Have you ever felt struck over the head by a seemingly simple concept? A few years back, when I was beginning to realize I had lost my soul voice, I felt like a whole new reality was opened up to me when I read a verse I’ve known my whole life. In Mark 12:31, Jesus says, “the second (greatest) commandment is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’.”
I was dumbfounded…
What if I don’t really know how to love myself?
What does this verse mean for someone who’s spent more time beating herself up than loving herself? How do you follow Jesus’ words then? How can you turn outward with anything authentic to give someone else, when every time you turn inward you beat down a piece of who you are?
Here are a few things that have helped me move towards loving myself (and ultimately better able to fulfill Jesus’ command of loving my neighbor):
- Ask God to show you the way. God is WITH you and is all about molding you into His image. He’s not giving up on you or walking away. Ask God to show you how to have a heart of compassion, understanding and love for yourself and your story. Ask Him to give you the ability to forgive yourself for the thing you’re holding yourself hostage over.
- Would I say it to my daughter? When the Soul Bullies get going (as my friend likes to call the ‘not good enough’ voices), I like to ask myself, “Would I say this to Harper or Kensi or London?” The answer is always a resounding NO! I would be absolutely heart-sick if anyone ever said to my daughters the things I think about myself in my head. Let’s give ourselves a little self-check every so often to see if we are loving ourselves or tuning into the Soul Bullies.
- Write down the truth. When the Soul Bullies get going, it can be pretty difficult to get them to back down. I like to give myself physical reminders around my house by writing down words or phrases and putting them in prominent places. I have signs around my house, sticky notes on my bathroom mirror, and notecards in my car. Seeing words that pull me towards the truth can save me when I’m being pushed around. Try writing down the things the Bible says about who you are. Two of my favorites are: We are chosen, special, holy, His from 1 Peter 2:9. We are blessed, chosen, adopted, accepted, redeemed and forgiven from Ephesians 1:3-12 MSG.
How can you practice a little self-love today? Do you have other helpful ways you silence the Soul Bullies?