My post, today, was inspired by this photo on my Weight Watchers Magazine. (Yes, I'm a 30+ year veteran of WW!) The girl is hugging a heart full of red balloons and she's declaring "LOVE, ME!" Before I read the sub heading, I knew what it meant -- loving ourselves enough to take care of ourselves. But, if it weren't on a Weight Watchers magazine, those words "I love me" could just seem quite selfish and egotistical.
How many of us love ourselves? I mean truly, honestly love ourselves? As a teenager, I remember saying "She sure loves herself" and that was meant as a criticism. SHE was one who pranced herself around in a boastful and arrogant way, always making others feel so much less than her. But there's a difference in THAT girl or guy, and the one that Jesus talked about when He said, "Love your neighbor, as you love yourself." Mark 12:31
I hear life coaches say "Look in the mirror and say to yourself....'I love you'! I agree with that philosophy, because, how can we truly love others if we don't love ourselves. But, it’s just not that easy to love ourselves sometimes, especially, as Christians, when we're taught the importance of humility. But, the fact is, only those who feel good about who they are, can really express humility. It takes someone who truly loves him/herself to acknowledge that they don’t have all the answers, that they may be wrong about something, or that they are not the greatest or best at everything. We can love ourself, and come across as loving, sincere, authentic and real, AND be humble. Rick Warren says "Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it’s thinking of yourself less.” It doesn't mean we don’t care for ourself, but it does mean we think of others AS MUCH as we think of ourself.
So, if loving others as much as we love ourselves is so important, I'm recommending that we start expressing how much we love ourselves so that we can elevate the love we have for others. I love getting compliments, but maybe I shouldn't desire that from others as much as I give them to myself. What do I most want to hear? Maybe you and I can start a love fest with ourselves and start by putting up some post it notes on our mirror that helps us out with the compliments: "I love YOU"......."I trust you"......"I am so proud of you"......"You are beautiful"....."I appreciate you"....."You are so strong"......"God loves you"....."You light up my life"......"Wow! You lost weight!"....."I love that color on you!"
Oh, by the way, your hair looks AWESOME!
So let's go ahead and love ourselves. We've been been given permission.