Or, is it OK to love myself? What’s healthy self-love?
I bet you had an immediate answer to the question, as did I. My answer is OF COURSE it is! BUT, when I started doing some research there seemed to be conflicting answers. One side of the fence said of course it’s OK to love yourself, you NEED to love yourself. The other side of the fence said how egotistical you are to concentrate only on yourself. I suppose of course, it can be taken to either extreme. It takes a correct mindset.
I’ve been in a lot of prayer and mediation about this mindset of self love the past 3 weeks.
I love the article by Joyce Meyer about the very subject because it completely encapsulates the answers I found.
A healthy balance of love from 3 directions helps you to have proper self love for yourself
- Love God
- Love Yourself
- Love Others
I envision an old fashioned teeter-totter. Remember those?
A friend would sit on the end with you and one of the fun things to do was to try to balance so that neither of you were touching the ground and the teeter-totter was balanced in the middle.
I don’t know all the technical lingo. I just know the middle part is crucial. It’s the foundation of the teeter-totter. And without someone on either end, you have a ‘one-woman’ show. In other words, it won’t work unless to are playing the game.
So it goes in life…..
God is our f0undation. In the Old Testament, Deuteronomy 6:5 it says, And you shall love the Lord your God with all your [mind and] heart and with your entire being and with all your might. We express that love to God by praising him, worshiping him, and by outward obedience to him.
With love towards HIM as a foundation, we can then truly know the power and relief of loving ourselves and loving others
When Jesus was here on earth, he quoted the Deuteronomy scripture but then he followed with his own words “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” found in Mark 12:31. It is in that scripture where we are given “permission” to love ourselves. We are told to love ourselves. And to love others with the same love.
Some may say that we KNOW to love ourselves and that we don’t have to concentrate on it. Most of the commentaries I read on the subject was written by men. I’m not bashing men, but they don’t have a real heart-felt insight into the subject matter.
Being a mom, albeit an empty nest mom, I will sit in front of any of them and tell them that oh YES we DO have to sometimes concentrate on it. Some of us moms put family and friends in front of our own needs, sometimes for years!
Taking the time to concentrate on and practice some “self-love” acts takes, well, takes time and concentration.
I think guilt may be the biggest factor. “I shouldn’t be thinking about myself, I should be thinking of others…my family.”
Well, Mom, it’s time to think about yourself. The kids are gone. Job Mom is not the #1 full time job any more, and it’s OK to love yourself.
Here’s 5 little ideas to get you started on your path to self love:
- Give your body the nurture, rest and exercise it needs to be the best YOU possible.
- Wear clothes that you LOVE and LIKE and fit your personality. Not what “fashion” says is right or what you think will impress others.
- Give yourself permission to just play! Do something you love with no agenda and quit thinking you are WASTING time.
- Quit rehashing past mistakes and dragging yourself down. Learn from the past, but you can’t change it, so move ON!
- Accept and appreciate yourself: the good, the bad, the ugly and everything in between.
Kim Steadman is the COOP (Chief Online Operating Person) for The Re-Feathered Nest. A place of encouragement for moms entering the Empty Nest Zone who are ready to RePurpose and ReDesign themselves according to God’s purpose for their lives now that the kids have flown the coop. Kim can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheRefeatheredNest and on Google+ at +Kim.