Matthew 22:37-39- Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second likewise is this, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
This verses sticks out in my mind the more I support and coach women. The question I ask is this – In what way do you love yourself?” If we are to love our neighbors as ourselves, how is this being portrayed? I often catch myself trying to treat those around me much better than I treat myself…then wonder why I feel so empty inside?! So I wrote up a list of ways to “love on myself”.
1) Listen to your body and its needs. If your body tells you “I need sleep” – then get ready for bed and allow 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. If it says “Feed me”, then give it wholesome, healthy, homemade food! (No processed junk!!) If it says “I’m thirsty”, give it good clean water! Your body craves plain water, or water with a little lemon or lime for flavor. You can get these here. And if you have already eaten and an hour or two later you think you are hungry again or feel like eating a snack, try drinking a glass or two of water. Most likely your body is asking for more water instead of food!!
2) Forgive yourself for mistakes made during the day. We are human- but we do not need to use this as an excuse either. We will make mistakes this side of heaven, but we need to get up, brush off the dirt, say “I’m sorry” to whatever body part was injured the most, and try again!
3) Speak kindly to yourself. Speaking words of accusation over your body will only pull you deeper into a pit. Our bodies CRAVE words of love from our own lips. I have a dear friend who had hammer toes. She was having a conversation with God one day and she heard “Today we will love body parts”. She asked where to begin and God said “Let’s start with your toes”. So she looked down at her hammer toes, told them she loved them & how cute her toes were. She thanked God for her toes and for the years they have worked for her. Slowly over time, her little toes are becoming straight! This is a true story!! God loves it when we love on ourselves! —This is the manner we need to speak over each of our body parts!!
4)Trust your gut instincts – because many times we know what we should be doing, but our flesh does something different and then we chide ourselves, hate ourselves and speak negative, unhealthy words about ourselves, etc.
5) Make a playlist of your favorite songs and play them in the evening after you get home from work. If you work from home, you can still play them- whenever you like! I have a list of favorite YouTube hymns and a list of Instrumental Hymns plus several favorite artist playlists on my iPad that I play. Here are a couple of my favorite Hymns and Instrumental Songs. You can sing along or dance to them- it lets the enemy know that you are defeating him by worshiping the ONE and ONLY TRUE GOD!
6) Light some candles, have a small glass of your favorite wine, play or cuddle with your pet dog or cat >^..^< or read an inspirational book while curled up in your favorite chair. Take time for YOU!
7) Spend time in prayer and meditating on the many blessings we have been given from our loving Heavenly Father. Spend time thanking Him, praise Him during the storms of life and praise Him when the sun is shining! And Psalm 107:8, 15, 21, & 31 all repeat “Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” A quote I read once said “Take a few minutes to pause beside the still waters of God’s Word. Drink deeply and you will find it cool and refreshing.”
8) While the number 7 means “completion“, number 8 means NEW BEGINNINGS! So for number 8, give yourself the gift of YOU. Schedule time in your day for something that you can do to reward yourself for the hard work of the day. Get a massage, a favorite meal, one piece of dark chocolate etc. You know what you have been wanting for YOURSELF, but have been neglecting to give it. And for fun, if it is possible, wrap it up in pretty paper with a bow, then give it to yourself and enjoy unwrapping it like a child does on their birthday! 😀
Perhaps you can relate to this or maybe you have written your own list? What do you do to love yourself? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below!
Until next week ~ Coach Shannon