“i wish i’d done this earlier.” this is the thought that ran through my mind when i began the journey of self-care and self-love.
self-care and self-love are two different things. self-care is actions you undertake to cultivate and nourish yourself — physically, mentally, and emotionally. on the other hand, self-love is genuinely loving and embracing yourself for who and what you are.
our lips may declare that we care and love ourselves, but i believe that self-love is truly demonstrated on how we take care of ourselves, on what we pursue, what we write deep within our hearts, and on how we see ourselves.
today, i’m committed to caring myself by cultivating habits that will improve my life like eating healthy food, waking up early, going on a workout, improving my mental health and practicing things that will honor my body and God.
i am committed to loving myself. i’m training myself to be more comfortable in my own skin and strength. programming my mind with who God says i am. i’m in the process of getting out of my cocoon, believing that I’m destined to soar, i’m blessed, valuable and more than a conqueror.
i’m passionate about my personal growth, and i’m happy that i can now look at myself in the mirror and smile with acceptance of who and what i am.
but my life hasn’t been always like that.
i spent most of my life at war with myself. i hated my body, my face, my life — i hated all of me. i couldn’t find a way to love myself, so i tried to seek this love from somebody else until i found myself completely broken and beyond repair. i distrust myself, the church, and all the people around me.
for my entire adolescent years, i would hurt myself physically, i never came to the point of slitting my wrist though, but i would cry out in the night, praying to God to end my life. every day felt like i’m drowning, but i need to survive.
not a pleasant scene to look back on, but i’m thankful that Jesus was instilled in me from a very young age because if i didn’t know anything about Him, i couldn’t have made it today.
when i received the love of God, it was only at that moment i become able to love myself.
through this love, i have come to understand that God made me in his image and what i see as my imperfections are actually what make me perfect and unique, it only means that i do not need to change anything with how God formed me and that He loves me just the way i am.
it is impossible for a depressed and insecure person like i was to step out on this journey without experiencing who love is and what it is doing in my life.
“ Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Cor. 13:4
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” 1 John 4:16
for me, that is what perfect love, that’s who Love is and that is what love truly means.
someone in the past once said to me that loving yourself is selfish and i, too, believed that it’s selfishness and i was afraid to look self-centered.
but through knowing God is love, it became so clear to me that loving yourself isn’t a bad thing because if you knew who love is and understood what it has done in your life — you’ll be able to love the person God first chose to love. you’ll be able to embrace the person Jesus Christ died on the cross for…and that is you.
as you connect to God’s sufficient love, a never-ending supply of love will fill your heart that will overflow into the lives of those around you. the love that allows me to see how beautiful I am, is the same love that enables me to see the beauty in others too.
in this journey, i will always fail myself, for this self-love apart from Jesus cannot satisfy me fully. this love is never lasting, but Jesus’ love for me is unfailing and everlasting.
the only substantial love i can entirely depend on, the one that empowers me today to love and take care of myself.
Truly, in this journey, you need to let the love of God be in the driver’s seat to reach the destination of self-love.