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You Are Lovable

I think one of the things most of us suffer from – and when I say, “most” I mean “MOST” – is low self-esteem. Whether it’s those of us who are depressed and feel unworthy, those that strike out at others wanting to bring others down to their level, or those who are always “happy”, hiding their pain from the world, it’s so hard to feel good about ourselves when the world consistently tells us we’re not enough: not pretty enough, thin enough, wealthy enough. It’s so hard to see our own weaknesses and try to feel good about ourselves. We hear these messages from the time we’re children and it tears us down.

As hard as it is, and as much as it may go against the grain, we need to love ourselves. I know the discouragement you may feel. You may think: “Love myself? I don’t even LIKE myself!” I’ve been there. It’s a rotten place to be and it needs to end. Yes, you’re struggling right now. You’ve made mistakes. Maybe you hold yourself responsible for the pain in your life. Maybe you did something that caused the pain or maybe you just think you did. PLEASE. GET. OVER. IT! You are worth loving!!! I don’t care what you did or what you think you did. You are valuable. You are lovable. You have so much to offer this world. So, love yourself! Sometimes, I have to stop and talk to myself. I have to tell myself, “You’re ok. You’re smart. You’re kind. You have a lot to offer and if other people don’t recognize that, that’s their problem not yours.” I know my worth. I’m a child of God. I am God’s creation. I am loved.

Why is this important? We want friends. We want support. We want someone to love us but one of the things we need to do is to learn to love ourselves. When we meet someone, we evaluate whether or not we want this person in our lives. Well, that person is doing the same thing. They want friends that will be a positive addition to their lives, too. It’s hard to be that positive addition if you hate yourself. If you hate yourself, what are you offering to others? Hatred is a wasted emotion! Why spend it on yourself?

Easier said than done, I realize. Self-loathing is a strong emotion and strong emotions don’t leave easily. Self-esteem can be hard to come by for some people. When we are lonely, it’s hard to not blame ourselves for that loneliness. When we’ve been rejected, sometimes we believe we deserve to be rejected. Nothing could be further from the truth. Never let someone else define your reality. Go back to what you know about yourself. What are your strengths? What do you have to offer? What is your purpose in life that you are meant to accomplish? Think about all your attributes. Don’t get bogged down in the negative ones.

Examine Yourself

If you’re struggling to love yourself, try examining yourself. If you’re alone, ask yourself why? This is hard. I don’t want you to use this as an opportunity to beat yourself up for not being perfect but you do need to look at yourself and see if there are opportunities for growth. Are you a critical person? A negative person? Have you lost yourself in your pain? Are you stuck pitying yourself and your circumstances? Your pain is real and the negative circumstances in your life are reason to be unhappy but is that how you want to define yourself? Or are you more than your illness?

Please, don’t stop at the negative parts of yourself, think about the positive. Think about all you have to offer. Do you have a tender heart? You bring love into the world. Do you have a smile that lights up a room? You bring joy into the world. Do you understand things not everyone else can? Think of the ideas you bring to the world! Whether it’s the ways you give – nurturing others, listening to others – or who you are – intelligent, intuitive, honest – you have something to offer this world we all live in. See yourself the way God sees you not the way the negative people of the world see you.

We Are Forgiven

Part of the Christian faith is the acknowledgment that we are all sinners. Understanding how we fall short and having an awareness of our own imperfections is an important part of growth. We simply can’t stop there. Acknowledgment and repentance of sins is followed by forgiveness of sins and once those sins are forgiven, they are wiped away. We don’t need to hate ourselves. We are forgiven by God. God loves us and God sets the example for us to love ourselves. I’m not talking about pride or arrogance. It is just as wrong to put others down as to put yourself down. I’m talking about understanding our value as human beings. We can love ourselves in humility. We must understand that we are special, loved by God, and therefore worthy of that love. So, value yourself. Cherish yourself. You are lovable!

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