I remember the exact moment my self esteem crumbled, and since that moment I have struggled with self image. I also remember when my anxiety first made its appearance and how I have beat myself up over things I’ve said and done. This hard season has helped me learn to accept myself as I am.
Jesus said that the two most important commandments are to “love God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength” and to love your neighbor as yourself. What does this have to do with accepting yourself? Notice the words: as yourself.
This hit home with me in the most recent message at church. I want to be better and treat people better and control my temper better, but sometimes it seems so much harder than it should be. And then my pastor said something that felt like a ton of bricks landing on my heart: we can’t love our neighbor as ourself if we don’t love ourselves.
I can only give the love to others that I have for myself, so to improve how I treat others, I have to improve how I treat myself. Loving yourself, accepting yourself, then, is a request from God. He wants us to love ourselves so we can pass that love on.
Loving yourself isn’t selfish. It’s God-designed. Because when you accept yourself you can more easily accept others.
This week, I am committing to love myself more. I will not be so hard on myself. I will remind myself that each day is a new day. I will tell myself, if I have to, that I am strong and capable and a daughter of the Most High King. I will remind myself who I truly am.
Do you need that reminder too? What can you do today to start showing yourself more love?