Although the answer is simple, that’s still a very a tough question. And I have to begin by asking you a tough question.
Do you love yourself? Do you see value in YOU. Do YOU think you’re important?
I’m going to get a little vulnerable here… because that’s the only way to answer this question. There are several arrows that can be shot directly to my heart and hit where it hurts the most. All of them have to deal with these questions and the lies that are continually being whispered into my ear. The lies I’m constantly fighting…. less and less over time… but in all reality… still fighting. And I know I’m not alone.
“You’re not good enough.” “You’re not important.” “You’re not lovable.”
Fear of rejection. Fear of being unloved. All real fears… and I’ve experienced this nightmare. I’ll never forget the time when two of my best friends just shut me out overnight. I was pregnant and in my early 20’s. It was a real life nightmare that I relived in my head and in my dreams over and over for the next SEVEN years.
“What did I do wrong? What’s wrong with me?”
You see, my friend… it’s so easy to look at our lives and only see our apparent failures. See the areas we’ve been rejected. See how we just ‘aren’t good enough.’ How we don’t measure up.
We speak words of hate to ourselves. We tell OURSELVES we aren’t good enough. We aren’t important. We replay the tapes… the hurt we’ve experienced… the pain we’ve felt. And we continue the cycle by amplifying it in the way we talk to ourselves.
So how do we break the cycle? How do we see that we are important enough to see value in taking care of ourselves?
We are called to “love the least of these.” And in this case… I firmly believe that the “least of these” is ourselves. We HAVE to learn to love WHO we truly are in order to fall in love with ourselves.
Sounds silly… I totally get it. But it’s true. We have to fall in love with ourselves. And I’m not talking the selfie kind of love. I’m talking about the ‘least of these’ kind of love. The love YOU KNOW you wouldn’t deny anyone but yourself.
When I first started this whole journey… I had suppressed a LOT of my true self for years. I wanted to be accepted and loved, so the person I put on Facebook or online or presented to others was NOT the real me. Oh… it had parts of me in it… but nothing that would give people cause to ridicule or make fun of me. That… I could not handle.
Everything started to change when I had to create a Facebook Like page. GEEZ was that hard. At first I started putting lots of hard-core fitness and health stuff on the page. I totally wanted to be cool. I was a GYM RAT now. RIGHT?
WRONG! It wasn’t me. I knew it. The audience knew it. And there was no response.
I’ll never forget the first time I decided to change it up and posted a video of me singing a funny Focus T25 spoof song on an old YouTube channel. I was terrified. I was so afraid that people would make fun of me or judge me. Because THIS is a real part of my personality, and revealing it left me feeling rather naked to be blunt.
What I discovered though… is that people liked it. They liked my craziness. They loved the real me.
The more I healed by taking care of myself (my journey to being whole started with health and fitness), the more I was able to reveal more pieces of myself… to make myself vulnerable so to speak.
It hurt. It physically hurt. Because I’m a bit over the top. I know that. I’ve been through a lot. I can be a little on the insane side. I’m a bit weird. I’m still catching up socially from my isolated homeschool past (Disclaimer… I love homeschool… back then there were very few homeschoolers, so the experience was VERY different.).
I had a lot of insecurities to get past. But the more I faced them. The more I revealed the true pieces of me, I discovered something. People loved me for who I really was… the REAL me.
With all my imperfections. My quirks. My struggles. I discovered that I WAS lovable. Yes… there were those who didn’t care for me… but as I came to love myself, that didn’t matter anymore.
For years… my fears had held me back from letting people in. I began to speak words of freedom. Of being fearless. And hence came my life motto… Live FEARLESSLY!!!
For the first time ever, I don’t care what other people think. If I get hurt, instead of dwelling on it for days… it only lasts a matter of hours now, because I know I’m WORTH more.
So back to your question… HOW do you make yourself realize that you’re important enough to make yourself work harder and do better?
The answer? Fall in love with yourself.
See yourself the way God sees you. That you are WORTH it. That you are LOVABLE. That you are worth being taken care of… and yes… that means that YOU are worth taking care of yourself.
So start dating yourself. Get to know the REAL you… then don’t hold back. Share it with the world.
You were made for more. Name it. Claim it. LIVE IT!