Over and over again I see fitness companies and social media influencers promote the idea of self-love. While I agree that it has positive aspects, including positive body-image and self-confidence, I began questioning the true source of self-love and how you find it.
For the past two years I have been going to a therapist because I lacked “self-love” and realized it was affecting my marriage. I didn’t trust when my husband told me that he loved me for me, what he loved about me and that I was beautiful without makeup or when my hair is a mess after waking up in the morning. (Trust me ladies, I do not look like Beyonce or the people in the movies that wake up perfectly manicured). I would take one argument more to heart than the love he was showing me every day. How could I trust that he thought I was worthy of love when, over the past 30 years, I believed the opposite?
I often caught myself talking negatively about myself and being ridden with guilt after overindulging or not working out. I had all of these negative “truths” stored up in my heart that it became a comfortable spot for me to sit in (sounds crazy, right?). I used that negativity as a way to justify myself or the actions that others had towards me. Sadly, the love and positivity I was receiving couldn’t make room. So when I read these articles about self-love or followed these influencers who preach it, the concept was hard for me to understand.
As I mentioned above, this negativity was affecting my marriage, but it was also affecting my relationship with God. If I am to believe that I was made in His image, one of worth, love, compassion and capability, then wouldn’t putting myself down also mean putting God down? In addition, the whole idea of self-love and as a matter of fact self-loathing, is about yourSELF, which leads us astray from Jesus, the ultimate source of love.
I needed an instruction manual to show me what “self-love” really looks like. The Bible.
By spending time in the Word, God, being all good, began to reveal His truths to me. I found myself repeating positive, loving affirmations about myself, “I am worthy of love, I am capable, I am good enough” and so on, because God made me that way. Slowly but surely, those truths began taking root in my heart.
I know it will take me the rest of my life to make room for God’s love and in doing so, I will be able to fully worship Him. I hope you will too.