Have you ever felt like you were your own worst enemy? Or, have you ever felt as though every moment you spend in public you are bringing shame to yourself? Many girls are trapped in a cycle of being self critical, insecure and having low self esteem.

What are some of the symptoms?

  1. You have a long list of embarrassing moments.
  2. You constantly think about the things you wish you hadn’t done in public.
  3. You are always looking for ways to change yourself.
  4. You wish you could be like someone else that you know.
  5. You try to punish yourself… This can take the form of cutting, starving yourself, too much exercise or other painful things.
  6. You are always trying to do what others are doing or what’s in style.

…And the list goes on.

We often hear that we ought to love ourselves. But, at the same time we can think “what is there to love?” or “maybe if I were someone else it would be easier.” The truth is however, that real love loves the good and the bad; the shameful and the glamorous.

Truly loving yourself is more than just accepting the things you like about you.

It’s also about looking at the bad and saying “it’s okay.”

Magazines will tell you that if you do your hair, do your nails, shop, care only about yourself and do what makes you feel good, then you are loving yourself. The world’s version of “love yourself” is actually selfishness and of course, it doesn’t truly help or set free. The first step in loving yourself, is realizing that you do not belong to yourself. You didn’t even make yourself. In fact, you are a gift from God. He knew you first. He knew your personality, the mistakes you would make, the habits you would have, how you would look and think…everything. He created it and has accepted it already. Just because of that you can love yourself.

The next thing is, don’t try to fix yourself.

If anyone is going to fix anything, it has to be God, because remember, you belong to Him. The best way to actually love yourself therefore, is to love God. If you love God who loves you and has dedicated Himself to you, you will naturally change until you look just like Him.

Loving God is the ultimate way to love yourself with a pure love. A true love. Love that accepts flaws, love that covers shame and love that forgives. That way, If you make a mistake, you can have grace, because God will give you grace, even of no one else is offering it. You will then be able to be comfortable with yourself and express yourself because everything about you is God’s gift to you. You will know that even if others reject you, or you do something wrong or embarrassing that it’s okay.

You are a gift to yourself.

More than that, a gift to the world… Don’t be too hard on yourself or take yourself too seriously. Don’t reject yourself, when our loving Father says that He accepts you! You have to accept yourself and be okay with yourself. Forget every accusing and hateful voice. When you begin to love yourself, you will naturally accept yourself. Know that Jesus loves you unconditionally so that you can love yourself that way!

Image Credit: shutterstock/Krasimira Nevenova