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Making A Choice That Often Trips People Up: Loving Yourself

Have you been SUPER this week?

If you missed last week’s “Think Right Thursday,” we identified your superpower and showed you how to get the most out of it. I hope it helped make last week great.

If you’re just joining us, we’ve been talking about being an emotionally healthy person since the beginning of the year. Mental and emotional health are at least as important as physical health, and have a direct impact on your physical health. In all my years as a chiropractor and wellness coach, I’ve seen it so clearly with so many people.

So, at the end of last year, I was mapping out where I want to go in 2016, and I wrote down the following statements:

“Self esteem is the reflection of self judgement. One of the best ways to raise self esteem is to make truly loving choices that lead to increased strength of mind body spirit.

I must :

  • Accept that my all my choices are a reflection of what I truly love.
  • Acknowledge that love is the most creative force in the universe and use it wisely.
  • Choose to love myself more than external things.
  • Treat myself well. This will accelerate the growth of my self esteem.
  • Keep in mind that what I appreciate appreciates.

The more I believe in myself the more objectively I will be able to take the advice of authority figure.

When people are commenting on my results and say things like, ‘Wow! You have a lot of discipline,’ I will answer, ‘NO, I JUST MAKE LOVING CHOICES FOR MYSELF.’ Reinforcing my positive behavior will help me grow even more in personal strength with mind body and spirit.”

Quick Review

In the first week, we looked at the phrase: “Self-esteem is the reflection of self-judgement.”

  • How do you view yourself? Do you like yourself, or do you wish you were somehow better?

That led us into the next phrase in Week 2: “One of the best ways to raise self-esteem is to make truly loving choices that lead to increased strength of mind, body, and spirit.”

  • Life and death are in the power of the tongue. You are constantly talking to yourself about yourself. Why not say good things?

Then we dug into the third statement: “I must accept that my all my choices are a reflection of what I truly love.”

  • No matter what you tell me with your words, how you spend your time, money, and energy is the true barometer of your values. Your choices tell you what you truly love.

Last week, we looked at: “Acknowledge that love is the most creative force in the universe and use it wisely.”

  • Love is a superpower. You have it. Use it.

Can You Make This Choice?

So let’s spend some time with the next statement: I must choose to love myself more than external things.

That notion of loving yourself often trips people up. It sounds like arrogance. It sounds like pride. We imagine ourselves strutting around with our noses in the air, looking disdainfully at the inferior people around us, which isn’t even self-love at all. This is especially true for Christians, who have always been taught that it’s wrong to love yourself. We all know ourselves at our worst. We see our flaws, failings, and shortcomings. We know all the ways we are unworthy of love, so people have a hard time hearing this.

Of course, The Bible doesn’t say anything like that. It says to love your neighbor AS you love yourself, not “more than” or “instead of.” It says not to think more highly of yourself than you ought. It does NOT say to think lower of yourself than you ought. That’s false humility, which is actually pride. It’s still thinking about yourself, and it’s a form of fishing for compliments from other people, so it’s manipulation. Don’t do it.

Think about this: if you told someone else that they were unworthy of love, they would be offended, and rightly so. That’s a terrible thing to tell someone. And yet, we tell ourselves that very thing time and time again. Isn’t that crazy?

If you don’t love yourself, you can’t love others.

Can’t.

You cannot pour out of an empty tank. It doesn’t work.

So, let’s put this in the context of the statement.

I need to choose.

The choice is mine, and I have to make that choice. No one can make my choices for me.

I need to choose to love myself.

I have two options in this choice (or else it wouldn’t be a choice): love myself or not love myself. One promotes life, the other promotes death. It’s up to me how I will treat myself.

To love myself MORE than external things.

OK, so now we’re getting into a deeper level of this. I need to be able not only to love myself but to distinguish between me and the things in my life. I can love others as I love myself. I can put others’ needs ahead of my own for a time. But I’m crossing a line if I put external things ahead of self-care:

  • Working 90 hours a week to pay for an extravagant home is putting a thing in higher priority over myself. It’s also idolatry, but that’s for another article.
  • Skipping meals and staying up all night reading about a hobby, or even something for work, is out of balance. Sure, there are press-times, when we have to give extra effort to get the job done, but it can’t be a lifestyle.
  • Never taking breaks, never going away for the weekend, never giving your body enough rest is putting some goal ahead of your own well-being. You can’t do that on a regular basis. You will burn out. Nothing is that important.
  • Sacrificing your personal time to meet the demands of a relationship that doesn’t have appropriate boundaries set is suicide.

I’ve known guys who play video games all day long. Some spent their weekends polishing their cars. Other burned out their whole endocrine system going after university degrees. Why? They found something they loved more than they loved themselves. It’s out of balance.

It’s OK To Love Yourself

So, what does it look like to love yourself?

It doesn’t mean strutting around like an arrogant, self-important big-shot. I’ll give you a little insider tip: when you see someone like that, you can rest assured that they are painfully insecure, afraid of people’s opinions, and afraid of anyone finding out. An inflated ego always grows from a place of pain. The bigger the ego, the deeper the pain.

It also doesn’t mean sulking into a “woe is me” self-abasing false humility. Pretending to be humble is not humility.

Loving yourself is as simple as:

  • Reaching into the shower to make sure the water is a comfortable temperature before putting the rest of your body in.
  • Being able to be honest about your strengths and your weaknesses without boasting, judging, or condemning yourself.
  • Eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, managing your stress, and drinking plenty of clean water because those behaviors promote good health.
  • Not hurting yourself, mistreating yourself, cheapening yourself, or selling yourself short.

If it’s love to do it for someone else, then it’s probably love to do it for yourself.

And it’s OK…you have the right and the responsibility to take care of yourself without feeling guilty.

Now, Here’s the Flip Side

If you ONLY think about yourself, then you have a problem the other way. You need to live in balance. Self-absorption is just as unhealthy as self-hatred. Either way, you’re focused on yourself, whether adoring or loathing, and it’s not the way we are supposed to live.

Love others AS you love yourself.

Some things to think about.

I hope you have a great weekend. I hope you take care of yourself and take time to take care of someone around you. If you look diligently, it won’t take long for you to find someone who could use a little care. But start with you.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this. Be sure to share your comments with the community we’re growing on Facebook. We’d love to see you there, and we always welcome new faces. A few months ago, we crossed the 500 threshold, now we’re shooting for 600, so be sure to invite a friend.

“At the end of your feelings is NOTHING. At the end of your principles is a PROMISE.”  — Eric Thomas

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