On Loving Yourself

As we end the month of February it is necessary to speak about love. Not the love that is connected to another person, your family, or anything outside of yourself, but within you! It’s amazing how single women, myself included, freakout around February 14th. Yearly, we let people on social media, advertisements, and songs tell us that if we don’t have a significant other then we are insignificant. I’m inclined to disagree.

While there is nothing wrong with desiring love, a spouse, children, and the like, there is an issue when we feel invaluable without them.

Since 2015, I’ve been on a journey to figure out who I am outside of everything I do, my career, the people I know, and the things to which I give my attention. Ultimately, I’ve had some serious time to introspectively check the condition of my inner life, and its not surprising that there were ugly aspects of myself that had gone undetected.

Perhaps, one of the most alarming things that I discovered was the reality that I judged myself based on who was attached to me. Namely, the relationship I was in and the people who liked me. With this in mind, I have to admit that I too was one to hit a slight state of depression in February.  But, I didn’t want a day that people “set aside” to express love to dictate my life anymore. Therefore, I decided to learn to love myself everyday.

This means that I came to terms with my shortcomings, my awkwardness, my style, my look, and my destiny. I reconciled the person who I was in my mind with the reality of the woman standing in front of me. I gave myself permission not to be perfect, not to always have it together, and not to be phony. I gave myself permission to live, and it started with learning to love me first.

I want to encourage you to love yourself in spite of the absence of another person. Love yourself until you eliminate those thoughts of insecurity and low self-esteem. Give yourself permission to learn the beauty of who you were created to be. Then and only then, can you rid yourself of lovelessness.

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How I Planned to Fail Spiritually

I’ve always heard the phrase “If you fail to plan then you plan to fail!” And, while I ascribed to its warning, I cannot fully say that I believed it wholeheartedly. Perhaps, I should say that I did not apply the belief to every area of my life. Namely, I compartmentalized my spiritual life from the focus that I had in other areas.

I don’t think it is a surprise that month after month I fell for the okie doke of I’m going to get closer to God without actually planning to do it. I believe I thought that just by saying it, and desiring his closeness that things would somehow shift in my life with little to no effort. Unfortunately, it does not work this way.

If you truly want to get closer to God you have to have a plan. Now this may seem extreme, but what areas in your life have you haphazardly decided to just do something and excelled without little to no thought? That would be an unwise novice decision. Therefore, you should approach your spiritual life with an end goal in mind and pursue it passionately.

For me, this required a planner and lots of prayer. I bought a separate planner than the one in which I catalogue my daily routines. In my spiritual planner, I sit down with God in prayer and I write out my month. This means days leading up to the end of the current month I’m thinking of ways that I can improve in my private life. However, I noticed that I can’t do it without the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, I’ve learned that I had to pray for specific areas to focus on because sometimes I think that I’m good in certain areas that I’m slacking in.

As a result of planning my time with God and planning to succeed in intentional areas of my life, I’ve been able to easily pinpoint places of growth and stagnation. I’ve been able to easily identify my shortcomings and push myself harder to step outside of my comfort zone into a space of constant change. In essence, I had to study to become better, and it started with becoming a student of my life.