One of the most freeing things you’ll ever do is learn to love yourself. There’s so much peer pressure on everyone to look, talk, and act a certain way, but then, that can detract from who you really are. It’s easy to follow the crowd, but it’s more rewarding to learn how to love yourself.
I’ve always hated myself. I hated the way I looked. I hated the way I talked. I hated the way I was so shy. I could have easily given you a list about everything I wanted to change about myself, and at one point, the only thing I could tell you that I liked about myself were my eyes – and maybe my smile.
God completely changed my attitude one evening, though. He used a song on the radio, Beautiful by MercyMe, to show me that I was beautiful because I was His. Oh how one event can change your entire attitude! From that day forward, I decided to put forth more and more effort to learn to see myself the way that God sees me. That led me to learning how to love myself.
It’s a difficult journey, but it’s well worth the trip. I no longer loathe myself. I’m more comfortable with myself, and I just don’t care what others may say about me. Well, sometimes it still hurts, but I have learned how to push it aside and remember what God said about me. God only makes beautiful things, and everyone that is born is of Him. So, therefore, we’re all beautiful.
What have I learned, and how can you learn to love yourself?
God loves you. John 3:16 said that He loved us so much He sent His Son to die for us. That is amazing to think about. God loved us so much He sacrificed His Child. We can’t fathom that amount of love, but that’s the love that God has for us. If God loves us, shouldn’t we love ourselves? There’s also a new commandment given to us from God – He said to love one another just as He loves us. (John 15:12) So, if we’re to love one another, shouldn’t we love ourselves the way that God loves us? Once you understand how much God loves you, you begin to see yourself differently. You begin to see yourself the way God sees you.
I can love myself for who I am – despite my looks. My worth isn’t determined by my size or looks. My worth is determined by God. He saw fit to send His Son to die for me because of the love He has for me – for everyone. If He sees someone worth loving and forgiving, shouldn’t I do the same for myself and others?
God has made everything beautiful. Eccl. 3:11 says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time….” God has made everything beautiful, including you and me. Once you learn that, you begin to see that you’re beautiful which will help in learning to love yourself.
My past is just that. A thing of the past. Sometimes you can hate yourself for what happened to you. You can hate what you did or what was done. But it’s all a thing of the past. Forgive yourself and forgive others. Once forgiveness has been achieved, you can free yourself up to love yourself and love others once again.
As I said, this journey isn’t easy, but it’s one you’ll definitely want to take. Loving yourself doesn’t mean you have to be conceited and vain. What it means is that you’ll be free. You’ll be free to love yourself, free to love others, and free to follow your dreams.
It’s a daily struggle – at times – to do this, but it’s my prayer that you’ll learn to love yourself for who you are and who the Creator made you to be. You’re loved, you’re beautiful, and you’re worthy.
Emerald Barnes graduated with a B.A. in English with an emphasis on Creative Writing at Mississippi University for Women. She resides in a small town in Mississippi and has the accent to prove it. She’s an auntie to three beautiful nieces and two handsome nephews. She's a Whovian, a little bit of a nerd, a reader, a writer, and a family-oriented person. God is number one in her life, and she thanks Him continuously for His love and favor.
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Facebook: Emerald Barnes Twitter: @emeraldbarnes
Also be sure to check out her books, Entertaining Angels and Before We Say I Do, on Amazon.