Have you ever been on an airplane? Do you remember those safety guidelines they give before you take off? If the oxygen masks drop, put on yours first, then help your child or others with theirs. You know why that is? It’s because if you don’t have enough oxygen and pass out, then what good will you be to the person you’re trying to help. The same concept applies to love. How can you love others if you don’t love yourself?
I’ve heard it said, “well others deserve love, but I don’t,” or “I’ve done something so bad that I’m not worthy of being loved.” Really? Why would someone else deserve love but not you? Doesn’t everyone deserve a chance to love and be loved?
“Well, he’s a mean person,” or “But you don’t understand what she did.” Have you ever thought about changing YOUR perspective on that other person? Maybe he is mean because he’s hurting and nobody has taken the opportunity to find out, they just treat him as meanly as he treats others. Maybe she did what she did because she didn’t feel she had any choice. Maybe she deeply regrets what she did, but because of everyone’s judgment she is shunned before she can explain. If we can change our perspective on others, then why can’t we change our perspective on ourselves?
It’s time to do some inner reflecting and find out what the root of our lack of self-love really is. Maybe we say that others deserve love but we don’t because someone in our past told us that and we began to believe the lies of the other person. Maybe we were the person who did something that we deeply regret and feel that no one or nothing can be done to redeem ourselves.
Guess what? There’s good news! We ALL deserve love and we all can learn to love ourselves. We just have to get to the root of our own negativity, put some weed killer on it, and make the choice to begin loving ourselves again. No matter how deeply our wounds are, we can overcome them. We just have to remember when we were little children and had booboos what it was that helped our booboo feel better. Do we need to talk things out with a friend or trusted mentor? Do we need to take a walk and remind ourselves of the beauty in the world that includes us? Do we need to paint a wall in our home to invite some creative thinking? Is there something else we can do to remind ourselves that we are so worth loving and learn to love ourselves again? What is it for you?
How do you feel when someone calls you a failure or they tell you what you did was wrong? We usually don’t like the feeling after these words. How do you feel when someone says you did a great job or that they are proud of you? Sometimes we puff up like a peacock and are uplifted by the positive words. Now do you want to be the person who gives the negative words or the positive words? Think about that for a minute, most of us want to be the ones who give positive words to inspire and encourage others.
If we all want to be encouragers to others then why would we not choose to give positive words to the most important person we know, ourselves! You should realize that just someone else speaks to us in a positive or negative manner, we have a reaction to those words; it is even more intense when we are the ones speaking positivity or negativity into our own lives.
I had someone ask me a question today about a little boy who was having behavior problems in their church. She was at her wit’s end and said the parents were defensive and didn’t do anything to help her out with their problem child. I talked with her and asked her how she would feel if every time she went to pick up her child from church or daycare or wherever if the teacher was always telling her what a problem her child was at what point would she not become defensive. I asked her if there was a threat of being kicked out of everywhere she went with her child, how would she feel about that? I asked her to think about all the outside negativity and how it would affect the mother’s inside thoughts. She quickly realized that it was time to partner up with that mom and help change the negative talk into positive talk so that the environment around the child could change before he was filled with negativity from the inside out.
It really is true that our attitudes and actions come from the inside out. When we choose to think on positive things and talk to ourselves in a positive manner, our attitude becomes more positive and we are more able to freely love others. The opposite is true as well. The Bible gives us a prescription for this in Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
How’s your self-talk? Isn’t it time you were kind to you for a while. I dare you to change your inner talking and be kind to the little kid inside of you and see how he or she responds. I bet you’ll like the outcome! I believe in you! Let me know how it goes!