God’s Love and Self-love

1 Co 13:4–8a, 13 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Love – something we all crave, we all need and often in distorted ways think we are not “lovable”. There are many, many people with or without mental health issues who think and believe the lie, that they are not loveable, who stay in horrid conditions – not just women, but men as well…

I know that at the bottom of my mental health crisis – I was convinced I shouldn’t be loved – I had loving people around me – that wasn’t the issue – it was the lie of me believing I wasn’t worthy of love – that I shouldn’t have been born… During the darkest days, I wrote 2 suicide notes and planned my funeral… the first suicide note I put on my smart-phone so that at a simple swipe it would appear… I then tried to end my life… It obviously didn’t work – but the intent was definitely there…

I loved others – many I pretty much “worshipped” or longed to be like – they had a “perfect life” compared to what I had… I longed to be – but at the same time, the voices inside my head screamed that I didn’t deserve to even start to think I might try…

For years, if anyone complimented me – my self-esteem was so low – that I literally wanted to rip the persons arm off and beat them with it – try to knock some common sense into them because they were SOOO wrong… I literally twinged inside… I didn’t deserve any compliments – I was the last person on earth who deserved one!

In time I was able to just deflect the compliments off and smile a bit while nodding my head – pretending I accepted it – but I so did not accept it…

Even now, 4+ years later – compliments are really hard to receive – but I am accepting them and acknowledge that there is likely truth to them…

Over the past 4 years I have lost a LOT of weight – I have been successful and kept it off for about 18 months – and finally, a few months ago, I started to really accept the person I saw in the mirror… the new me… my “new” old face – aged of course – but not really seen in a long time… 25+ years I would guess…

I attend Celebrate Recovery (CR) – a Christian 12 step – NOT just for “addictions” – for pretty much anyone – people dealing with divorce, abuse, codependency, food addictions, gambling… you name it – it’s covered…

When I first started to attend I would barely speak – I was just 2 days out of the hospital and less than 2 weeks from my suicide attempt…

One night at CR during worship God whispered to my heart that I no longer hated myself – my self-hatred was truly gone – I am working on self-esteem – but I don’t hate myself…

Love – God’s Eternal, Everlasting, Perfect, Wonderful, Undescribable, Mind-baffling love broke through and started a healing process on the first night I attended CR – the second step – “We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” That phrase is what brought me back week after week…

Note I said started – not completed… But most certainly started…

Love is love! Love of self…. love is love…

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