Monday, April 1, 2013

How to Love Yourself

. . . when all you can see are the flaws and mistakes.

I look around the house, and I see dust and cobwebs. I see some peeling wall paper border. I see kitchen cabinets that need cleaning out, and a refrigerator that needs a good scrubbing.

I look at myself, and I see the extra pounds I need to lose. The hair that needs cutting. A wardrobe that is mostly yoga pants and long-sleeved t-shirts. 

I look at my To-Do list and see all kinds of things I have scheduled to take care of today, this week, and I wonder how well I'll do at accomplishing those things.

I fix a cup of tea and sit down at my computer. That's when I realize I'm doing it again. Comparing myself to everyone else -- only everyone else is actually this SuperMom/Wife that I have created in my head. All other women live up to her standards. All other women except me.

Who created this idea that we are supposed to excel at everything? It's easy to blame the media, and they deserve a lot of the credit, but I think it's Satan. He ingrains in me that I can be 51 and look as if I'm 24. That my house can look like the pages from a magazine. I can cook wonderful and amazing meals. Entertain regularly. Do craft projects, volunteer, do charity work, help my extended family, and be lovely and pleasant and energetic through it all. Oh, and did I mention in-depth Bible study and recreational reading as well?

Choices must be made, and sometimes the wrong choice will be made. Other times there won't be a clear cut right or wrong and I will be called on to choose, knowing I will let someone down. 

So how do keep on loving myself, when I know in my heart I will fail at much that I will attempt? How do I keep trying? 

First, I stop and breathe. Then I remember that I am not called to be perfect. That there are no perfect people out there, no matter what Satan tells me. There are only people, women, trying to take care of things and people and themselves.

Second, I stop and remind myself I am not alone in this journey. I am a child of God. I have an ever loving Father who is happy to listen to all my worries and even my complaining. I can tell Him how tired I am and how I don't want to have to do the hard things anymore, and He will not judge me or reprimand me. Rather He will love and encourage me, imbuing me with strength to do the "have to's". 

He will tell me how He loves me, no matter what I accomplish. And He will remind me that perfection is His business, and not a requirement for entering His presence.

So I make a list. I prioritize, and I do the best I can. Remembering that His reality is the only one that matters.

I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence I can reach for; perfection is God's business. -- Michael J. Fox

linking up to a love dare


  1. God does LOVE you and because of Christ, all God sees is your perfection through Christ Jesus.

    Bless you for sharing such a vulnerable part of yourself and bless you for blessing others with your honesty.

  2. i just love reading your posts! thank you for addressing how our difficulty in loving & excepting ourselves has as much to do with things outside our bodies as with them [like our houses, our to-do lists, our accomplishments, etc.] it reminds me yet again that i need God's redemption & healing in EVERY area of my life!

  3. melanie, there is SUCH wisdom and beauty in this. we women are so bad at comparing ourselves with each other. comparison robs us of joy. thank you for this.

  4. That supermom/woman image is a hard one to break. I have that same image in my head as well, the one I never measure up to. THanks for the reminder that "she" isn't a real person and isn't who we are called to be.

  5. We're all tempted to live up to ideals formed and/or imposed by others, but just as convicts are advised to "do their own time" we have to learn to "live our own lives" and stop comparing and contrasting. Thanks for a well written exposition of this important thought.

  6. Ah yes, we are so quick to judge ourselves, when we should be our own best friend. And yes, the world has set so many standards it could be frustrating. And certainly, God never judges us, never expects us to perform according to standards. A very enlightening post, thanks!

  7. I loved this post. We do forget, don't we, that our Father wants to enjoy us and for us to enjoy Him. Everything else can then be added to us.


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