‘Student Perspective’ written by Yeol-Shim Bell
You deserve to love yourself.
God, as our Heavenly Parent, loves and sees the best version of us. One way to love God back is to seek that potential. We can grow our heart through words, actions, and other forms of giving and receiving. With true love, we can view ourselves from God’s perspective and care for ourselves as God would. By meeting our needs through enlightening our minds, awakening our spirits, or moving our bodies, we are more able to fulfill our purpose.
We set the standard for how others treat us.
Nourishing our mind, spirit, and body can pay off in different areas of life. By consciously starting positive habits for ourselves, we can create the life we want.
For example, professors are usually most helpful and attentive to those they perceive as invested in the class. Financial success hinges on many things, but people are usually hired if they regularly grow their skills and experience. Consistent, healthy relationships between your heart and God help create quality relationships.
I understand both ends of the self-love spectrum.
Like many, I haven’t loved myself enough; often I haven’t even liked myself. I studied, worked, volunteered, and encouraged; but I saw myself as boring. I was dependent on others to give me joy, and my heart’s misery made my body tense and my emotions unpredictable. Many nights in the last five years, I stood on my parents’ balcony and stared into the night sky, frustrated with myself and my emptiness. I gradually realized that my personal dissatisfaction was partially a result of not feeling God’s acceptance.
Accepting God’s love allows you to fully love yourself.
In my ongoing journey towards loving myself, I consciously began accepting the love, admiration, and concern from loved ones and God.
I gave myself some needed alone time to explore myself and the world’s beauty: I biked to lovely places and explored; I read and reread a few beloved books; I pushed away my work if I was skipping meals; and I shared my ideas and feelings with loved ones. I am still learning how to care for myself, but I am now more aware of how to live and love positively.
Care for yourself: Explore the realm of your heart.
Be understanding about your unique needs. Discover how to overcome your faults yet appreciate your quirks.
If you think someone close to you dislikes you, discover the cause for that insecurity. If you are struggling to meet others’ expectations, ask yourself what you want out of life and love. If you are self-hating, reach for a realm of healing and closure. Love is patient and kind, but it is also difficult. Loving yourself is an ongoing relationship and requires effort.
And you know what? You deserve to hear this – you are totally worth it. In the mosaic of life, each of you brings something unique to complete the whole masterpiece.
Here are three questions to help open your eyes to how God sees and loves you:
- What is your love language?
- How will you love yourself going forward?
- How do you want to see yourself in a year from now?