How God Taught Me To Love Myself This Valentine's Day

Life doesn’t always deal us the greatest hand. Sometimes situations or events can affect the way we view life, others and even ourselves. I, myself, have been through situations that led to me to struggle with self-condemnation, guilt, and shame.

In the past, I wasn’t proud of myself.

I could see the beauty and the worth in others, but it was hard for me to be confident in my gifts and qualities that God has blessed me with.

I don’t always write deep, emotional pieces, but I think my story could bring a lot of inner healing to people.

Last week, the Lord sat me down. He told me to sit in front of my full-length mirror and see myself like I see others. There was no judgment. I just truly looked into my eyes and saw the pain I hadn’t let myself address. I began to analyze my facial expression and the lines on my face, which expressed tiredness and sorrow.

I began to let myself feel sad things, without telling myself I shouldn’t feel those things.

I saw someone who was hurting and sacred; someone who was broken and tired. Someone who was reaching out to be seen and used perfectionism as a tool to get other’s attention. I saw someone who have finally reached the end of herself and felt worthless and wrong.

As soon as I began fluidly writing down what I was seeing, the release of these things onto paper allowed room for my eyes to see my value. The pain I was seeing started to transform into value. For the first time in a long time, I saw value in myself, in addition to love and openness.

Then I started to speak truth over myself that I’ve heard others tell me. I allowed myself to sink into the comfort of my identity in God, and I didn’t let the negative comments from others control my thought process anymore. This then led to forgiveness, and the weight of all the self-condemnation, guilt, and shame being lifted off my shoulders.

At the end, I realized one thing: I had been trying to find my identity through loving people, when really I just needed to love myself first.

The moment I accepted love, I felt God’s love for me more than ever.

I know this sounds cliché, but the truth is you really cannot love other people effectively until you love yourself. You need to allow yourself to fail, and allow yourself the time to forgive yourself. Otherwise, when you try to be a stream of fresh living water to others, there will be pollution that pours out as well.

So this Valentine’s Day, I want you to see the value in yourself. You may have a date or be going out with friends. But before you go out and get ready, look at yourself in the mirror. You are loved, you are worth it and God loves you more than you may feel in this moment.