Hey guys! So I’ve been out of the blogging game for a little bit now, but I’m back! I’ve got some really fun experiences I’ll probably be writing about in the near future, but for now I’m starting off with something stronger.
I want to preface this by saying that I have my share of problems, and I understand completely the importance of embracing and loving yourself and your body.
Something has occurred to me as I have been trying to figure out why I struggle with loving myself and accepting my imperfections. Why can’t I be like those girls who make a cool video and proclaim to love every part of themselves no matter what?
I’ve come to realize that this new standard of loving myself fully and wholly before being able to love anyone else fully and wholly is a distraction from the real goal. This ideal, I am no longer ashamed to admit, is impossible for me. It may be true what they say, that you can’t love someone until you love yourself, but the opposite can also be said:
You cannot truly love yourself until you love someone else, and allow someone to love you.
In many cases, when you fall in love with someone, they will begin to point out the most beautiful things about you. Coming up with the strength on my own, trying to be fully satisfied by my own love, has left me empty. My love will NEVER be enough for me, and that’s totally normal.
We are way too focused on loving ourselves and accepting ourselves.
Before I go any further, I want to share something a little more personal. For several years I struggled with anorexia (a kind of eating disorder). At a time in my life when I felt powerless, and unequipped to deal with any of the problems in my life, I found one thing I had complete control over. It became my go-to coping mechanism: every time I thought I had gotten rid of it for good, I would find it creeping its way back into my life again. I had no real problems with my weight or my size, though every girl has those basic insecurities or problem areas that drive her crazy.
My main struggle was within.
Looking back on it, I can see clearly now that my self-hate was not coming from the way my body looked, but from the ugliness of my soul. I knew and saw clearly my own faults spiritually and emotionally. I hated the way I thought about other people:
all of the darkness inside.
I felt like I couldn’t escape it, I had no idea how to get rid of it, so I decided that if I couldn’t love myself and be that beautiful person on the inside, I could at least make my outside more beautiful to compensate for the ugliness that was growing.
20 years of age and now I can see where my hollowness came from; I see my dissatisfaction and my disappointment in myself for what it truly is. It doesn’t come from a lack of love of myself, or a failure to embrace my own body and mind, because the truth is I will never be able to love myself the way I desperately need to be loved.
I will never see myself in an unbiased light.
I am not my own best friend.
I am not my best cheerleader,
and having that expectation for myself is wrong.
I will never be able to be that for myself. I do not need to love myself before I love others, I need to love others and let the love of God pour through me to my deepest and inmost being. I need to let Christ’s love mold me and change me as He teaches me how to love other people the way He loves me.
Self-love will be just that, self-love, if it does not come from a deep acceptance of my identity in Christ. If my confidence and my character is built purely on the will-power I have to love myself, it will fail me. Because I am still ugly on the inside. I still say and do terrible things to the people who love me the most. But there is someone, unlike me, who can see past that and still love me relentlessly and unconditionally.
“There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable.”
1 John 4:19