Self Love: The Love of Yo' Self
How You Can Change The World By Loving Yourself
Last time I mentioned the two actions I had been called to do once I changed my title from girlfriend to fiancé. One of those actions was to love myself. That is the action I want to focus on today because I feel that it drives all the other actions.
I admit that I probably wouldn't be writing this before you as the future Mrs. McBeth. If I don’t love Shawnda Turner. Of course this topic might sound cliché because we are living in a time where we are surrounded by the messages of self-love from cute Instagram quotes in some fancy calligraphy writing on a picture of a sunset in the background to calling in to your job and telling them with confidence that you are taking a mental health day. We are told we need to love ourselves but many of us don't have an actual clue as to what that means.
We are told we need to love ourselves but many of us don't have an actual clue as to what that means.
This could be because we are looking to others to define the answer. I’m here to let you know that YOU are the definer of what self-love looks like for you. No one knows you better than you so in that same breath no one should be able to love you better than you. Now of course we gladly accept any challengers but bottom line is they will come second in the great battle of who loves you more.
If you have not taken the time to define what self-love is to you, you need to stop right now and pick up a pen and start writing the answers to these questions down. (No seriously do it!)
What brings me joy?
What qualities about myself do I love? What assets do I have in my personality that are hard to come by in others?
What is unique about me that people will miss if I am not around anymore?
People can take a guess at the answers to those questions are but no one can really truly answer them but you. Once you answer those questions honestly and truthfully you are ready tp head down the glorious path of self-love.
My path to self-love started a year or two before Raymond and I started back dating. Around that time I was just utterly exhausted with existing in life because without self-love that’s exactly what I was doing: existing. I wasn’t living. Well I wasn't living for myself. I was living for other people. I was trying to live as someone’s girlfriend (eyeroll), perfect daughter, sister, friend, co-worker (the list goes on and on). I was trying to live in these rolls for everyone else and I was just tired. Life had no meaning because I hadn’t allowed my life to be my own and to be owned by me. I was too concerned about doing things to earn the love of others and not worried about giving the love that I needed to myself.
But here’s the plot twist: my mindset began to change when I really got back into church. I began reading and studying God’s word for myself. I started to establish a real and authentic relationship with Him. I was now learning about love from the ultimate definition of love: God’s sacrifice of his only son to die for my sins. Wow! This fact was powerful. God himself loved me so much that he sacrificed his son so I can be closer to him. With all of that I owed it to Him to start loving myself and seeing myself the way he saw me. God himself created me and he doesn’t make any mistakes. When I realized that I started seeing myself as all of that and a bag of chips (shout out to the real ones raised in the 90’s) God gave me a compassionate heart to have the desire to help anyone I can. God gave me a sense of humor to cheer people up. God gave me the gift of encouragement to help people out of dark situations. And God gave me pretty flirtatious eyes that I use to bat at Raymond to get my way :)
Point is God gave me all of these things and more so that I would love myself the way He does because love is contagious. God loves me so that I could love myself. I love myself which makes it easier for Raymond to love me. Raymond saw that I was capable of love and I had an abundance of love to give so of course he was like “Where do I sign up?”
God gave me all of these things and more so that I would love myself the way He does!
So when I say my action is to love myself I have to in order to love him. If I haven't been practicing or exemplifying loving the hardest person on the planet to love (me) I wouldn’t be able to love him as my husband. I call myself the hardest person because we all know our deepest darkest secrets and thoughts; the ones we don’t tell anyone for fear they would lock us away. Knowing everything about me, my flaws and less than perfect traits, I still choose to love myself. This in turn makes it easier to love Raymond. This love will trickle down to our children who in turn will love their spouses and their children. So my friends, as you can see, you really can change the world just by simply loving yourself :)