Self Love Series- Week #1: My Journey to Self Love
For a long time, I didn't know what it meant to love myself. There were some days when I could wake up, look in the mirror and think, "You are worthy of love", but this was not often. Most of the time, I would struggle to find any value in who I was as a person.
I always saw myself as not being good enough for anything. Never pretty enough for guys like me. Never talented enough to succeed in my gifts. Never smart enough to be an A student. I had this warped mindset that nothing I did would ever measure up. Many people around me never knew how deeply insecure I was. In fact, most of them assumed that I was quite self-assured and confident because, truly, this is what I projected to the world. Yet, behind closed doors, I was very broken.
I grew up in a loving home with parents and siblings who loved and supported me, so I could never truly understand at the time where these deeply rooted insecurities came from. I couldn’t understand why it was so hard to love myself and just be content in my own skin. I was so confused. When I think about it now, I knew that it was the lies of the enemy that had me in bondage for so many years of my life. It was him whispering to me all along that I would never be good enough or worthy of being loved, not by God or the people around me. When I met Jesus at 17 however, so much about my life had transformed. I became a new person. While there were moments when I felt unlovable, I knew within myself that this wasn't true, so I simply ignored it. Yet, the more that I grew in God, the more He helped me to understand that the root of my insecurities were still there and that they needed to be uprooted, and not just ignored. There was so much brokenness that had accumulated in my life that needed to be mended. So many wounds that needed to be tended to, and all of them needed to be addressed. The Lord helped me realized that if I didn't tackle these lies once and for all, true self love would not be possible.
Since then, He took me on a journey of what it truly means to love myself. I realized that it's not just about learning to love the way that you look, it's about loving ALL of you. It's about being patient with yourself. It's about appreciating your shortcomings, your inadequacies, your quirks. Self love is about learning to love yourself the way that Jesus loves us. Learning to give yourself grace in moments of failure, learning to see yourself the way that your Creator sees you. My journey was not an easy one. There were nights when I was curled up in my bed, or on the floor just crying out to God because of my brokenness. I told Him that I wanted to love myself. I wanted to see what He saw when He saw me. I wanted to think about myself the way that He thought about me. I just wanted to forgive myself for my shortcomings and the mistakes that I had made. I wish I could say that after one night, I woke up the next morning and loved all of me. It didn’t happen that way. It was a daily thing. I got into the word of God, and wrote down scripture verses that told me who I am. I posted them on my room door, on my mirror, on my bathroom door, and even in my wallet. They were literally everywhere I turned. I was always reminded of my worth and how the Lord saw me, and I still have them with me, even today, almost ten years later. By doing this, I'm always reminded that I am His daughter, I am beautiful, I am capable, but most importantly, I am loved by Him. Because of this truth, I started to believe that self love was possible for me. If the God of the universe saw value in me, then clearly I must be valuable and worthy of love.
I write this blog post with tears in my eyes because I remember the pain I felt during that season of my life. The pain of not feeling good enough. The pain of looking in the mirror and crying because I didn't like what I saw. I remember the deep pain of feeling overlooked and rejected. There was so much work that needed to be done in my life. I cry today as I write because I’m just reminded of how kind Jesus really is. He literally picked me up off the ground, dusted me off, held my hand and looked into my eyes, reminding me of who I am. I think this is why at this point in my life I don't mind being transparent about my brokenness because I truly believe that God allowed me to face what I did to help those who will struggle with it after me. I experienced deep brokenness so that I could bestow hope and healing upon those who are walking through their own seasons of brokenness.
Those of you who find it hard to love yourself, struggling with rejection and low self-esteem, even self-hate, please know that Jesus can heal you. He can teach you what it means to truly love yourself. Where you are now is not your final place. Healing is possible. I'm a living witness. I pray that as you read this series, you will be inspired to walk that journey with Jesus to true self-love. Not the self-love that the world talks about, but the one that can only come through a love relationship with your Creator.