Love Yourself

So yesterday we had someone come in and clean my house. I am not rich and this is not a regular thing. I am just at the point where I am physically incapable of doing certain things. Sweeping, moping and vacuuming are the main things I cannot do and I do not want to put the onus on my husband to do everything.

So the cleaner came in to do what I can’t or haven’t had the time or inclination to do. She wanted me to supply her with the cleaning supplies. This is good because then the products I like get used on my house.

I am one of those people who like to use natural products when cleaning, or as natural as possible. You will not find products like Scrubbing Bubbles in my house for two reasons. First, I do not have a fan in my bathroom and it would stink up the whole house. More importantly, I feel like I need to wear a respirator when I use that stuff because of how strong the smell of chemicals is. Instead, when I clean my glass shower doors, I use a homemade mixture of vinegar, dish soap and lemon juice. I would rather smell vinegar than chemicals. And it works really well.

This morning while I was in the shower, I came to this weird (and stupid) realization. I treat my house better than I treat my body. I do not use too many chemicals on my house but I am okay ingesting chemicals (i.e. sugar and processed foods) that I know are unhealthy. How does that work?

I am sure if my house could talk it would thank me for not being too hard on her but here I am being super hard on my own body, and even my spirit at times. Why do I do that to myself?

Multiple times the Bible says we are to love our neighbours as ourselves (Leviticus, Matthew, Mark, Luke). Would you treat and talk to your friends the way you talk to and treat yourself? NO! If you did that, you probably would not have too many friends.

I don’t know about you, but I know I do not treat myself the way I treat my friends. Just the other day, I was telling myself I am not that good in my field. How am I supposed to compete in the job market a year from now when I am out of work when I don’t have as much experience or skills as some others? Why should I even bother? I suck! I am not going to be able to get a job. It went on and on. I would never say that to a friend, that she is not good enough.

Finally my husband reminded me that recently I was hired (my current HR position) so someone else will hire me next year.

As someone who suffers from depression, the negative tirades in my head can go on forever. On top of that, physically speaking, I mistreat my body often. I feed my body the unhealthy foods that I crave (or just see) in that moment then the self-deprecating thoughts begin and I get caught in the nasty cycle.

I know others who physically hurt themselves in more harmful ways; drugs, alcohol or even cutting. I use food as a coping mechanism. People who cut themselves use that as a way to deal with the negative thoughts and emotions.

We try to control the situation when it is, for the most part, out of our control. The only thing we can control is our actions and reactions. We have to surrender the rest of our situation over to God. Whether we see it or not, God has control over it all.

As someone who also has control issues along with the depression it is sometimes difficult to surrender. This is something I need to remind myself of every day. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

As for my body and what I do to it is up to me. Do I want to love myself and my body, treat it like a friend; or do I want to harm it, treat it like crap only to feel like crap? Again, a choice I need to make every day, every hour, every minute.

The Bible has some great verses we can read regarding what we need to do and why. We know we were created in God’s image. He does not make mistakes. We are what He wants us to be.

Psalm 139 tells us we are beautifully and wonderfully made. God knew us before we were formed, while we were still in the womb. He knows how many hairs are on our head. He knows everything about us and loves us anyway.

After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. Ephesians 5:29-30

There is no need to hate our bodies or ourselves. God loves us as we are. Our friends, for the most part, love us as we are. We need to love ourselves as we are.

Romans 12:1 details the need to offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. They use the word holy but I think you could also use the word wholly, as in complete. Yes, we all have our own issues but we are still whole. Let us present ourselves to God, holy, wholly and pleasing.

Unfortunately, we are too often gripped by the enemy. He wants our help in destroying ourselves, that means less work for him. The enemy is the one telling us that it doesn’t matter what happens to us, or what we do to ourselves. He likes seeing us weak and destructive. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy, John 10:10.

Let’s not give him the foothold he needs and turns our lives and will over to God. Let’s turn to God when we are hellbent on hurting and destroying ourselves. We are loved by God, by our families, by our friends. We are beautiful! Look at yourself through God’s eyes. Songs of Solomon says it best: “You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.” (4:7)

I am beautiful and I will start treating my soul and my body as they truly are: the temple of the Holy Spirit. Are you with me as we take these steps together?

‘Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.’ III John 1:2

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