Updated: May 8, 2021
Do you hear that, or am I the only one that is hearing Tina Turner in their head right now? I'm trying to move beyond the lyrics of the song, but every time I think of "what's love got to do with it", I hear that song play full stop. Today the question is what does love have to do with it? With what? Everything! When you think about where you are currently in your life, what does love have to do with it? When you think about the things you want to change about your life, again, what does love have to do with it? What about when you think about the temperature of the nation and how people are feeling right now, what does love have to do with it? This has been a question on my mind for over a year now. You know the saying, "love your neighbor as yourself", (Matthew 22:39) why do we have such a hard time doing that.
As I have pondered this over and over again, I have realized that you aren't able to give something you don't have. If you come and ask me for a cup of sugar, or flour, and I don't have it, I’m unable to provide that to you. If I'm supposed to love my neighbor as myself, yet I don't have love for myself, how can I give it out? Think about that for just a moment. If you don't love yourself, how can you dream and believe that you can achieve more? If you don't love yourself, how can you hope for a better tomorrow. Love has so much to do with everything but it starts with you. Why is it so hard to love yourself? There are so many influences, and reminders of why you shouldn't love yourself, but I wanted to remind you of all the reasons why to love you. You're worth it! You are valuable! You are amazing! You deserve to be loved. Everyone deserves to be loved, so make yourself a priority on the love list.
Here are 10 ways for you to begin to love yourself.
Stop comparing yourself to social media posts! Compare=despair, if you don't remember anything else, remember that. Comparing yourself to others will always make you feel less than or like you're falling short in areas of your life. All the exposure to "perfect" pictures that are showing a person's "perfect" life can keep you in a mindset of failure or not being good enough. Keep in mind that for every perfect picture, there are 100 imperfect pictures. That is the way life is designed. We are not going to have a perfect life, body, image, and the list goes on. We learn through our mistakes and grow. We often find it hard to see the greatness inside ourselves when we are so busy comparing ourselves to others. I will never be like another person, and I have to acknowledge and appreciate that. You can't take someone's social media life as reality. How many times, have you chosen to only share the "good" things happening in your life? Most people do, so we are only getting one side of the full life picture.
Choose joy every day! You deserve to be happy, so choose to be. I know, I know, easier said than done, but try. Life happens and there will be times where your life is void of joy, however, in those times I would challenge you to find the joy that you deserve. When you are able to identify the things that make you happy, focus on that instead of the negative. It's going to take practice if you are not naturally prone to being optimistic. It may even be uncomfortable, but give it a try.
Rest and relax! Okay, So I understand that those two words may really not be part of your vocabulary, but I would encourage you to define them for your life. I had to stripe some limited beliefs that were in my life around relaxing and resting in order to maintain mental health. If the creator of the universe decided it was important to take a day of rest after His work week, why shouldn't we? Rest is essential for your mind, body, and spirit to rejuvenate. Love yourself enough to rest.
Grab a hold of your thoughts! Your mind is powerful, and if given the opportunity can get the better of you. You need to feed your mind positive thoughts. Affirmations are a great way of taking back negative thoughts and reframing them with positive vibes. The more you feed your mind positive things, the easier it will be to see the positive in the world, your life, and even in you!
Daily reminder, YOU ARE LOVED! You are loved unconditionally. How can I say that, because I’m reminded of something I heard one time, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in Him, will not perish but have everlasting life." (John3:16). When you feel unlovable, remember that regardless of what you do, say, or how you act, there is one that loves you. If he can love you that much, you must be really special, and so allow yourself to be loved.
Respect yourself, you deserve it! To better love yourself, you have to respect yourself. When you treat yourself with respect, other people don't feel free to treat you otherwise. Don't allow people to treat you in a manner that is disrespectful. Don't allow them to take advantage of you. You deserve respect!
Forgiveness, remember to forgive freely and often! Forgiveness doesn't justify the actions against you, it allows you to be free. Unforgiveness once it takes root in your heart, will turn to bitterness, or resentment which has been proven scientifically to be unhealthy. Those emotions, if not dealt with properly will have an ill effect on your body. It's not always easy to forgive, but it is necessary to a healthy life, and positive mindset.
Self-reflection is necessary! Self-reflection allows you to look at yourself and evaluate your own behavior, emotions, and responses. To avoid toxic situations self-reflection is necessary. It brings peace, when you are able to stop deflecting and blaming others for the mishaps in your life. By acknowledging your areas of opportunity, you are able to find ways to fix them. This is called growth!
Never stop being teachable! Fear of failure will cause you to not be teachable, but as Coach Keith says, "you win or learn, you never fail." Really take stock in that statement. A failure is never the end, it is a learning tool for the next opportunity. Remember life happens, and it will be one of your greatest teachers if you allow it to be.
Build your circle! Authentic relationships are so important. We were not created to do life alone, we were created for relationship. Your circle should be able to encourage you when you feel weak and unable to love yourself. You need to have a circle that will promote you and also correct you when you're wrong. You need to have people that will pour into you, so when you need to be reminded of how wonderful you are they will tell you. Surrounding yourself with the right people will be critical to your ability to love yourself.
So I'll say it again, "what's love got to do with it"? Love has everything to do with a healthy and prosperous life. So choose to remind yourself daily that you are valuable, and worth loving. You set the standard for how others treat you. Remember, you are worth LOVE! You are unique and here on purpose, with a purpose. Love yourself, so that you can spread that love to others.