So He (Jesus) answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” (Luke 10:27, NKJV)
I’m sure there’s a lot I could say just from this one sentence. About loving God. Loving your neighbor.
But I’m not going to.
Instead, I will focus on the part where Jesus says we need to love others as we love ourselves.
Isn’t loving God and others important? It’s pivotal!
But so is loving yourself. As you love yourself, you’re supposed to love your neighbor (those around you, basically) accordingly.
Having a high value for yourself (healthy love), actually enables you to love others even more.
Valuing yourself is not arrogant. I can be confident and still humble. I am not more, I am not less. I am everything I’m made to be. Valuing myself is actually honoring God, who created me.
How can I love myself?!? (In a healthy way)
Stay in community with God and people. Listen to what He has to say to you and receive His love for you. Meditate on His love for you. Listening to what God has to say to you is by far the most effective way to start loving yourself. Others can do so much, but God is the key.
Let significant ones speak into your life, and learn to receive from them as well. Be vulnerable. Be accountable. Share life.
Be aware of and communicate needs and boundaries.
Some needs are very practical, but a great way to love yourself. Enough sleep. Nutritious food. Good friendships. Feeling valued and safe.
Now would be a good time to make an action plan in order to love yourself well:
Set aside time with God and significant others. Get accountability partners and mentors. Write down needs and necessary boundaries, and make sure to communicate them when needed. Make a plan to have your basic needs met (that are currently unmet).
Sit down and record a 100 things you love about yourself or that you’re good at.
I love my eyes.
I’m a good listener.
I’m a great dancer.
I love the way I speak.
If it’s hard for you to get to a hundred (or even 30), well, then you really need to make this list!
Find someone to share the list with. Keep the list and go through it regularly. Tell yourself:
“I have beautiful eyes!”
“I’m a good friend”
Especially when you don’t “feel it”.