As I write this, I’m a passenger in my own car on a family road-trip to my cousin’s out-of-state wedding. By the time this posts, the wedding will be over and we will be getting ready to head back home again. I’m not accustomed to writing in a car in such close proximity to the rest of my family; I’m more of a need-it-quiet, need-it-need, want-to-be-alone type of writer. In fact, I think the writer in me is one reason I put a high value on solitude. I like it quiet, and I like to be alone.
I also value safety and prefer my own driving over my husband’s. He’s one of those drivers I hate to have around me—always riding the tail of the person in front of him (“I’m not tailing them”), always speeding up even when brake lights are flashing on in front of us, always driving the automatic transition with both feet. Honestly, it scares me to sit in the passenger seat when he drives. Because I’m not in control. Because, I suppose, I trust myself more than I trust him (or pretty much anyone else).
I also just want to protect myself (and my kids). Despite the fact that he hasn’t been in an accident in the almost twenty years I’ve known him, I still tend to have the I-value-my-own-life, grabbing the handle on the ceiling next to my door reaction all too often when he is driving—accompanied, of course, with instructions for how he should be driving my car.
One thing that’s popping up here, again and again? I. Me. My. Did you catch that?
I value solitude.
I like it quiet.
i like to be alone.
I value safety.
I prefer my own driving.
I like to be in control.
I trust myself.
I want to protect myself.
I value my life.
All evidence that I love myself. I also know that I tend to be incredibly selfish and my self-love tends to come out in horrible ways sometimes—like the way I’m quick to defend myself when I feel attacked or insecure, the way I’m quick to complain when something makes my life a little harder, the way I’m quick to criticize when something isn’t done the way I like it (again, the control issue—it’s a known problem I’m working on). But again, although I don’t think of it consciously very often, I do love myself. My actions prove it.
Let me pause here to say that, in my selfishness, I don’t always make wise choices in my self-love—a lot of those choices have to do with how they affect those around me, my neighbors. But that’s a topic for tomorrow.
I think most people, upon examining their own actions and motives closely, would have to say the same thing: I love myself. I know some people are convinced of just the opposite, but at the same time those people usually long to love themselves, and long to have others love them.
Self-love—that’s what this challenge post is about.
Today’s Inspiration. I find it interesting that when Jesus told us the second greatest commandment, to love our neighbors, he simply told us to love them like we love ourselves:
Love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:39, NIV)
Those two little words—as yourself—are today’s challenge inspiration.
Today’s Challenge. How do you love yourself? Your challenge today is to explore the answers to this question through journaling and prayer. Ask God to reveal your own heart to you, and show you the ways in which you love yourself. Write them down. If you struggle with self-love, ask God to show you how you should love yourself.
Today’s Participation. Today’s topic is highly personal, so find someone you trust to talk about this with. If you’re comfortable, go ahead and share something you learned about how you love yourself online. It could help someone who is struggling and is not comfortable enough to share.