I’ve been killing myself from the inside out. Here is my confession: I could point out my every flaw. I could tell you every fault of my own. I could beat myself up pretty badly. I could criticize and find every terrible, awful, no good thing about me. I could not forgive myself easily. I could not accept compliments without discounting them. I could not speak about myself positively without negating it.
I was an expert at everything wrong with me. I was a novice on building what was right about me. I had come to expect the worse in people and their intentions toward me. I could not pick up the subtle nuances of love that come my way from others.
I was a killer!
I didn’t treat myself very nicely, did I? I taught others how to treat me by the way I treated myself.
I heard T.D. Jakes tell a crowd of people that, “The problem with this world is that people ARE loving their neighbors as they love themselves. They don’t love themselves, so they can’t love others.” When I tell you his words sparked a transformation in my heart that forced me to tell my head to be quiet a minute so that I could listen. I had to sit and reflect. If everything that I’m comfortable with saying about myself is negative, then how am I treating others? You know what I found about myself is that I was nicely criticizing people to death. I was pointing out their mistakes, their faults, their flaws, and sparingly finding the good things. Even when I did find the good I kept it to myself.
I made a concious effort that day to begin to look for the good in me and purposely look for the good in others. Here is my measuring stick for my thoughts about myself and others, ” Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Phil 4:8 (This is one of my life verses and I write about it quite a bit.)
God pierced my heart with my reality and I invited Him in to show me a new way to be patient and kind to myself and others. God was teaching me how to love! I had to train my mind like a muscle to think about the lovely, admirable and praiseworthy elements of myself, and then see those same qualities in others.
I was reading an article about marriage and relationships that told women to stop pointing out their flaws to their mates. Women were teaching their husbands why they should be dissatisfied with their bodies, instead of welcoming the love that they were receiving. Aha moment! In a casual conversation with a co-worker she shared with me that her daughter had come up to her and made some disparaging comments about her belly. She said in reply to her daughter, “I like my belly because it reminds me that you were in there. I like the way my belly looks.” She went on to share with me that though she is working to improve her body, she loves herself right where she is. She then said something that blew me away. She said, “Women hate their bodies. They say a million negative things about themselves, and then expect their daughters to have a positive self image – when all we model for them is self hate.” OH MY GOODNESS.
Have your children ever heard you say one good thing about your body? About your hair? About your life? The next generation learns how to kill themselves from their parents. THIS CYCLE MUST STOP!
You are a masterpiece! (Excuse, me I need to have a personal moment here, and perhaps you will join me.)
I am a masterpiece. I am beautiful and God created me, knows me and loves me. Lord I pray – that you will help me see myself through your eyes so that I can see all of Your children in that same light. I want to love others as you love me, but most of all I want to love myself as YOU love me. Thank you Lord from waking me up from the killer of negative self talk. Thank You Lord for bringing this dark path to light so that I can choose Your way, Your will and Your word!
In Jesus’ name I pray,
Leave a comment: How did you learn to love yourself? Do you struggle in this area?