes, those things aren't enough for us. To know that everything we are in this exact moment cannot and will not stop God from loving us with everything that He is.
And to know that every ounce of our being, no matter what our pant size is, how much acne we have on our face, no matter where we store our weight, and no matter what our outward appearance looks like, we have a soul that craves to be accepted...and we already have been.
So, I challenge you to stop trying to love yourself, and start allowing God to come into your mind to change the view through which you see yourself. THAT is self love.