How to Love Yourself

Sometimes I come at life from the wrong angle, especially when it comes to taking care of myself, and I’m sure many of you can relate! This is partly why exercising regularly, for example, is difficult for me. Instead of thinking “I love and respect my body enough to take care of it” and viewing exercise as a way to love myself, I think “I had better get out there and run or I’m a failure at life.” Like I said, the wrong angle. And I have to remind myself of this often.

So! Reminding myself and you, here are some ways to love yourself, respect yourself, and treat yourself well. We’re worth it. ❤ ❤ ❤

  1. drink more water! the cells in your bod will thank you.
  2. exercise more! but make it fun (dancing, playing a sport). endorphins = yay.
  3. eat well! love yourself enough to only put good things into your body, not low-key poison (MSG, anyone).
  4. connect with nature! give your cells some vit-D, give your lungs some fresh air, and remind yourself that you’re a human being with a soul, not a robot. be outside and listen to the trees and the wind and the birds.
  5. do fun things for the sake of them! not everything has to have a point. color because you like coloring. bake because you like baking. garden because you like gardening.
  6. know your self-care things! maybe it’s sitting down for half an hour with herbal tea and a magazine. maybe it’s knitting. maybe it’s making soap. it doesn’t really matter what it is-just figure it out and then do it daily. you deserve to be taken care of, and who better to take care of you than you?
  7. get more/better sleep! there are several things you can do to improve your sleep quality, and beyond that, make sure you’re sleeping enough. don’t skimp on sleep for anything. the rule of thumb is, the more stressed and busy you are, the more important sleep becomes.
  8. eliminate the bad stuff! take a look at who you spend the most time with, and what you spend the most time reading or thinking about. I’m not saying be in denial, I’m just saying that you’re no one’s trash can. don’t allow yourself to be one. you. deserve. more.

Do you have any other self-love or self-care tips?

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A Locked Garden

I quieten my heart. I listen. To the sound the silence makes when you are truly listening; to the thoughts in my own soul that so often get lost in the whirl of the days. To the Voice that speaks the loving truth. I guard the place where we meet. The deep place within me where only God and I walk together.

The secret place. The deep place. The place where quiet is a song and peace is the harmonizing tune. The living place. The place where the Gardener plants dreams like seeds and waters them with love and I water them with faith, and we watch them flourish, grow, and change. The fresh scent of spring and the promise that it brings wafts from the secret place; a change from the inside out, sustainable and true.

A garden enclosed, where my Maker and I alone may walk.

I quieten my heart. Out of the quiet comes songs, comes life, comes peace, comes refreshing. The Still Small Voice whispers peace into my soul. I worship Him. And together we walk.

I Will Overcome

It is a heart wrenching fact of life, fact of life, that nothing new can come without something old passing away first. And in many cases, it is not simply taking off old clothes and putting new ones on. A part of your flesh must be torn out, a part of the structure of a building must be demolished, a page must be ripped out before a new one can be pasted in.

 

Without change we would not be human. We would not be happy. We would not be alive. Change is good. But when it happens, it is like a surgery, but one where all the anaesthetic has run out, and all you have to keep the pain at bay is half a shot of morphine and whatever you’re biting down on between your teeth.  After, change is good. After, change is adventurous. After, it is easy to say, “Look where we were, and look where we are now. Aren’t we glad to have come this far?” But while it is happening, change hurts more than anything.

 

Change is ruthless. It is like a train without brakes. It does not stop or slow down so you can catch your breath first; it has no mercy for you, regardless of whether you are tired, or fed up, or grieving, or in pain already; regardless of whether or not you have recovered from the last train, this train surges forward, and it comes, ready or not.

 

I have no control. There is nothing to hold onto. I am not standing; God is holding me up. He is all the anchor I have, and sometimes I cannot see into the darkness ahead and below and above me. Sometimes all there is, all I can see, is the darkness, like a night without stars, and I only know He is there because I have to know it to move forward, or else cower in fear. Sometimes fear is the darkness and the darkness is fear, and He is my shield against it.

 

I do not know the future. I do not know tomorrow. I know this moment, this minute, this second. I know I am breathing. I know I am home and with my family, in this moment, with my cat lying beside me and my room a mess because I have enough clothes and books to make it a mess. I know I am healthy, in this moment – I know I can run, if I have to, and I can dance, if music plays. There is a hope deep somewhere in me that does not come from me, because on my own I can have no hope. But this hope, and this love, and this joy, is deep in me, and because it does not come from me I can trust it. I can trust Him.

 

This light is not from me. This is light of another kind. Darkness must always run away from light, but this is a light that the darkness doesn’t even understand. This light is like nothing else the darkness has ever seen. The darkness cannot understand it. It flees not only in fear but in chaos, in confusion; it cannot understand this light that burns with such loving, fearful might. He is the light, and the light is in me. I will walk in the light, as He is in the light, and then, although I cannot see ahead or above or below, I will know that I am walking on a road that has already been prepared. He is behind me and before me, and He has made the darkness His own covering, and so I do not fear it. I am not afraid. I will walk on, and I will overcome, by the blood of the Lamb.

My Heart in Pieces

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There is something so profound and deeply sorrowful about coming face to face with yourself. When God puts a mirror in front of you, it’s never condemning, but it is heartbreaking. With the most lovingly spoken words he breaks us – not to tear us down, but so that he can build something new in place of the old. He is the Restorer, the Renewer, the Builder, the Maker. When he convicts us and lets us see, bit by bit, our sins and shortcomings and areas-to-be-worked-on, he does it with love. There is no condemnation in his gentle revelation, no judgment or guilt tripping. But that, of course, makes it all the more heartbreaking. Because when you see your sins in front of you as if they are laid out on a table, you are suddenly so aware of the sorrow you’ve inflicted, of the nails Jesus took for you on the cross because of these things, these things in front of you; and yet God does not strike us with lightning or accuse us. He simply says, “Be done with these things so that I can transform you and give you my peace and love.”

We will never be perfect. We will keep on sinning. We will keep on having to repent. But God’s love is truly unending and unconditional; not the way in which we understand those words, but in their true meaning, in their infinite sense. He is God. Let him break your heart so he can form a new one in its place.

Look Up and See

I am writing this post while feeling upset. Not angry with people, but angry with lies, and angry with fear, and angry with things that oppose the truth.

When people hear the name of Jesus, they think Christianity, those people who like to throw the word sin around, those intolerant, narrow-minded ignoramuses. They are distracted by us, His followers, mere humans who still sin and who will never be perfect and will never, no matter how hard we try, be completely Christ-like. They are especially distracted by His “followers” who are in fact not even close to representations of who He is, of the love He gives, of the life He promises.

But I wish, I wish with all my heart that people would look past us. Look past the people you see wearing their crosses. Look past the flaws in their lives. Religion is a human construct, but this, this relationship – this is God-initiated, God-created reality. This is REAL. We are not playing some game and trying to outdo each other with good works and with “people we’ve converted.” Only the Holy Spirit can “convert” anyone anyway, so that’s a moot point.

What does the world think we are doing? I speak to an unseen God – and yes, He speaks to me. I feel His presence. I experience His love. I see His hand in everything, and the peace I have comes not from myself or because I meditate for half an hour everyday. This. Is. REAL. This is real. We are not playing dress up. My soul praises my King, because He loves me. My heart’s desire is to follow Him – not to emulate a character in a book, or to emulate a historical figure, but to actively FOLLOW the living, breathing, alive-this-very-moment Jesus Christ. He is alive. He is ALIVE. He is alive this very moment, not dead and lying in some far-away tomb, leaving us to our own devices. My Savior lives.

Why don’t you look at Him? See the splendor of His majesty; see the love in His eyes. Why won’t you look at Him? Lift up your heads, turn your eyes upward and LOOK at the King of Kings. He is alive, He is real, and His love for you is real. It’s not even about the religion – it was never about the religion. It’s about Jesus. He is ALIVE. Look up and see.

He is indescribable; He is uncontainable; He is all powerful; He is beautiful; He is love; He is King; He is Lord; He is healer; He is Savior; He is ALIVE.