It may surprise you to find that you cannot find the love that you are looking for unless you can first love yourself. You cannot find the trust, connection, hope, peace and goodness you so long for, unless you can first smile at these things in yourself and see that you are worthy of them.
This example always helps me. I don’t know if this has ever happened to you…
Photo by Sonnie Hiles on Unsplash
Sometimes I give my wife a compliment: “You look good in those pants.” Especially years ago, when we were first married her response was, “No I don’t.” Her response always took me off guard because it is so incongruous with my intent. Is she calling me a liar or just a bad judge of style? I wasn’t asking for her input on the situation, I was offering a compliment to someone I love. Well… she couldn’t receive the compliment because she already had a limiting belief; had already made an agreement that she did NOT look good in those pants. It doesn’t matter how much or well I say it or with what inflection or kindness, it can’t make it past her dug-in belief.
It is the same with God. He has always been pouring out His love to you, but you have limiting beliefs that stop you short of receiving it. If you have already labeled yourself as “unlovable” then it is obvious you won’t be able to receive love. If you have agreed to a false reality that love must be earned based on performance then any freely offered love could never make it through to you.
Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash
What if we had the audacity to view ourselves the same way God views us? What if we trusted something deeper than our behavior, performance, thought-life or emotion. If God, first and foremost, sees our deepest self, which has never changed from the very beginning and cannot be touched by any failure or victory, what if we could first see that way as well?
So, take a moment to view yourself. See your life and your story. See your smile, your passion, your courage and strength. See the earnest attempts at goodness and your good desires and hopes. Now smile kindly at that person. What beauty! What goodness! Created in the image of a Good God. If we can practice this way of seeing ourselves, delighting in our own beauty and communicating kindness and delight to ourselves, then we open up the floodgates for the rushing waters of goodness and love that God has always been offering to come in and overflow the banks of our lives. Our confident declaration of our goodness and the ways we live out this same goodness are the the great YES in agreement to what God has said and meant of us from the very beginning.