One of the most difficult relationships I have ever experienced was the relationship I have with myself.
It’s the only way.
The scary thing about this is that WE KNOW that we should love ourselves and practice self-love on a daily basis, but most women they choose not to.
Now, the lack of time to practice self-love or even the lack of funds to practice it isn’t what’s scary…
What’s scary about the lack of self-love in ourselves is that women are actually afraid to do it.
Does that make any type of sense? Let me break this down…
When I was younger, I desired to be loved. I wanted was to feel special and receiving love from someone other than myself is what I thought would help me achieve that.
But once I got it from someone, I was terrified of losing that love. So I would do whatever I had to do in order to prevent any breakups from happening.
I wanted my boyfriend to fall so hard in love with me that it would be impossible to picture himself without me and would, therefore, stay loyal to me until death did us part…
This meant that I would observe his every move….
What he liked to eat. The shows and type of music he enjoyed. Even down to the kind of drink, he would order at the bar.
Then I would mimic all of it. I changed the way I dressed, spoke, and loved just so that I could reflect the type of girl who my guy was into so that he could show me an endless love.
Now, why on earth am I sharing this very humiliating “kisstory” of mine when we’re supposed to be talking about strengthening the relationship you have with yourself?? Read on… I’m about to make my point.
Ok, so clearly, if anyone began to copy your every move, you may feel flattered… at first. But eventually, it’ll get boring, weird, and perhaps even downright creepy. Yeah, so that’s what would end up happening. Every. Single. Time.
I fought so hard to become like the guy I wanted to receive love from that I lost myself in the process.
Naturally, this unhealthy mindset leads to many, many breakups. And after the loss of yet another form of love from a guy, I would feel completely broken.
Whenever I would try to focus on myself, I would well in the beginning, but after about a month or so, my loneliness would creep back in and my desperation to find love would grow.
You see, the reason why I (and many other women out there) fail to focus on themselves long enough to allow their relationship with themselves to grow is that we’re afraid that the baggage we’d have to handle would be too much to bear.
Much like any relationship you get into, you have to expose the baggage in order to strengthen your relationship.
If you’re dating someone special, and you think he could be a keeper, then you’ll wanna know everything you can about that person, including their baggage. It’s only fair that you know what’s holding them back from healing, breakthroughs, or any other future steps if you choose to move forward with them, right?
The SAME EXACT THING should happen to yourself!
Only, because you’ve experienced your pain from the baggage you’re holding onto, you are afraid of becoming vulnerable again to deal with it.
And because you choose not to deal with the baggage within yourself, you’re setting a barrier that keeps you from strengthening your relationship that you have with yourself!
Fear keeps you in bondage. It ties you up so that you assume that love cannot be reached within yourself. Therefore, because you already see this mission as being impossible, you go on and search for love elsewhere.
To many of us, it’s easier to pour love onto others rather than ourselves because we don’t have the power to dismiss their fears and change them. But we do possess that power to do it for ourselves.
So… how exactly can you strengthen the love that you should have for yourself?
1. You gotta be willing to cast out the fear.
The Bible says that the perfect love casts out all fear. Meaning, if you are totally in the submission of God taking over your love-life than He will fight for you against the fear that you have when it comes to your love-life.
Not sure if you fully TRUST God enough to allow Him to fight for you? Check out my free Love Trust Test! You’ll experience some major ah-ha moments that will help you see exactly where you stand when it comes to trusting God in your love-life!
2. You gotta be willing to remove your baggage.
Whatever it is that you are holding onto (e.g. the pain that an Ex left, the humiliation of how you acted in your last relationship, the restfulness that you have towards that one so-called friend) it’s time to let it go. It’s hard to give yourself some self-love when you continue to emotionally cut yourself with these past pains and bruises. Acknowledge that you may have some scars that will never go away, but those scars are no longer open wounds. Let it go.
3. Give yourself a TON of grace.
You are not perfect. You never will be. But hey, if loving others give you any consolation of how you actually love, then at least you know that you can love yourself just as well. You may not like the person that you have become (I surely didn’t like myself!) but if you can give yourself the same grace that Jesus gives to you every day then slowly but surely, you can change your attitude, mindset, thoughts, opinions, and character. You gotta start somewhere.
4. Stop judging yourself.
What you like, what you dislike, and how you feel about things should not be judged. There is no right or wrong in these categories. Forget what the “cool girls” are saying. God called you to be different. You don’t need to have permission to enjoy Pixar movies or eat cereal for dinner if that’s what you enjoy doing with your life. No one is going to love you less for wearing bacon socks and a messy bun. If you genuinely like to read, then you don’t have to explain that to anybody. This is what makes you you. Own it. And sooner than later, you’ll learn to love it.
5. Love takes time.
You aren’t going to just learn to love yourself overnight. Especially if you haven’t been giving yourself the time and attention that you deserve to have. Would you marry a guy after the first date? I’m pretty sure you’re gonna say no. (No, the guy is NOT Dwayne Johnson!) The same thing applies to yourself. Give yourself a good, solid three months to really get to know yourself. Go places that you’ve always wanted to go and do things you’ve always wanted to do. Do it alone! Listen to your thoughts. Explore. Write it all down. When you begin to feel anxious, pray and seek the Lord. See what He’s telling you.
Once you’re able to apply these five steps, you will definitely begin to see your relationship with yourself strengthen. And the best part? You’ll actually find the love that you’ve been looking for within yourself.
But wait! There’s more!
Now that you feel that love and know exactly how to receive it, you can then be able to share that very useful information with your potential Mr. Right and he’ll be able to love you in the way that you need to be loved! See, it all comes back full circle!
But in order to get there, it has to start with you first. And strengthening your relationship with yourself is going to radically change the way that you experience love for many years to come!
What are some ways that you were able to strengthen your relationship with yourself? Share in the comments below!