“As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion”
Today I was sitting in my favorite place (Spencer’s) reading my devotional and today’s chapter was about learning to love yourself. Matthew Kelly points out that we are all worthy of love because we are created in God’s image. With a lengthy history of body image issues, depression, anxiety, etc., etc., this concept is one that I struggle with daily. But somehow hearing it in this new format provided me with a feeling of security. Even though I’m not at a point in my life where my self esteem is particularly low (in fact, I’m doing very well with all of my struggles! Go me, I’m finally doing a decent job at being a human!), a gentle reminder that God loves you unconditionally is always appreciated.
God is perfect, and He created us in His image, so doesn’t that imply that we are perfect, too? Why yes, yes it does. Learning to love yourself is hard. Because so often we are bombarded with standards of what ‘perfect’ is, when in reality, perfect just means accepting ourselves for who we are and being content with ourselves. Everything about me was planned out ahead of time by a perfect God, so who am I to say that I am not worthy? Who am I to question the work of my almighty Creator?
This is not to say that I do not have flaws – to say that is vain and incorrect. But the flaws I have make me the person I am. So love your flaws; embrace them. Find your strengths and weaknesses and use them to your advantage & to form relationships. So you’re not good at something – find someone who is good, befriend them, and learn from them. Then you can teach them something you excel at in return. We all have different talents and shortcomings, and that is perfectly okay. We are perfect in our imperfections.
Coming to the conclusion that we all have something to offer helps us realize our worth and our right to love and be loved. Today was one of many instances in which my perfect Savior reminded me that I am unconditionally loved and deserve to be treated as such. I deserve to love myself – it is not conceited to recognize your strengths, it is essential. It is not selfish to actively acknowledge your worth, it is healthy. It is not wrong to love yourself, but fundamentally right. God made no mistakes in creating you the way you are or me that way I am. He did his part in giving us this life. Our part is to make it as full of love as we can, and that includes loving ourselves.