In my post titled, “Is it Wrong to Love Yourself?” I made the point that we should love ourselves. In fact, we need to love ourselves so that we can properly love others.
I’m going to share two simple, fun steps that will help you to truly love yourself and others. These steps are just a starting point, but after a couple months of adhering to them, you’ll see major positive changes in your life. You’ll find strength, confidence and happiness. You’ll also have a deeper understanding of the joys of loving others. You’ll give love not only because God commands it, but also because you’ll have risen a deep desire to do so!
These two steps may seem so small and so simple that they can be overlooked, but they’re the most important things you can do to learn to love yourself and, ultimately, to love your neighbor as yourself. Keep this steps in mind and practice them constantly. You’ll see amazing results.
1. Accept yourself as you are.
When you do something wrong, forgive yourself. Don’t be angry. When you do something right, applaud yourself. We all know we have an inner voice. It’s the voice we use to think, to judge ourselves, to pray. Unfortunately, that voice can really bring us down. It can say, “I’m not strong enough to overcome this temptation,” or “I’m not good enough.”
Fortunately, you are that voice, you control that voice. Step one is to make sure you maintain control over that voice, and only think positively. When you find yourself lacking courage or strength, don’t be angry with yourself. Instead, realize what you learned and move on. Don’t brood over your failures. And when you do something good, when you realize you’ve grown, thank God for that.
2. Thank God for making you the way you are.
Thank the Creator for creating you with the ability to forgive yourself and the ability to obey him. Thank God for making you who you are. If you’re going through difficult times, thanking God may be difficult, but it will become easier after a couple months of talking positively to yourself. Even when it is difficult, dig deep to find a few things you’re thankful for each day.
Loving yourself is to take yourself as God created you. In Paul’s words, “By God’s grace, I am who I am.” As time moves on, as you practice these steps, you’ll find they begin to happen naturally. You’ll find yourself excited even by little successes and largely unaffected by failures, and you’ll find yourself thanking God often.
The best part about growing in your ability to accept yourself as you are is that you’ll also grow in your ability to accept others as they are! All of our faults boil down into the same brew called sin. When you can love yourself amidst your own sins, you can love others amidst their sins. That is what Jesus Christ does, he forgives us. He loves us as we are.