I used to LOATHE myself. I literally hated everything about me and because of that self-hatred I spent a great deal of time in very dark places in my mind. However, God’s LOVE completely turned that self-loathing into self-love. He showed me that I should and could love myself the way He loves me and it forever changed my life. Below is a bit of the story of my life’s walk from Loathing to Loving.
1 John 4:7-10(NIV)
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
As the passage above says, “GOD IS LOVE“. This, I believe, is the bottom line of the bible and of God’s ENTIRE Kingdom. God LOVES us. He loved us before the Creation of the World and NOTHING we can do will EVER be able to separate us from His love. If you are anything like me, you have often felt separated from the Love of God at times in your life. The key to that statement is FELT. I FELT separated from God but it was never actually the case. His love has filled and followed me from Day 1 of my existence and will NEVER leave me.
My feeling that God did not love me was a lie from the enemy. It was a DOOZY of a lie because the enemy had been building it from Day 1 of my existence. I was so steeped in that lie that I truly LOATHED myself to my core. I always felt love for others and tried to focus on that to get me through my life, but it was exhausting.
It was a couple years ago that I discovered this deep rooted hate for myself through a series of YogaFAITH classes. It was during those quiet times of yoga that God revealed my inner loathing to me and offered to teach me to love myself as He loves me. Since that time, He has been healing my heart and my soul and teaching me to see myself through His loving eyes. That healing has TRANSFORMED my LIFE! This little snippet is the short version of my transformation, if you want the LONG version, reach out to me, I am happy to share it with you. I will also be sharing additional pieces of my story in this blog.
I know I am not alone in my self-loathing history and you might be in a self-loathing cycle of destruction right now. If you are, perhaps you think it’s not a big deal that you hate yourself because you still love others. However, let me assure you that it is a BIG DEAL and the problem with trying to love others when you don’t love yourself is this: You can only TRULY love others from an overflowing well of love IN you that God fills with His love. If you keep trying to love others while continuing to hate yourself your well runs dry and you become emotionally exhausted. You feel defeated, you fail at loving others with God’s love and you add ONE more item to your growing “list of reasons to hate yourself”.
There is good news and bad news here.
The Bad News: I can guarantee that as long as you operate from a place of self-loathing you will NEVER be able to keep your spirits up (you might even suffer from depression) and you will continue to bring yourself down and continue (at least in your mind) to fail those around you.
The Good News: God can HEAL your wounded heart with His Love. GOD IS LOVE and He is an ENDLESS supply of LOVE. All He wants to do is give YOU His love. All you NEED to do is accept it. That is not easy to do but remember “with God ALL things are possible.” Ask Him to help you move to a place where you can love you, like He loves you. It is ONLY from that place that you can truly grow in His love and love others the way we are commanded to love.
Sometimes the hurdle with loving ourselves like God does is that we don’t understand the TRUTH about God and don’t comprehend the depth of His love for us. Let me leave you with some truth from I Corinthians 13. It is perhaps a familiar passage to you but I rewrote it in a way that I hope helps bring it home to your heart.
I Corinthians 13: 4-8 (with a little custom editing)
4 God is patient, God is kind. God does not envy, God does not boast, God is not proud. 5 God does not dishonor others, God is not self-seeking, God is not easily angered, God keeps no record of wrongs. 6 God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 God always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 God never fails.
May God fill your heart with love today, tomorrow and always.