Saturday, January 12, 2013

Why It's So Hard to Love Yourself- and How to Start:

Mark 12:31
Love your neighbor as you love yourself.

I tweeted a message asking "Why do you think God asks us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves?"

One young woman tweeted back saying:
"I hope He calls us to love our neighbor as HE loves us...b/c sometimes,  I don't love myself very much".

Her answer to my question made me stop and think.  From what I've seen and experienced, this young woman is not alone in her struggles.  Hundreds of people that I have met, counseled, or befriended- all struggling with the same thing.   

Why is it so hard to love yourself?

I heard a talk the other day about self-worth.  The speaker was saying that it's almost as though we are born into a world in which we are constantly getting labels slapped onto us by others.  Our parents, our friends, our family, and people that we don't even know.  Each person from the outside looking in coming up with their label to put on us.  Some are kind, some are true...but so many of them are lies.  Negativity.  Hurt. Judgment. Misunderstanding.  Labels, slapped onto us without our permission.  And sometimes, we carry them so long that we believe what they say.    Sometimes, we allow them to define us.

I think sometimes it is so hard to love ourselves...because we have believed what the labels have been telling us.   

The truth is, God came to rip off all the labels that have been placed upon us, and start teaching us the truth about who we are- who He has made us to be.

When we acknowledge His love for us, we get the opportunity to take off all the labels and start from scratch.  If you back up one verse, Mark 12:30 is an essential starting point to learning how to love ourselves.  In it, God calls us to love Him fiercely, with all that we are:

'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'

When we are in focused relationship with God, loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength- every part of us is open to learning and experiencing His view of us.  We are exposed to His way of thinking and feeling and His definitions of us begins to sink in.  His labels begin to take priority.  We become surrounded by His love for us, and it begins to permeate into our hearts as well.  And eventually, surrounded by such a relentless love- it begins to rub off.  We slowly learn that He thinks we are worth it.  We slowly believe that maybe we are worth it.  We finally begin to love ourselves...because He has first loved us.

And then finally, when we have really learned to love ourselves, we are opened up to the true meaning of loving others.

Love must always start with us.  Because in order to give out love, we must first possess it. 

I'm thankful for a God who pours His love on me, teaching me to love myself as He loves me, so that I am ultimately freed to love others.

It's time to rip off all the labels.  It's time to be freed to really love.  



  1. Hello,

    Yes, we cannot give out love that we have not received.

    Please read my article "10 Ways to Be Irresistible" at www michelefjackson blogspot com.

    Let's chat.

    Be blessed.

    God is Love and Sexuality,
    Michele Jackson
    www michelefjackson blogspot com

  2. Thanks for your thoughts Michele, and God bless the work and writing that you are doing as well!


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