Lately, this has been resting heavy on my heart. Self-love is something that is becoming increasingly important to me. Here’s a little background of how I’m learning how crucial it is to love one’s self, and what that looks like for me.
Why I Practice Self Love
I used to think that self-love was linked with pride. As a Believer, prideful is not something I strive to be, so I had it in my head that self love was selfish. What I’ve learned, however, is that it’s the exact opposite of that.
Self-love, for me, just means taking care of myself. The more I focus on the things I like about myself, the healthier I’ll eat. I’ll drink more water, work out more, and stop worrying about what others think of me so much. When you treasure something, you want to take care of it.
Self-love is just as much internal as it is external. It’s not just about wanting to look good— it’s infinitely more about the desire to experience joy and accomplishment.
Self-love begins when you realize that your body is a temple. I constantly remind myself of this, whether I’m about to order food, buy a new article of clothing, or stay up until 2 am. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says: Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
The first thing that jumps out at me from this passage is the idea that God bought us with a price. To say that this world struggles with self-worth is an understatement. We ponder, Am I worth anything? Do I matter? Would it matter if I didn’t exist?
God says yes. God chose YOU for a purpose. I believe that life is about discovering what that purpose is and living it out to the best of your ability while glorifying God. You never buy something that’s at a high price unless you really want it, right? God wants you. He wants you to know how loved you are, and that you are far more precious than the flowers, and the birds, and the rubies.
The second thing from this passage that stands out to me is that my body is not my own. If you’re like me, you read ‘you do not belong to yourself’ and go, “…I’m sorry, what?”
If you’re a Believer, your body is a temple for the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit dwelt in the tabernacle. Now, if you have Jesus in your life, the Holy Spirit dwells in YOU. Like, literally.
If I, as a Believer, treat my body like crap and put junk into it, what does that mean in the light of my body being a temple? That’s going to be one ugly temple, I’d say, and that would be manifested in how I acted as well. I’m learning that when I eat cleaner, work out, and get a good amount of rest, I’m in a better mood and I feel more confident.
Growing up reading fashion magazines, playing with Barbie dolls, and seeing the popular girls at school, my body image is pretty… well, not the best.
As much as lots of companies are putting an emphasis on how ALL body types and skin types and whatever types are beautiful, I feel that body image hasn’t gotten a whole lot better overall.
Body shaming, now, happens just as much for skinny people as it does for more heavily built people. We pick on one another for not having a single blemish just as often as we do the acne-prone. There’s always something humans find wrong with one another.
This is a heart issue. I know that when I’m feeling insecure, I tend to bash other people. I’m certainly not proud of the fact, but that’s where my mind turns. For some reason, we think that pointing out other people’s flaws will eliminate our own.
One of my all time favorite quotes that I recently discovered is one from the lovely Emma Watson: “There’s nothing interesting about looking perfect— you lose the point. You want what you’re wearing to say something about you, about who you are.”
That struck me hard the first time I read it. I get so caught up in striving for perfect skin, perfect make up, perfect hair, the perfect outfit… I miss what life is about.
Imperfection, while it reveals flaws, highlights the most beautiful things in a person. Why do we try to copy other people? What is it that we want?
We want others like us. We want to feel a sense of acceptance. News flash: nothing you can do will win you everyone’s acceptance and praise. Whether you look nice or are an attractive person is 100% a matter of opinion.
And while the world disagrees, God calls you priceless.
To Simply Exist is Beautiful Enough
You are good enough because you are. Not because your shoes are from Adidas, not because you have acrylic nails, not because you’re having a good hair day, and not because your highlighter is on point. You just are.
The second you stop caring about reaching perfection is the second you’ll start your journey to self-love. Don’t worry if you have a double chin when you laugh, or if your concealer doesn’t cover everything you want it to, or if your ensemble for the day looks a little silly.
Take it breath by breath, and appreciate everything about yourself, because that’s what makes you who you are. The beautiful and the hideous. Speaking of hideous… by no means do I love my sin, but I don’t allow myself to wallow in it because I know I’m no longer a slave to sin. It’s crucial to love yourself despite your flaws. After all, the one person you’re stuck with the longest is yourself. #selfloveclub
I’m reading the book “Tuesdays With Morrie” right now. The author, Mitch Albom, has a quote that I adore. Below is the picture (which is not of my own making) displaying his wise words.
My take on self-love is one that stays away from being prideful and self-righteous, but rather one that realizes the beauty that comes when I stop putting myself down. Love yourself, love God more.
Just be. That’s enough, and so are you.
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Blessings! Lauren Joy