“Loving yourself” is a weird phrase.

Doesn’t it make you think I’m going to talk about masturbation? I’m not… yet. I’ll warn you before I do.

(Here’s an interesting article, including a piece by a friend of mine, Tara Owens, on that subject.)

Loving yourself is worth your time – even if it’s weird.

When it comes down to it, what I hope I remember and what I hope you remember too is  that …

Cultivating love for your own self is worth your time.

Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand-break on.
Maxwell Maltz

“A human being always acts and feels and performs in accordance with what he imagines to be true about himself and his environment…For imagination sets the goal ‘picture’ which our automatic mechanism works on. We act, or fail to act, not because of ‘will,’ as is so commonly believed, but because of imagination.”
Maxwell Maltz, New Psycho-Cybernetics

You will survive believing you are not lovable or beautiful, but it is like driving through life with the hand-brake on: slow, harder than necessary, harmful. If you are like me, you are so accustomed to the hand-brake that it feels wild and uncomfortable to release it.

But, let’s do it, Love.

It will be weird and wild and too-free-feeling, but do it anyway.

I spoke to a fantastic, beautifully diverse group of women last week at a MOPS gathering in Southern California and this is what we talked about:

No matter your story, no matter the shape or size or even functionality of your body, the possibilities are always open for love and confidence.

There’s enough grace for that.

If the God of Genesis is real …

The One who made LOVE made YOU so He could love you. 

This should change the way you feel about Your Body Full of Soul.

Because God is with you. In you. Now. Breathing with you. Filling your cells and your soul as much as you do.

And yet here you sit, hating parts of what God has made.

And I don’t mean spiders. Although, that’s a legit issue.

I mean. You.

Disliking…

Your story. Your body. Your thoughts. Your ability to make a home. Your mothering or lack thereof. Your sexuality. Your intelligence. The way you forgot to pick up your kid last week from early dismissal. The way you try to keep the house clean but it just never is. The way you look in a bathingsuit. The way your stomach looks when you lean over (worst!). The way you talk to your friends/boyfriend/mother/kids when you are tired and haven’t had coffee. The way you dismiss your husband as kinda stupid when he takes a wrong turn.

The way you can’t get over the things you can’t get over. The way you worry. The curve of your neck. The fact that sex is just aarrright most of the time or actually kinda bad when you think about it.

It is a tragedy beyond imagination that we sit here, possibly the most loved beings in the universe…

And slam the brakes on our lives.

 

There is a process working for me and my friends, to remove the handbrake and reshape our beliefs so we can live stronger, more powerful, more…just… joyful and free. Those things we don’t like about our breakable, human selves can either be fix

Loving yourself takes a tri-solution. You need all the parts of the triangle in order to do it well. We cannot focus on only one, which is what we usually do, but all three.

I made this really sophisticated graphic:

Changing behaviors and feelings through a 3 step process. | 1000strands.com

 

 

We can start anywhere on the triangle. Whichever one feels easiest. I usually start with those Maltz quotes Or here with Genesis Or here with Song of Songs.

Meaning: I start with BELIEF.

So, I am focusing on my beliefs today. I am focusing on the truth that each person deserves dignity, love, and attention (including me) and then I am asking myself some hard questions based on this belief:

How would I act if I felt fully validated?

What would I pursue if I knew I’d been accepted into that group/story/program
I think I am not good enough for?

How would I walk if I felt beautiful?

How would I set boundaries if I believed I was worth protecting?

How would I speak if words didn’t have to earn my worth?

 

The lightbulb went on for me when I was looking for Bible verses for the talk I was giving last week. 

When you are starting with BELIEFS – look for a belief you can sink your teeth into. What do you deeply believe to be true? Start there.

So, here’s something I believe to be true:

Mark 12:30-31The Voice (VOICE)
You should love the Eternal, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.”[a] 31 The second great commandment is this: “Love others in the same way you love yourself.”[b] There are no commandments more important than these.

This is the greatest commandments. This is a statement I can build my life on.

I want to love God, my Maker, and I want to love others. I want to do this well. I believe a good life is built on this purpose.

I am to love others in the same way I love myself… ok, but how do I love myself? The answer is in the first commandment. It’s in there and it is the best tool I have ever had for building a great love life with God, others, and MYSELF.

You should love the Eternal, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.

Where is God so that you can love Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength?

You might believe that we love God by loving others. I believe this too.

You might beliefe that we love God by loving nature. I believe this too.

But God is somewhere else too. This was my lightbulb moment:

 

Do you not know that you are a temple of God
and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 1 Cor 3:16

 

God is IN you. God’s breath. His Spirit. God is in you. The temple is where God lives. The temple is the one place you know GOD is.

So for the writer to say that you are a temple of God… this is a revolution. You do not have to go love God somewhere else or in someone else.

The ACTION IS HERE.

You love God by loving yourself with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength because God is in you. 

You are as much YOU as you are God. When you love yourself, you love God.

Let’s do it, Love.

It will be weird and wild and too-free-feeling, but do it anyway. Love yourself. Love yourself because it is good for you. Love yourself because it gives you energy to love others. Love yourself because that is a surefire way to love GOD.

We don’t confuse ourselves for God, but we acknowledge that loving ourselves is a way to love God.

Tomorrow, we will talk about the ACTION side of the triangle. How do you take action to love YOURSELF and GOD with your heart, mind, soul, and strength? This is where it gets interesting and also hard. You’ll need a mirror, a pen, and some guts. Take off the handbrake, Beautiful.

You are a miracle. Act like it. | 1000strands.com

READ MORE OF THE SERIES: BODY FULL OF SOUL 

Body full of Soul