What's self love got to do with it anyway?
I have been going back and forth on whether or not to write this blog post. It’s been such a wrestle for me. But after speaking to some of our team at work, I realised male or female - I am not the only one struggling through it.
We live in a world of “self love and self care” - learning to love ourselves and look after ourselves. Now, I am all for that, but what I have found is that self love and self care hasn’t necessarily resulted in me loving who I am or in loving myself more. I’ll say that again, I can practice self love and still fail to love myself.
Maybe you’re thinking, wait Kelsey, how is that possible. Well, I have found that self love is nothing without the Saviours love. How can I love my neighbour as I do myself when I don’t really love myself at all? I look in the mirror and I see those extra kg’s saying hello…I see the little muffin top and the hips that DEFINITELY don’t lie 😂😂😂 (nor will they ever). They tell me the truth. But then I think, well, if people think Beyonce is beautiful and she has hips, surely they will think I am too??? This is the way we measure beauty and the standard we try and live up to.
I only have one mirror in my house and honestly it’s an excuse of a mirror. It barely qualifies but does the trick. I can’t help but walk past and stare at myself in shock. See I am not an eat all I want kind of person or carb it up as hard as possible. I have never been a size 0 and highly doubt I will ever be - but you know, miracles can happen haha. I watch everything that goes in and out. I am aware of it, and I try super hard to balance the good and the bad. I workout as often as possible - counting each step and each portion. And still…it’s like I can’t force my body to stop picking up the weight. As much as I can do my part, my body seems to have another idea. Perhaps it’s the post 30 metabolism slow down or the fact that my body was under immense stress to the point that I stopped eating and now that I am healthy it doesn’t want to let go of the food going in. I don’t know.
I find myself looking back at where I used to be. Despite being in a very unstable mental and emotional state, I had a great body and everyone would tell me how beautiful I was. I know we shouldn’t live for people’s approval but man - it felt good to feel beautiful - even if deep down I had crippling anxiety and stress and the thought of facing each day made me want to throw up - #justbeingreal. How sad to think that I wish for that over being healthy and healing and where I am now.
But I find that in all honesty, that’s where I am. And despite doing all the “right things”, I can’t force change. It’s kinda like life, hey? We can do everything “right” and things still go upside down haha. But I think it’s because we have an upside down idea of how things actually are. We can’t control life - but we can trust God.
I’m realising that until I have a revelation of who God is, and by that who I am, I am not sure anything will change with regards to how I see my physical self. I need both a mental shift and deep revelation.
Self love, at least for me, is finding ourselves in the Saviours love. Knowing that despite how hippy I may be, he still loves me. Despite how my tummy does a little roll when I sit, he is not focused on it while I sit with him. He is there for me. Not that it makes me stop my journey, but rather gives me the courage to keep going.
I don’t know where you find yourself or if you can relate. But it’s a tough space to be in. A space where you can’t bear to look at you and yet in a moment, it’s as if God walks in the room and lifts your eyes to where He is. I can feel his love and I know he is near and I am on to journey to learning that I am enough. No amount of getting things right will earn that - it’s already the truth - even if I don’t yet believe it. With him I don’t have to earn love by counting my calories or watching everything critically - I can just be my curvy self. I feel most loved when I realise that I am his and nothing could ever change that.
The journey to loving me - is deeply intertwined with my journey of loving God. And maybe for you too.
One of my favourite scriptures at the moment is 1 John 3:18-20 (MSG) - it says this:
18-20 My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.
Learning to live in God’s reality, for me, is a starting point and if you are brave enough, maybe you’ll embark on this journey with me too. Let's start with the adventure of living in God's reality.
Much love, Kels