Womanhood Series- Week 1: Be Kind To Yourself!
Ladies, be kind to yourself!
When I say this, I say it with myself in mind. A while ago, the Holy Spirit brought this idea to me as I walked around my room doing some cleaning. I had been admiring a sister in Christ, and I remember just thinking about how confident and bold she was. As per usual, I started to think about how much I wished I had these sort of attributes. While I thought about this person mindlessly, I recall walking past my mirror and getting a quick glimpse of myself. When I did, I heard, very clearly in my heart, the Holy Spirit say, Christna, be kind to yourself. I instantly started to wonder, “What does that even mean?”. Shortly after, I began to understand just how unkind to myself I actually am. More than often, I’d be quick to admire the traits of other people, but fail to even acknowledge what I had to offer.
Now ladies, I’m not saying that admiring the strengths of other women is a bad thing, it’s actually amazing! What I’m asking you to consider is, have you ever been intentional about taking the time to admire what YOU had to offer? Have you ever taken the time to appreciate the gifts and talents that God has blessed YOU with?....Or, do you spend more time downgrading what God has given you?
When I started to ponder these questions, I realized that as women, we’re often so unkind to ourselves. Here are a few ways that came to mind:
#1 -- Comparison
How many times have we scrolled through Instagram or Facebook and compared ourselves to other people? How many times have we seen someone accomplish something and immediately felt that sting of envy or just unhappiness? If you’re anything like me, that happens a lot! In doing this, we’re literally telling ourselves “You are not enough!”. We’re telling ourselves that we have less to offer the world than the other person.
#2 -- Toxic Relationships
How many of you have suffered through toxic relationships? Some of you might be in one right now. Sometimes, we enter relationships knowing good and well that they aren’t God’s best for us. We allow men to treat us harshly and/or disrespect us. Sometimes, it’s so bad that we begin to believe that we can’t do any better. Instead of leaving these relationships, we stay. We endure the toxicity and we allow it to poison us from the inside out. We stay, knowing good and well that we deserve better. This is being unkind to oneself.
#3 -- Being Too Hard on Ourselves
I’ve struggled in this area for most of my life! While I wouldn’t consider myself to have a Type A personality, I do have some of the usual tendencies. Sometimes (most times -_-) I’m overly ambitious. Because of this, when I miss the mark, I immediately begin to beat myself up about it. I rarely stop to appreciate my progress. I'd literally tell myself that I should have done better or I should have known better. Again, being unkind to myself.
(In the study guide you can reflect more on the ways you are unkind to yourself.)
Fortunately, we have an opportunity to treat ourselves better. We have an opportunity to correct all of the bad habits we have fostered over the years.
As I mentioned before, I am still learning to navigate these rough seas. However, because of God’s grace I’m working towards being kinder to myself. My hope is that you come along on this journey with me. Here are a few ways that we can be kind to ourselves:
#1 -- Appreciate who you are and what you have to offer
I know that this might sound like a cliché. Trust me, I got tired of hearing it too. However, when I became intentional about it, it changed my life AND the way that I treated myself. Believe it or not, you have something to offer the world. Something that only you possess. God made you with a specific purpose in mind; He made you to do a good work. (Ephesians 2:10) This good work might be to sing or to do hair and makeup. For others, your gift might be dance or public speaking! What I’m trying to say is that YOU have something to offer the world. Do yourself a favour and figure out what it is that God has called you to. Be kind to yourself in this way. Find out your strengths and develop in these areas to become a better you.
#2 -- Have Standards for Yourself and Accept Nothing Less
You deserve love. You deserve respect. You deserve to be treated with kindness, and the type of guy that will treat you this way actually exists. I promise you. He’s out there. Ladies, wait on the Lord and stop settling for less than God’s best for you. You know that this guy isn’t God’s best for you. You know that you are compromising and doing things that are unpleasing to God in the relationship. You deserve better. Yourself deserves better. Be kind enough to yourself to allow God to develop you, prepare you and to help you to wait on the person that He has for you. Instead of rushing into relationship after relationship, learn to love God first (Luke 10:27), so that He can teach you to properly love yourself, Him and other people.
#3 -- Give Yourself Time
Be patient with yourself. I can’t preach this enough! Many days, I've spent moments at a time telling myself that I should have been further along than I actually am in life. Don’t do this to yourself. Instead of being hard on yourself, encourage yourself. Tell yourself that you will get better, eventually! Remind yourself that God who began the good work in you will bring it to completion. (Philippians 1:6) Remind yourself that God will help you along the way, and continue to rely on Him for this help.
Ladies, be kind to yourselves. You have so much to offer the world. You have so much going for you and God wants to do so much through you. Instead of comparing, wasting time in toxic relationships and being overly critical of ourselves, be kind. Some of us take delight in letting people know what we love about them and showing them kindness, why not do the same for yourself?
Walk with me on this journey today and let’s show ourselves the same kindness that we extend to other people. We deserve that much.