Loving Thyself

We all hear about the need to love others and numerous teachings exist on how to love your neighbours or your enemies. 3 days ago I was teaching my Sunday school children about loving their enemies and as far as I was concerned, I didn’t have serious enemies to try loving…

Until it dawned on me just now: what happens when you’re your own enemy? I know that sounds strange but I’m realising it’s possible; not because I heard about it but because I actually am the specimen. I am my own enemy!

Lately I’ve been grappling with some serious insecurities and after a day where those insecurities were triggered severally, I’d finally spent a few hours tonight in peace. Sadly, my source of distraction also became the reason everything started crumbling down again.

I don’t like myself… I just discovered that. There are elements about me that I like but there are things that stick out as a sore thumb. These ones overshadow everything else and have been causing me pain lately. I tried bringing them before God but I withdrew them quickly each time. My argument was that I’m the one who’s responsible for this and so I’m the one required to do something about the situation.

Which brings me to the reason why I’m writing this. I’m feeling terrified… well sort of. I’ve been talking myself down and disliking myself so much that now I’m even anticipating the same from people. I have put myself down, degraded my self worth, tolerated insecurities until I gave them power and permission to intimidate me. It’s no wonder I’m starting to fear people.

You see, I’m fighting myself and being my own worst enemy. I’ve spent enough time trying to learn how to love God and other people while doing the exact opposite for myself. Which means I’m actually frustrating any effort at loving because I can’t love others unless I’ve loved me.

This is the reason why Jesus said ‘love your neighbour as you love yourself’. Charity begins at home. Most of all, you can’t give you don’t have. If I destroy myself, I will spread that stench and not the aroma of love because what’s within will be decaying stuff.

So this is not some self-centred mumbo jumbo or one of those selfish theologies. This is about learning how to be kind to ourselves. Stop being too hard on yourself! Show a little grace, show some little kindness and simply start showing yourself some love. Best thing you can do is to go surrender to the love that makes everything right. Let Jesus love away any insecurity and anything that causes you to dislike yourself.

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