Loving One's Self


#1

This is a thread for us to discuss how we can love ourselves and appreciate ourselves for who we are as children of God despite our shortcomings, despite our failures, despite our weaknesses, despite our sins.

In what way(s) do you love yourself? What suggestions might you make for those who don’t love themselves and who struggle daily to accept themselves or forgive themselves for the past?


#2

Epistemes,

I use to struggle very much with thinking that I was worthless and often feared that I was a lost cause. I even went down the road of agnosticism and distrust of religion, particularly Catholicism, believing that would bring me some sort of freedom. But the “Hound of Heaven” wouldn’t let me go and He drew me back to Himself. And praise God that now, even with all my struggles and imperfections and sins, I have a constant hunger for God and a deeper relationship with Him. I love myself despite all of my failures and imperfections because I know that God loves me and If the Eternal Father, the creator of the Universe, still loves me in spite of all of my sins, then I must truely be something beautiful and awesome to Him. And this is true of you and everyone! It’s easy to focus on all the bad and forget to give thanks for all the blessings we have and the gifts that the Lord has given to us. Christ died for us even while we were sinners. Loving ourself is of such importance that it is tied to one of the two great commandments that Jesus gave us in Luke 10:27! We must love ourselves as God loves us! Isaiah 49:15-16 says “Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you. See, upon the palms of my hands I have written your name”. And then there is that wonderful verse from Romans 8:38, “For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor might,nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”. So just try and remember how much God loves us, no matter what, and from there, we can try to begin loving ourselves. God bless!

Ryan


#3

Hmmm. Well, the first thing that occurred to me was… that we should all recognize the fact that we are sons and daughters of God. And also, of our Blessed Mother, Mary.

I think if we truly, truly realized… what it means to be children of God… and of Mary… we would not only begin to love (and forgive) ourselves better… but more importantly… we would learn to truly love and forgive, our brothers and sisters. Thanks for letting me add my :twocents:


#4

:thumbsup:

Hi MarieVeronica,

This very topic is a major component of the counseling done by the SPCDC - helping clients understand who they are in Christ.

Epistemes, you might find this helpful:

Who You Are In Christ (pdf)

View our Who You Are document (pdf) for a Scriptural list of who you are in Christ. Read these affirmations daily or as often as you need. It is important that you not only understand these affirmations, but hold them in your heart. It may take time reading the affirmations over and over before that happens.


#5

A lot of these confused me or bothered me. I stopped reading after a certain point.


#6

This is hard for many of us - to forgive ourselves and accept who we were or are.

The problem is in our pride and our little acknowledgement of Jesus’ passion.

Don’t forget to get professional help. Talk to someone one on one. Discussion on internet helps only a little.


#7

Did you check out the scriptural references on the ones that confused or bothered you?


#8

It occurred to me later, Epistemes, that those verses that disturb you the most are probably the ones you need to focus on. Whenever you find yourself resisting the truth it’s best to continue to confront yourself with the truth, rather than running away from it.


#9

No, I haven’t yet.

But alot of them seem like lies. I’m not a saint, for instance, nor am I righteous and so I don’t very well feel like the light of the world. What I am is a selfish, loveless sinner who goes to Mass on Sundays (and sometimes Mondays and Fridays).

Anyway, I’ll share these with my pastor…if he *ever *calls me back.


#10

Don’t consider those verses as lies but as something to remind you what you are supposed to be and you ought to do.

If you not the light of the world, then seek for the light - which is God.

If you are not the salt of the earth because the salt lose its tastes, then what would you do?

If you are a selfish one, what would you do to be a generous one?


#11

thank you for this post… It really hits home…

I have always had problems w/ low self-esteeem because… well, my parents are screwed up & had serious issues in their childhoods & kinda took that out on us kids… My mother never liked the fact that my father (may have seemed to) like his children a little more than her at times… or something… I am still tyring to figure it all out… or WAS… until i just accepted it… but you know, that kind of thing carries life-time scars…
so anyway… i leanred to love myself when i found Jesus… the
1st time was when very young… Then i feel away from him :eek: :frowning: :mad: and my life went to h… and then i found Him again when i was at “rock bottom”… no faith left, no friends or family left… nothing… I prayed the rosary!!! Even then the devil wouldn’t leave me alone… used my low self-esteem to tell me (even heard words): You might as well forget it… God doesn’t care… you might as well keep sinning because you’re hopeless… I believed every word of that but something told me just keeping praying rosary… which i did, even though i felt hopeless/in despair… It took awhile but i began to see what a big lie it is that i am wrothless… something the devil and his followers have been telling me all my life…

Studying the Catholic faith helped a lot… but its still a struggle because, well, now people dislike me even more because i’m a devout, outspoken Catholic… (really annoying, i am… :smiley: )

anyway… another thing that helped me a LOT was journalizing.
it helps you see things that you wouldn’t probably ever see otherwise…


#12

Good post, withwind.

Epistemes, the lies you perceive are the ones you are telling yourself.

I’d recommend going to this link, scrolling down to step 5 and reading the whole section (not just the pdf) on who you are in Christ.


#13

:rotfl:

That’s hilarious!

It’s hilarious because I completed steps 1 through 4 a couple of months ago. I even drive only 5 over the speed limit now. :slight_smile: I didn’t do a very good job forgiving myself, though, but my pastor says it takes a while to find true forgiveness.

Well, I knew I needed to complete step 5 sometime, but I never have gotten around to it.


#14

LOL, consider this your “round tuit,” E. :wink:


#15

By the way, you are still in rebellion if you are intentionally driving even 1 MPH over. You are minimizing and rationalizing sin.

This is coming from a reformed lead foot - it took a lot of restraint to start going the speed limit. Once I began to obey on this issue, Epistemes, some other sins that I had battled fruitlessly, such as gossip and unforgiveness, suddenly became manageable.

I truly believe that when you start to obey in small things, the grace to obey in bigger things follows.


#16

:frowning:

Just when I thought I was making progress, too.


#17

Hang in there. Took me a while to get used to the speed limit when I usually did 70 in a 45.

I use cruise control a lot. :smiley:


#18

[quote=Epistemes]This is a thread for us to discuss how we can love ourselves and appreciate ourselves for who we are as children of God despite our shortcomings, despite our failures, despite our weaknesses, despite our sins.
[/quote]

[quote=Epistemes]In what way(s) do you love yourself?
[/quote]

I try to judge/evaluate hold myself by the same standards as I judge/evaluate other people
I am much more understanding and charitable about other people and what they say and do. I do not expect them to be perfect and see then making mistakes as something intentional or as a major personality flaw.

I started doing this after being told that to have one standard - whether less or more - for myself and another for other people was being arrogant.

I still fail probably because deeply ingrained habits are difficult to break.

I try to stop myself taking words literally
Eg “You must be perfect - just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48) can still fill me with dread.

I try to stop myself thinking that making mistakes means I don’t care
My mother felt that me (and others) making mistakes and/or not being/doing what she wanted was intentional and if I loved her I would overcome them.

[quote=Epistemes]What suggestions might you make for those who don’t love themselves and who struggle daily to accept themselves or forgive themselves for the past?
[/quote]

Don’t assume what other people say is correct
If you are reacting to something said to you, ask “is this accurate or not?” Don’t assume what people say is correct. It may be but it may not be.

*Ask yourself what is this beating myself up achieving? *
Often all it is doing is making us feel worse and this stops us looking at what we can do to undo something we regret doing.

Ask yourself have I done what was needed
Sometimes we beat ourselves up about not doing something perfectly or as fully as possible.

Sometimes doing things perfectly is necessary - I wouldn’t want a mechanic not to put my car’s wheel back on properly but other times we don’t need to do something perfectly.

Ask yourself why did I fail to do something or not do it as well I hoped
Maybe you lacked the skills needed to do it. Maybe you have less aptitude than other people and so take longer to learn the required skills. Maybe you had other things that needed to be done more.

Do not compare yourself to the (usually mythical) perfect person
You will usually be disappointed and probably sabotage your efforts.


#19

I am really in no place to advise. :frowning: However, I think that its important to understand why you don’t love yourself. Is it because you compare yourself to other people and they have something that you don’t have? I think that sometimes true and Godly self-love only comes from hitting rock bottom, realizing the emptiness of the world around you, being completely and totally broken so that Christ can ressurect you. You have to be comfortable enough with yourself to admit your own brokenness to be healed, and you have to be ok with the fact that sometimes other people will not like you or will look down on you because of your brokenness. Pure self-love comes from following the will of God and getting your identity through Christ and not from others so it may perhaps be that God will keep putting you in situations where you feel like a failure until you are able to get over looking at yourself and others and concentrate only on God. In St. Faustina’s Diary, it says that one finds answers from God through his representatives, not from other people.

Jesus said to them in reply, "Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do."Luke 5:31

Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.
Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.John 12:24-25

In my own life, I have experienced God’s confirming touch in my life to let me know that I am on the right path. However, I literally had to lose almost everything that I had valued. When I got it back, I did not really value it anymore.

Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save his soul.

And the other things on the face of the earth are created for man and they may help him in prosecuting the end for which he is created.

From this it follows that man is to use them as much as they help him on to his end, and ought to rid himself of them so far as they hinder him as to it.

For this it is necessary to make ourselves indifferent to all created things in all that is allowed to the choice of our free will and is not prohibited to it; so that, on our part, we want not health rather than sickness, riches rather than poverty, honor rather than dishonor, long rather than short life, and so in all the rest; desiring and choosing only that which is most conductive for us to the end for which we are created.

Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius nwjesuits.org/JesuitSpirituality/SpiritualExercises.html


#20

I think that it important for you to know that you have free will. You can choose to be a saint, determine it today and then so conduct your life accordingly. You can’t choose never to sin again. Look at St. Faustina’s Diary and how she kept track of all the times that she set goals and failed at them.

Conversation of the Merciful God with a Despairing Soul.

  1. Jesus: O soul steeped in darkness, do not despair. All is not yet lost. Come and confide in your God, who is love and mercy.
  • But the soul, deaf even to this appeal, wraps itself in darkness.

Jesus calls out again: My child, listen to the voice of your merciful Father.

  • In the soul arises this reply: “For me there is no mercy,” and it falls into greater darkness, a despair which is a foretaste of hell and makes it unable to draw near to God.

Jesus calls to the soul a third time, but the soul remains deaf and blind, hardened and despairing. Then the mercy of God begins to exert itself, and, without any co-operation from the soul, God grants it final grace. If this too is spurned, God will leave the soul in this self-chosen disposition for eternity. This grace emerges from the merciful Heart of Jesus and gives the soul a special light by means of which the soul begins to understand God’s effort; but conversion depends on its own will. The soul knows that this, for her, is final grace and, should it show even a flicker of good will, the mercy of God will accomplish the rest.

My omnipotent mercy is active here. Happy the soul that takes advantage of this grace.

Jesus: What joy fills My Heart when you return to me. Because you are weak, I take you in My arms and carry you to the home of My Father.

Soul (as if awaking, asks fearfully): Is it possible that there yet is mercy for me?

Jesus: **There is, My child. You have a special claim on My mercy. Let it act in your poor soul; let the rays of grace enter your soul; they bring with them light, warmth, and life.

Soul: But fear fills me at the thought of my sins, and this terrible fear moves me to doubt Your goodness.

Jesus: My child, all your sins have not wounded My Heart as painfully as your present lack of trust does that after so many efforts of My love and mercy, you should still doubt My goodness.**

Soul: O Lord, save me yourself, for I perish. Be my Savior. O Lord, I am unable to say anything more; my pitiful heart is torn asunder; but You, O Lord… Jesus does not let the soul finish but, raising it from the ground, from the depths of its misery, he leads it into the recesses of His Heart where all its sins disappear instantly, consumed by the fmales of love.

Jesus: Here, soul, are all the treasures of My Heart. Take everything you need from it.

Soul: O Lord, I am inundated with Your grace. I sense that a new life has entered into me and, above all, I feel Your love in my heart. That is enough for me. O Lord, I will glorify the omnipotence of Your mercy for all eternity. Encouraged by Your goodness, I will confide to You all the sorrows of my heart.

Jesus: Tell me all, My child, hide nothing from Me, because My loving Heart, the Heart of your Best Friend, is listening to you.

Soul: O Lord, now I see all my ingratitude and Your goodness. You were pursuing me with your grace, while I was frustrating Your benevolence. I see that I deserve the depths of hell for spurning Your graces.

Jesus (interrupting): Do not be absorbed in your misery-you are still too weak to speak of it-but, rather, gaze on My Heart filled with goodness, and be imbued with My sentiments. Strive for meekness and humility; be merciful to others, as I am to you; and, when you feel your strength failing, if you come to the fountain of mercy to fortify your soul, you will not grow weary on your journey.

Soul: Now I understand Your mercy, which protects me, and like a brilliant star, leads me into the home of my Father, protecting me from the horrors of hell that I have deserved, not once, but a thousand times. O Lord, eternity will hardly suffice for me to give due praise to Your unfathomable mercy and Your compassion for me.


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