It has been awhile- but then again, I guess it always is between my posts. 😉 Like I’ve said before, I wait until the inspo hits me! Anyways, this topic is very prevalent in our society today and I feel like I want to put some perspective to it and hopefully open up some new discussions.
OKAY- “Self Love”…. something we have all heard quite a bit in the past few years. Mental health and wellness is becoming a well versed topic these days and has, in a way, been brought to the light instead of kept private. While I do not in any way think this is bad, I do think it is misconstrued and ill approached far too often.
I had a talk with my cousin not too long ago and the topic of self love and confidence came up. We both shared a little smirk because this craze has left a bad taste in our mouth, so we delved into its roots.
I know people are probably feeling a little defensive right now, but hold on!
Self love is something that can be abused way too quickly. Depression, anxiety, and the many other mental health issues are widely discussed on social media now and people seem to think that “self love” is the answer. Honestly, I don’t think this way of thinking is life giving.
This “self love”/”you do you” craze is destroying people and relationships left and right. Self love tells you that confidence is being able to be proud of yourself and put yourself before others while simply “not caring what other people think”. THIS IS NOT CONFIDENCE FRIENDS > don’t fall for this selfish scheme.
Confidence is being proud of who you are and what has brought you here without having to flaunt it and write off people in the process. Confidence is humility and being able to see others perspectives without becoming defensive. Confidence is faith, courage, assurance… not a weapon or means of justification. And YES you SHOULD care what others think!! You should hope that people see the good of the world in you and even further, the love of God. The funny thing I have noticed these days is that the people who really make a point about their confidence actually seem to be very opposite when the lights are turned off and the crowd is gone.
It’s okay to struggle, friends. Everyone does. Mental health affects everyone and we all fall into the pits every now and then.. some more than others, but no one is an exception. This is just the way the axis spins.
Being able to love and accept who you are is a good thing. Being able to make mistakes and learn from them is a good thing. Being able to be proud of the tough road that got you where you are now is a good thing too, but this new craze is teaching young people that it is more important to put “you” first and value everything about yourself on a higher level than others. Think about it… when you are more concerned with yourself… key word: “self-ish”
This way of thinking quickly carries into other aspects of our lives. Suddenly, you aren’t just proud of who you are- you think you’re better and that tossing others aside is justified because you are following your “truth”. I see it on social media every single day. People start to believe that the way they think or do things is supreme. They argue about politics, religion, personal beliefs or morals and never come to conclusion because they have taught themselves self justification. They throw tantrums when things don’t go their way because they want what makes THEM happy and they want it NOW. Can you imagine a world where everyone thought this way? That’s where we’re headed folks, and it makes me sad to think that might be the norm in the world my children grow up in.
What ever happened to our parents and grandparents teaching us how to care? What happened to being taught how to share and give? What happened to considering the consequences of our actions and how they affect those around us?
I had a friend who I was very close to for quite awhile who wholeheartedly bought into this way of thinking instilled in therapy (a common place where this agenda is pushed). Let me tell you guys, looking back it made them a terrible friend. I was constantly let down and felt like our friendship was a one way street. They had every excuse to not be there for me unless it was convenient, yet simultaneously expected me to always drop what I was doing for them. Funny how that works.
I was always raised to do things for others even when it hurts, even when you don’t really want to… why? Because being selfless and showing love to others builds character and pours love out on others who might really need it. It teaches you humility. And I have never once regret the things I have done for others because there is a beautiful sense of joy that comes from pouring out what you have even when you think your cup isn’t full enough. When you live like this it always comes back to you and those same people will pour out on you when you’re thirsty for the same reasons. This is how relationships thrive.
In fact, the gospel of John tells us “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (15:13).
The biggest problem I have with this new form of self love is that it tells us we “deserve” it. I want to know who climbed up on their high horse and decided that we, imperfect humans, deserve a damn thing?! We don’t. Jesus lived a sinless life and died on the cross for us, a humble and loving sacrifice. We didn’t deserve that. We don’t deserve any of this, but by the grace of God we were given a chance. A chance to love and strive to be more like Him. There isn’t a verse in the Bible that says anything close to “you deserve happiness” or “it’s okay to put others down for your own sake”. Secrets out y’all, happiness is fleeting.. you can spend your whole life trying to chase it and you may catch or for a second, but it always escapes.
Joy, on the other hand, tells a different story. Romans says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (15:13). So we see joy comes from the Holy Spirit and allows us to rejoice even in the struggles of life because it fills us with HOPE. Even in the depression and the anxiety we can be thankful and celebrate the good and the ability to conquer and overcome while striving for better days. Isn’t that beautiful? Isn’t that what our hearts truly desire?
For the believers, Colossians 3 also discusses the way to live as we are made alive in Christ and says, “As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts..” (3:12-15).
Take a second to think about the people in your life that display some or all of these virtues. For me it’s my great Grandpa Jordan. He is the kindest man I’ve ever known and through the course of his life has always poured out on others- no one is a stranger to him. His bright blue eyes and sweet laugh light up every room he walks into. He is widely known in his small little town in Colorado for always being generous and helping his neighbors- putting aside his own wants for the sake of others. Every time I met someone new or ran into someone at the local city market who knew him they would go on about “that one time” that he was so generous towards them or how he helped them in one way or another. They would tell me “you have quite the wonderful grandfather”, but I always knew. His legacy has been built on loving like Christ and it has truly made his piece of the world a better place for so many.
You aren’t just born like a Grandpa Jordan, you humble yourself and become more and more like that each day. You set aside your selfish nature and overcome it with the joy that comes from the Lord. He is the one with the power to free you from these earthly chains.
People say that you can’t learn to love someone else unless you love yourself, but I say that’s a myth. We can learn to love ourselves through loving others. We don’t need self love, we just need genuine LOVE in general. We need to give it, to feel it, to pour it on and on every chance we get and let it pour back on us. That’s the kind of world I know everyone wants to live in- let’s step out make it that way.
xo’s always, Kell