Sitting on my couch and munching on these chin chin balls, I just start reflecting; I’m thinking of all the ups and the downs, all the experiences, both pleasant and unpleasant, the heartache I inflicted on myself, and the ones caused by others in the past. I remember how as a shy and introverted girl, I was one of the insignificant ones in class, in both elementary and high school. I didn’t know I was a smart girl, didn’t know I had a say in any matter, I feared everything, didn’t even know my opinion counted, didn’t know my voice could be heard. On the other hand, my little sister was bold, sassy, talkative and would participate in all the drama and dance competitions in school; yeah, we were direct opposites, lol.
As a shy and introverted person, I wasn’t the type to have a lot of friends, I had just a few of them. In fact, many of the friends I have today were the ones I made either from University or Post-University days. Since I wasn’t used to having many friends, I held my few friends in high esteem, I loved them so much; I would do anything for my them, I would continuously say YES, even when in my heart I meant NO. It was really tough for me to get a grip of myself and confidently speak exactly what was on my mind for fear of hurting them in the process. This situation was so bad that I became so attached to a friend of mine at the university, I couldn’t go to lectures without her, couldn’t go to the library without her; we went everywhere together, until I started becoming a burden on her, so she started going to lectures alone, or with other friends. I became so upset because I thought she was my best friend, saw her as my best friend and thought she had betrayed our friendship, when as a matter of fact, she was helping me. After her change in attitude, I started making more friends also, and thanks to her I was able to make amazing friends. But I still had the tendencies, to love others so much, while neglecting myself in the process. I would go to the moon and back for a friend and would not even be able to go past the sky for myself. Little did I know that I had to love myself, give myself some love before I could give it to others, thank God I realized that pretty quickly and made adjustments, even though it was really hard. The Bible speaking about love says, “Love the Lord with everything in you, heart, might, soul, just everything, and then love your neighbor as yourself.” (paraphrased) Our love has to first be for Our Father in Heaven, then ourselves, then others. The only time when loving ourselves becomes bad, is when we make ourselves our own idols, when you’re so obsessed with you that nothing else matters, it becomes idolatry. It means you’re placing yourself above God, and He says no one can take His place.
The importance of self-love cannot be overemphasized, thank God that today, women who were once hidden in their shells and could only be heard when their husbands spoke, are finding their voices. And as a woman, I believe every woman should be encouraged to love herself, find her voice, and love others in the process.
Now, loving oneself doesn’t necessarily change their personality. It only creates a shift in the way they view their relationship with others;so you could be an introvert or extrovert and still need to love yourself more.
If a woman is in an abusive relationship and she does nothing about it, then there is definitely a problem there; the reason she has remained in that abusive relationship is bacuse needs someone to validate her, and without that person she fills empty. She has to learn how to be okay by herself, then others will be okay with her.
If in a friendship relationship, a woman is constantly being criticized or looked down on by her friend she ought to check out or work on that relationship.
If it’s easier for you to give gifts, money, compliments and prayers to others more than you do to yourself, it is time to do a self assessment and make some changes.
So I urge every woman reading this today, love yourself, thank God everyday for fearfully and wonderfully making you, take yourself out, buy yourself treats. I must confess that I’m still working on some of these things myself.
I’m still work in progress. Let’s progress together on this journey to self-love.
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