I always struggled with the idea of self-love.
It often felt like an endless journey towards an unknown finish line.
When will I get there? At what point do I consider myself loved? What will it feel like? All questions I asked myself.
For a good chunk of my life I battled insecurities and felt like I was different (more about that in an upcoming post). I did not love what I saw when I looked in the mirror.
In 27 years, more often than not I loathed myself, instead of loved.
Good news is that I have the rest of my life to make up for it. Hallelujah!
I always loved what was on the inside and felt like my heart was pure and my soul was genuine. However, I did not feel like the outside was an accurate reflection of my inner beauty. (Again, in a future post.)
The last two years I went on a little quest to find myself. I wanted to feel that true love that every self-help book, Instagram influencer, and motivational speaker talk about.
They make it sound so easily attainable and I desperately wanted to change that negative inner chatter to uplifting affirmations.
"You cannot truly love another, until you learn to love yourself."
"If you're searching for the one person that will change your life, look in the mirror."
I purchased countless books, meditated, researched, relaxed and took great care of myself.
Frankly, I spoiled the crap out of myself. All in hopes of reaching the end goal of loving myself 110%.
I took "treat yo self" to a whole new level.
However, something was still missing.
I still did not feel all the way there. This newfound "self-love" would still waver. It did not feel stable.
I would be on a self-loving high for one to two weeks. Then a few days later, I felt quite average. Eventually, I would fall completely off my horse and sit in a puddle of self-pity for an undetermined amount of time.
It still very much felt like an endless and exhausting pursuit. A roller coaster that never quite ended. Barf.
It was not until this past November when I learned what true, everlasting, and unconditional love for myself really meant. What it is supposed to feel like and what put a stop to my draining journey.
To love myself fully is to love God. In all his glory.
His grace and forgiveness are everything I need. The moment I made the choice to surrender my heart to Him is the exact moment the walls came crashing down.
The tireless search to feel complete and whole ended. The battle to feel like I was happy, satisfied and worthy stopped. The worry and anxiety turned to passing thoughts that I would give to Him .
All I could feel in my heart was overwhelming joy.
Suddenly, nothing on the outside mattered. I no longer saw my imperfections as negatives, but as the beautiful way in which God created me.
"I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well" (Pslams 139:14).
I feel confident. I feel worthy. I feel FULLY loved. It is hard to explain, but these feelings are not even for me or about me. They are for the Man who created me and gave His life for all of us.
I finally accepted that I was worthy of His love and that is all I need.
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sounded mind" (2 Timothy 1:7).
No self-care tactic or motivational quote can do for me what He has.
I am ten days away from double jaw surgery and I cannot help, but feel completely thankful for finding this peace before going into it. I put a ton of weight on this surgery throughout my life, thinking it was going to fix everything. It would change what was on the outside and calm my anxious heart.
What I began to understand in witnessing God's grace is that I am fully loved. Right now. In this exact moment. Sins and all. Imperfections and beauty. I am His.
His love is unwavering and unfailing. What could be more satisfying than that?
The search is over.