Thursday, January 15, 2009

What does it mean to “love yourself?”

What does it mean to “love yourself?”

I’ve been thinking about that today. I have decided that for sure, beyond the shadow of a doubt, I do not love myself. There are many factors that played into my determination of this fact. These are not things that I don’t LIKE about myself… there is a difference. The following is EVIDENCE that I don’t love myself.
My weight/body. I do not treat it the way I should. I continue to sabotage my own health, knowing that it is not going to truly make me happy.
I’ve ruined my marriage. Yes, it goes both ways. But largely, it’s my fault. And I do NOT love myself for that. I don’t love myself because I’ve done so much damage, I’m not sure it can be fixed.
I don’t have friends. Yes, there are a few. But I’ve pushed most of them away.
My home. I am a mess. I used to be organized, clean, efficient. Now, I step over clothes and try to figure out when the last time was that I did dishes. I allow myself (and my husband) to live in bad conditions.
I don’t love God the way I should. If I really loved myself, I would be putting the effort into my walk with God that I should be; because it should care to me whether or not I am pleasing God.
I am not honest with myself or others. I do not think that I important enough. When people genuinely ask if I need anything, or someone for support, or someone to listen, I tell them I am fine; even though I’m not fine.

Do you love yourself as much as you should? How much is enough? How much is TOO much? I’ve known multitudes of people who did not love themselves as much as they should. One friend of mine has made multiple suicide attempts throughout his life. They have all been half-hearted. Even that shows that he does not love himself. It was a cry for attention, for someone to show that they cared. He doesn’t eat often; he’s wasting away. He is a genius according to tests, but never went to college because he doesn’t think the effort will make him happy in the end anyway. He doesn’t really date, because he doesn’t want to subject a girl to the hard work a relationship with him would be. He lives a lonely, hungry, cold life; and he doesn’t think he deserves more.

Well… as a Christian, I guess I don’t like throwing around phrases like “love yourself” and “deserves more”. I don’t know what a Christian deserves; or a non-Christian. I don’t know how much a sinner should love themselves. But I do know that everything we get is through God’s grace. And that while I myself am not amazing, I should respect and honor my body as a temple of the Lord; and I have worth in Christ. But sometimes, when life creeps up on you, and pain and trials seem to be drowning you, you forget that.

Can someone love themselves TOO much? Do you know someone who has? I was trying to think of someone; but every time a face popped into my head, I realized that they actually seemed to not love themselves ENOUGH. Take the popular kids in school for example. They spend so much money on clothes, events, friends. They run themselves ragged being “involved”. Girls give themselves to boys too soon so that they will be liked. Boys sacrifice many of their feelings for the sake of being “masculine”. Do they really sound like they truly have too much love for themselves? It sounds like insecurity to me. I can’t think of a single person who genuinely loved themself too much.


It’s been one of those days. I’ve been at work for a long time, and I’ve been crying to my computer screen. My co-workers have caught some tears, but haven’t said anything; it’s just as well. If someone asked if I was okay, I think the whole dam would collapse. Some days are good. And some days it’s just hard to get out of bed in the morning; hard to get dressed, hard to go to work. Hard to imagine that I’ll have to do this again tomorrow. I know where I should be looking for strength; why the jeepers am I not doing it?

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