For a very long time I’ve realized that I didn’t like myself. Oh, I never would admit it or I guess maybe I never even realized it. I’ve heard Joyce Meyer speak about liking yourself and to paraphrase she says that you spend a lot of time with yourself so you really should learn to like yourself.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it. But when you really don’t like yourself its tough to enjoy other things too, especially life at times. Oh, I put on a good front like I was taught to do growing up, because appearance matter don’t you know. We mustn’t let anyone see our true selves, warts and all, because they may not like us or heaven forbid form a negative opinion about us.
I formed a lot of negative opinions about myself because I felt like I had to live up to specific expectations and the bar was set very high. But what if I made a mistake, said the wrong thing, dressed the wrong way, made a wrong decision, etc.? Well, I would then berate myself pretty harshly about my mistake and would continue to relive the episode over and over. I also got really good at playing out all the possible scenarios I could come with for a situation and all the possible “what ifs” that could/should/might/maybe happen. The perfectionist tendencies instilled in me ran rampant. Boy, talk about stressing myself out!
I did this pattern for many years without realizing the harm I was doing to myself. I’ve had to learn that its okay to make a mistake. I’m human. The world and my world is not going to come crashing down if it happens. I don’t have to go hide in shame or avoid someone when it happens. I even have learned to laugh about it at times.
I’m not perfect. Only God is perfect. He created me to be me and I am still growing into the person He wants me to be. I don’t ever want to stop growing and maturing spiritually I am worthy to be God’s creation and His child. God accepts me as I am, imperfections and all, and I need to love me too. I don’t like everything I do at times but God still loves me. That doesn’t change.
When the full realization hit me that I don’t have to be this person who does everything perfectly it was like a huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders. I think I mean this literally as I carried a lot of stress in my shoulder growing up and even had a therapist comment on it at one time. Go figure.
The accusing voices of shame in my head that used to occur when I didn’t do something exactly right happen much less often now. I’m still imperfect in this process and they will try to rear their head every now and then. But I know I am God’s child, wholly and dearly loved and He loves me unconditionally.
I like me a lot now. I really and truly like me. And you know what, I’m a neat person. Not having the burden of being perfect weighing on me is amazing.
Romans 12:2 “Do not confirm to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what is God’s will – his good, pleasing, and perfect will”.