Happy Valentine’s Day!! Since I find myself single on this Valentine’s Day and incredibly busy I’ve barely remembered that it’s Valentine’s Day. But it is and I hope that no one is sad about being single today. Today is a day about love whether that’s the love of a partner, a child, a parent, a friend, or yourself. I wanted to share a post that I had written last year and had published in an online magazine, Be Wise. The post is about learning to love yourself before anyone else. So do something special for the one that you love and don’t forget to do something special for the most important person in your life: you!
You are Your First Love
Learning How to Love Who You Really Are
Written by Elizabeth DeHaan
As I sit here and write this article I am currently dealing with the heartache of a broken heart. It’s not the first time that my heart has been broken but it is the first time that I’ve looked at heartache in this way. See, in the past I would blame the other person or spend all my time moping around feeling sorry for myself. However, this time I’ve decided to look at it objectively and to see the role that I’ve played in this situation. And one of the biggest takeaways is that I wanted someone to love me and see my worth when in actuality I didn’t love myself enough. Sure I’m confident in many areas of my life but life has a way of beating you down where you can lose sight of who you really are. I was so focused on someone else, I lost myself in the process. So in order to heal myself, I’ve decided that I’m going to fall in love with myself first before anyone else. Here are four things that have been helping me fall in love with myself all over again.
- Dealing with the pain is not easy and there are days when I’m really happy and there are days when I cry for no reason. What gets me through those days has been finding a renewed relationship with God and learning to see myself as he sees me. Loving who you really are comes from first knowing who loves you the most. I was gifted a one year journaling bible for Christmas last year and in it there are spaces for notes and illustrations that you can color. I’ve wanted to read through the Bible for years and have often started but stopped. I’ve been able to continue this year because I’ve made it a priority. By either reading before I leave for work in the morning or making sure I set aside time before I go to sleep. I use the time spent coloring to meditate on the scriptures that I’ve read and to pray. Through reading God’s word I’ve been able to stay encouraged when it would otherwise be very difficult. I can see how he truly loved me before I even had a name. Knowing that I am his, has made such a difference in how I view myself and in turn how I view others.
- A lot of times in relationships we spend so much time trying to be something that we’re not that we forget about who God created us to be. And that we’re already perfect in his eyes. Part of the recovery process for myself is figuring out who I am. What are my likes? What are my dislikes? What excites me? What scares me? Where do I want to go? Really getting to the depth of what makes me, me. This requires a lot of time by myself but in order to love yourself you have to spend time with yourself. Date yourself. If you want to see a movie, go. Take yourself out on a date. Get dressed up and go out to dinner. Go with your friends but if no one is free don’t let that stop you. I’m learning to truly love my own company and discovering gifts and desires that I didn’t even know I had.
- In our social media obsessed culture, it’s easy to compare your life to the lives of those you see online. Another way that I am learning to love who I really am is to not compare myself to anyone. If my heavenly Father thinks that I am perfect then I am. If he knows my needs and my desires then anything that I feel I am lacking he will provide. Part of loving who you are is also learning to accept where you are in life. It might not be where you want to be but you are exactly in God’s perfect plan and worrying will only take away from the beauty of your life.
- My last tip is something that I have been doing for almost 20 years now: Journaling. Journaling has proven to be such a tremendous help. I write everything that I’m feeling. There is nothing that is taboo in my journal. My fears, my desires, my dreams, what or who is annoying me, absolutely everything goes in my journals. It’s also a great way for me to see my growth. Especially in this season of my life as I deal with a breakup it helps to be able to go back and read how I’ve grown and helps me to see that I will be ok. It’s like I can read my life through my own eyes and I fall more in love with myself every time that I do.
Falling in love with yourself is a life-long journey. As you age, you change. You grow wiser and life will make you stronger. Our first relationship is always with ourselves. I never thought that I had to get to know myself. It’s a strange concept but if you don’t know who you are, how will anyone else? God is showing me new things about myself that I never even knew were there. And I’m loving it.