How do you REALLY love yourself?
How do you love the acne scars and forehead wrinkles and arm flab? How do you seriously look in the mirror and think the girl you see rocks? I’ve been trying to answer all those questions for 26 years now, and it hit me one night that maybe loving yourself is not about loving any of those things.
Loving yourself is not believing you’re the prettiest, smartest, richest, most popular, most talented, or most successful person in the room — it’s knowing that you might not be any of those things, and yet, you’re still good enough. It’s not worrying about your rank in a room and instead focusing on how you can share love with someone else.
It’s inspiring the girl beside you to love herself like you love yourself. Loving yourself is being self-aware enough to know what you need to improve but remembering we are all a work in progress with Jesus. Self-love is not always a manicure or a massage (although both are nice) — self-love is knowing that you have nothing to prove with your looks or your work or your status.
We love ourselves when we shake off the insecurities and fully step into who we are, flaws and all.
I thought I would arrive at self-love when I was confident that I was the best-dressed, most beautiful girl around. Or when I finally got my dream job. Or when I was sure I was the smartest person at the table. No. That’s called being conceited, not confident, and I am not here for it.
I want to be confident not in my own self, but in Christ — confident in who HE says I am, which has nothing to do with outer appearance or accolades, by the way. It has everything to do with my heart. And He loves this jacked up heart a lot. He loves yours a lot too.
So, I made myself stand in front of the mirror today until I smiled and said, “You are beautiful.” It was awkward and painful, but I had to do it because I got out of the same shower and looked in the same mirror the week before and cried my eyes out.
I hated the face in the mirror.
I hated the puffy eyes and red bumps.
I forgot those things don’t matter. I forgot how loved I am.
And I don’t want you to look in your mirror one more time and forget how loved you are.