Let’s Talk About Self Love

“You are precious in my eyes, and honoured, and I love you”
Isaiah 43:4-5

Let’s Talk About Self Love

 

I feel as though this topic  of self love is simultaneously everywhere and nowhere all at once. It’s like, everyone is telling us that we need to love ourselves, that we need to value ourselves, and treat ourselves ‘right’.. but there’s a surprising lack of honest advice out there guiding us specifically towards this goal of ‘self love’. And, unfortunately, it seems like what advice is circulating, is mostly focused upon our outward appearances, and learning to see every body, especially our own, as beautiful.

Too many times I’ve read “look at yourself in the mirror and say that you’re beautiful”. If that works for you (as in, if that really genuinely makes you feel good about who you are as a person and your place in this world) then that’s amazing, keep doing it! For me, it feels very forced, very embarrassing, pretty weak, and honestly doesn’t mean much to me at all.

I’ve been thinking about why we’re told to do this; why do we place such a high value upon being beautiful? Is it because being beautiful is the best thing a woman can be? Is it because I cannot love myself unless I am beautiful? Do I really have to be physically beautiful in order to be valuable, worthy of love and respect, or just to be female?

I think at the crux of it, it all bottles down to the curious fact that we’re still looking externally to find that ‘self love’. We’re mostly looking for approval from others, forcing ‘self love’ into our mentalities through self-reassurance that others will think that we’re attractive, that we’re worthy of attention and compliments, even that others will be envious of us. This seems like such a broken mindset. Yet, it’s a mindset that a lot of us find ourselves naturally taking up.

Why are we still doing this, why do we still place such a vast importance upon how attractive our physical bodies are? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for body positivity. I think it’s very important to see each body type and skin colour and gender and facial features as beautiful. I am not in any way saying that we are not beautiful. On the contrary, each and every one of us is extraordinarily beautiful, and I think that’s also a big part of what we need to understand, and why we need to stop having “being beautiful” as our number one priority in life. Convincing yourself that you’re beautiful in order to love yourself means that you’re making it so there is something that it is like to not be beautiful, and that it is bad.

In other words, if you’re having to reassure yourself that you’re beautiful in order to love yourself, then that implies that there are some of us who are not beautiful, and hence are not worthy of self-love. It feels as though, especially for women, being beautiful is a necessity to being good, to being valuable, to loving yourself. But who says we have to be beautiful, anyway?

Why can’t I be valuable and worthwhile just in existing as a human being on this earth? Why do I have to be beautiful in order to be of value, in order to be praiseworthy, respected, or ‘feminine’? I really think that we have more to offer than this. And I really think that basing your conception of ‘self love’ upon what you see when you look in the mirror, or what you think society will see, is fickle and has no roots. If it has no roots, it will not grow or produce fruit, it’ll get knocked down as soon as the first storm blows in. I for one would like my self-esteem to be based on something with much more solid foundations than ‘being beautiful’.

This is where true self-love happens. When you realise that your worth is not attached to your physical appearance, you can stop looking externally for it. In my own experience, when I stop looking externally for satisfaction, for reassurance that I’m beautiful and hence worthy of love and worthy of feeling good about myself, and instead I look above, to the one who created me, and instead I place my self-worth upon what He thinks of me, miracles happen.

It’s such a relief to know that you don’t have to be beautiful to love yourself. To know that you can just be, and that is enough to feel good about who you are. I think the only way to truly reach this point, to truly feel it, is to see yourself through the eyes of God, to see what you are to Him, what He feels for you, and the lengths that He is willing to go to so that you can know Him and feel this love that He has for you.

Setting our minds upon God and allowing His word to teach us about ourselves, and about how we should feel about ourselves and what about us is praiseworthy, will radically transform our conception of self-esteem. Believing what the Bible tells us about ourselves and our lives and using that as the basis for our self-love will not only invite Love Himself into our thoughts about ourselves, but will make our daily focus become the complete, unconditional Love of God. When we’re full to the brim with that, there’s never any question of whether we’re beautiful or not. We are, but that’s not the most important thing. The most important thing is that we’re vessels of God’s love.

So, if you’re struggling with self love, or maybe like me, you’re wondering why on earth so many people keep telling you that you’re beautiful and so naturally that means that you should love yourself, then remember what God has to say about you, and make that the basis of your self love.

“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God”
Galations 3:26

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works”
Ephesians 2:10

“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ”
Philippians 3:20

“You are the salt of the earth”
Matthew 5:13

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden”
Matthew 5:14

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect”
Romans 12:2

“Whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things”
Philippians 4:18

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control”
2 Timothy 1:7

“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life”
Proverbs 4:23

“Seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth”
Colossians 3:1-2

“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established”
Proverbs 16:3

“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”
Romans 5:8

“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him”
1 John 4:16

“You are precious in my eyes, and honoured, and I love you”
Isaiah 43:4-5

“We love because he first loved us”
1 John 4:19

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well”
Psalm 139:14

Tamar
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