We Must Love Ourselves to Love Others

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The sacred voice of God calls you beloved. Can you hear it? Shame and rejection may be loud in your day to day.

For now, let’s set down our megaphones of criticism. Consider what it would sound like and feel like and look like to embrace your belovedness, and learn that We Must Love Ourselves to Love Others.

Let’s get ready.

Highlights:

Many of us believe that being a good Christian means we focus entirely on others, that we ignore ourselves.But, when we don’t care for ourselves, we can fall into patterns of self-rejection.

God created you out of love, for love. You have a unique presence here and now. And, God wants to nurture you into wholeness. Believe that you belong and you’re enough.

Daily Prayer: “God, help me receive your love so I can give it out to others.” 

Take time to Reflect on your thought life:

  • Do you spend a lot of time comparing yourself to other people? 
  • Is it hard for you to feel like you are enough?
  • Do you think your thoughts about yourself are more patient or impatient?
  • As you reflect on your thoughts, are you often kind yourself or are you discouraging and judgemental?
  • Do you come down hard on yourself when you are not coping well or not doing the right thing all the time?
We Must Love Ourselves to Love Others

What we fill our mind with creates our thoughts. Our thoughts are what create our feelings; our feelings create our behavior, and our behavior our character. – Dallas Willard

Affirmations:

  • I am loved.
  • I am accepted.
  • I belong.
  • God you created me and You love me.
  • God, You never leave me and You’re always with me.
  • There’s nothing I can do to earn your love or lose your love.
  • You encourage me to love you and myself.
  • You have given me power to love and to overcome.

Henri Nouwen –  “Over the years I’ve come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self rejection. When we have come to believe in the voices that call us worthless and unlovable, then success, popularity, and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions. The real trap, however, is self-rejection. As soon as someone criticizes me, as soon as I am rejected, left alone, or abandoned, I find myself thinking, ‘well that proves again that I am a nobody.’ Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the beloved.”

Resources:

Song “Belovedness” by Sarah Kroger

Help the show:

This Show’s Transcription

Andrea
okay to start this episode, I thought we could listen to some lyrics from a song that I have loved for myself just to hear for myself on that touch on the topic that we’re about to go into today.

Andrea
So listener, I hope that you absorb this and let it wash over you and that you accept it. you’ve owned your past, and how it’s defined you. You’ve owned everything. Everybody else says. It’s time to hear what your father has spoken. It’s time to own your belovedness. He says, You’re mine. I smiled when I made you. I find you beautiful in every way. My love for you is fierce. an unending I’ll come to find you. Whatever it takes. My beloved.

Kit
That’s beautiful. That’s beautiful. And a great introduction to this topic of why do we reject ourselves? Why do we do that? There’s so many answers. And we all do it. Yeah. So I think we’re on common ground. And so we want to talk about that today. You know, how is this affecting us? What does that even mean to reject yourself? And how do we do that? And how do we not do that? And I think, you know, it starts with that many of us believe that being a good Christian means that we focus totally on others, and that we ignore ourselves, you know, and so we’ve been told some really beautiful principles, lay down your life for a friend, that’s beautiful. But we haven’t been taught that healthy self love and self care is not self centered. It is not selfish. And it gets further complicated when we’re hurt as children. And we begin to believe there’s something flawed in us. And so we don’t under understand how important it is for us to have compassion for ourselves when we do mess up. Yeah. And so ultimately, we’re no good to others. So this isn’t this isn’t just about like, oh, how do I love myself? For my sake? How do we do that to honor God? But how do we do that? Because if we don’t, we can’t care for other people. We can’t, we are no good to others. If we don’t care for ourselves.

Andrea
We are no good to others. If we don’t care for yes,

Kit
we have nothing to give, we have nothing we have no resource of grounding of have an understanding of love. If we really don’t love ourselves. It’s it’s impossible to love other people. And along with that, is we learn to forgive ourselves for our humaneness. Right, and we just talked about that earlier today, right? That we are human beings with frailties. But we keep fighting it as if it isn’t true. So indirectly, we just many of us learn that self care and caring about ourselves is selfish, and it just isn’t true. So we want to really debunk that today. What we end up doing is falling into patterns of self rejection, that create a lot of problems in our life. So we ended up not loving ourselves as God intended. Like when He created us, He created us out of love, for love. And, you know, I’ve dealt with this a lot in my own story. And it’s definitely a theme with with clients that I work with. So I’m hoping we’re hoping that this is a time of deep encouragement, do each one each woman who’s listening, you know that they’re loved, they were created, to receive love to receive God’s love, to give love. And that each one of us has a unique presence here. And that God wants to nurture each one of us and encourage us into wholeness. And to really believe that you’re, that you belong, that we belong, and that we’re enough with all of our human frailties. So we want to talk about that. All that.

Andrea
So we want to talk about that. And I love if we’re recognizing and facing these frailties of ours, that we don’t get stuck there. Yeah, because that’s where these patterns can really right become well rooted into our systems.

Kit
Get in touch with ourselves, forgive ourselves, get in touch with, you know, our weaknesses, or shadowside. Understand that’s a part of being human, give it to God and have compassion for ourselves. So both and we talked about all the time.

Andrea
So where do we begin because we have to correct this idea that when we ignore ourselves, it’s somehow spiritually mature. Yeah, but it’s just not

Kit
that funny. It’s really funny that we have that misunderstanding. Because when we believe that we don’t posture ourselves to receive the powerful love of God, and if we don’t receive the powerful love of God, then we have nothing to go on, you know, a simple prayer that I’ve been praying for a long time in the morning. And I am, I wanted to do this for years, I wanted to roll out of bed onto my knees for like 10 years, and I never never found a time to do it. And then suddenly, it’s become a habit. But I opened my hands and I say, God helped me receive your love. So that I can give it out to others. And so I think, you know, and, and I am still learning so much about what that really means to really receive it. But if we don’t receive it, then we end up giving more than we’re receiving, we’re giving out of something we haven’t, we don’t have. So we don’t have a grounded healthy sense of our worth. And if we don’t receive His love, and we get burnt out, we get disappointed. And we can even get sick, you know, if we’re giving, giving, giving and never receiving that really divine powerful love. So we want to talk about how to receive God’s love, and His permission to take good care of ourselves. And then from that place, love others.

Andrea
Wow, those are real repercussions. We want to recognize that these unhealthy patterns, cover the reality that we’re that we’re loving ourselves as God does. Yeah. And we won’t change unless we recognize that these patterns are encouraging self rejection. Yeah. And not self care and self love. Yeah.

Kit
One of the most important things to get in touch with is to be aware of our thought life. You know what we really believe and think about ourselves.

Andrea
thought life is something that you have brought up before. And that’s something that you’re like, listen to write that down right now thought life, what is your thought? Like? That’s a phrase that not many of us have heard. So how can we understand thought life,

Kit
the power of our thinking, Dallas Willard, a mentor of mine, through his book said, what we fill our mind with what we think about what we read, what we who we talk to, creates our thoughts. Our thoughts are what creates our feelings. We don’t have feelings, apart from thoughts when we think creates our feelings, our feelings, our behavior, and our behavior, our character. And so our thought life is very central to how we live, how we feel, what we how we behave. So getting in touch with our thought life and asking questions like this. Do you spend a lot of time comparing yourself to other people and how you fall short? If you’re doing that, then you’re telling yourself, you know, you’re you’re thinking to yourself, I’m not enough? I’m not enough. Is it hard for you to feel like you’re enough? Do you think you’re Do you think your thoughts about yourself are more patient or impatient? You know, I’ve caught myself going, Oh, my gosh, that was so stupid. And I’m like, What am I what am I saying to myself? What? How is that affecting my heart? Not just for myself, but if I’m telling that to myself, how’s it going to come out sideways? To the people I’m around? As you reflect on your thoughts, or you can kind to yourself, are you judgmental, and harsh? You know, and I can be a, I have a very active inner critic, like I just say that, why didn’t you do this? And it just creates all this instability, and all this harsh talk that sets us up to be to be reactive. Do you come down hard on yourself when you’re not coping well, or not doing the right thing all the time? Again, is that human frailty?

Andrea
Oh, these are great questions. Yes, you will.

Kit
So if we can be like, Well, how am I talking to myself? And what I talk like that to Mike friend, what I talked that way to my children, if I have them? We wouldn’t we? So why do we do that to ourselves? Why are we are we unkind to ourselves? And what effect is that having on us on our spirit on our psyche?

Andrea
Hmm, these are good questions to write down and pray through. Yeah. And I feel like the inner critic is important. Not that you’re eliminating it completely. But maybe take the megaphone. Yes. Through these questions, don’t let it be so loud or so harsh, because there’s a distinction here between rejection and understanding that I hope our listeners here searching our hearts and asking God for ways that we are being mean spirited or on Loving is different. You’re showing how it’s different from listing reasons and ways to reject ourselves. Yeah.

Kit
So one of the most effective ways to get in touch with all this belief systems system stuff is to sit down with God. And get in touch with the thoughts that are making you feel anxious or depressed. One of the best things that I know to do for myself when I start to feel my body go start to, you know, be anxious, be depressed be, I’m like, God, what am I thinking right now? And what’s the truth? So if I’m thinking of, I’m saying to myself, gosh, I just, I’m, I’m a terrible mother, I’m, I’m never enough, I am, too. I’m, I’m never gonna get well, I’m never gonna get over some of these things. Versus God’s saying to me, you’re doing well, you’re doing good. You’re on the right path. And so you switch out the narrative. What’s the truth? The truth is, you know, it’s not true that I’m that I never do anything, right. The truth is that God’s with me, and that I am making good choices most of the time, and you whatever it is that God says to you. So you switch off the narrative? Yeah, that’s helpful. It’s really, really helpful. And only God knows, you don’t know what that’s gonna say, you don’t want to like put words in God’s mouth, you really want to say, What am I thinking? And what’s the truth? And have him tell you?

Andrea
Yeah, you have to back out of the conversation and let him speak? Yeah.

Andrea
I almost, I feel like it could be a good exercise to write down the words, thoughts, and feelings, behavior and character, and then maybe plug in some of the specifics or, you know, in related in relation to some of these questions of like, you know, whether it’s a behavior or pattern or an addiction, and see where the root of it comes from, and what that language is, yeah. And like you’re saying, either make space for God to answer you with some truth? Or understand, okay, oh, gosh, this was mean spirited for myself, well, how can I change that?

Kit
And you know, that’s what we do in coaching all the time is connect those dots like something that’s happening in our adult life, something things that are coming outside ways are connected to things that we began to believe as kids, and we’ve talked about that before. And so this isn’t just a one and done thing, where we’re like, oh, that’s what I’m thinking, Okay, I’ll change that up. It’s a process over your whole life that you realize you have themes and patterns. And you know, I’ll never stop having a meeting to hit stop and say to God, oh, gosh, I’m really feeling anxious right now. What am I thinking? What’s the truth? That’ll be something I’ll do my whole life. Yeah.

Andrea
It’s a process and to be patient, those are good things to remember. Yeah. So what are some, some? When you’re when I, we are so used to talking to ourselves negatively with self rejection? What are some opposing sentences or phrases that we can use?

Kit
Well, I mean, I think, you know, some of the ways that we can open ourselves to God. You know, we can invite God into places of, of pain of loneliness. And then we can we can receive healing and also some, some new ways of thinking. And so some ideas for that are to spend time with God. And actually intentionally saying, I’m going to spend time with God, and I’m going to open myself to his love. I’m going to actually imagine that I’m sitting with God sitting with Jesus. And, and I’m vulnerable, and I’m opening myself up, and we’re going to do this. Some of that at the end is a prayer. When you’re anxious or depressed, you know, you ask God, help me to be in touch with what this is and switch off the narrative. You practice gratitude, and self affirmation. Here’s some ways you can affirm yourself, because this is not like this is really very powerful, true affirmation. I am loved. I am accepted. I belong. God, You created me and you love me. You never leave me God and you’re always with me. There’s nothing I can do to earn your love, or to lose your lap. You encourage me to love you and to love myself. You have given me power to love and to overcome. These are true statements. You know, and so we have to kind of go back sometimes don’t wait too. Do I believe that God is good? Do I believe that he says that he is who he says he is. And I want to choose to believe that God so that when I say these affirmations that I really trust them and believe them

Andrea
there’s Jacob and Esau. No, Aaron, I’m gonna run this in the Old Testament.

Kit
Okay, it’s an Old Testament story and brothers, brothers and the Old Testament, and

Andrea
oh, my gosh, Andrea, come on. Okay, so there’s these two brothers in the Old Testament, and one of them is out in the field working, and the other one is inside, because he does not enjoy the field. So he’s inside making a bowl of porridge. And the one who’s been working in the field comes in and starving. And he’s like, I just need food. I’m so hungry. And, and the brother who’s been cooking was like, Well, if you want this bowl of red porridge, you have to sell me your inheritance. You have to remember the story, okay? But the temptation is so strong in that moment, he can see nothing but that porridge, the inheritance, the truth of who he is, and what has been entitled, given and gifted to him means nothing in the light of that temptation. These statements, I am loved and accepted, and I belong, God, You created me and you love me, you never leave me and God, you’re always with me. Yeah, these in the moment of that temptation. Re, like you’re saying, at the very beginning of this re posture yourself to be able to say, oh, my gosh, but my inheritance is a lot more than than this temptation. Because self rejection can really just get you stuck in a pit have

Kit
absolutely. And in the moment, might think, in order for me to believe all these things, I have to understand all the theological aspects of God, that’s not true. At the end of the day, can you trust that God is good. And that he wants the best for you that he’s never gonna leave you all the other things you might go to, that might complicate your ability to trust him narrow it down to is he good? And is he with me, and that if we can keep it that simple, and that powerful, sometimes we can receive these very true statements like, he is good, he does love me. He did create me out of love, and for love, he will always be with me, is never going to leave me. So there, you know, it’s a it’s a process and a habit. And, and a heart change that happens over time. So we start where we are we begin where we are, even if it feels awkward, or not true.

Andrea
Or not true? Because I think it’s important to say that some days if you are asking, Is God good? You might feel like no, he’s just not

Kit
Yeah, I’m not sure. I believe he’s good. Yeah. And that’s, and that’s normal, understandable, and you can say it, and then you can be like, but I but God, God, I want to believe you’re good. I do I really want to. And somewhere inside of me, I think I believe you’re good. But but there’s a part of me that also questions it and I’m going to be honest about that.

Andrea
Oh, honesty. Yeah, yes, this is good.

Kit
So, Henry now and as I’ve quoted many times, because he’s one of my favorites. He writes, over the years, I’ve come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity or power, but self rejection. When we have come to believe in the voices that call us worthless and unlovable then success, popularity and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions. The real trap is self rejection. As soon as someone criticizes me, as soon as I’m rejected left alone or abandoned, I find myself thinking, well, that proves again that I’m a nobody. Self rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life. That’s a big statement. Because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the beloved. I can so relate to as soon as someone criticizes me, soon as I’m rejected left alone or abandoned. I’m just like, well, you know, there again, it proves I’m a nobody, I’m not lovable. So, to go back to what’s true, that the sacred voice calls us the beloved that that’s the truth. You know, is is just so inviting and beautiful, and powerful.

Andrea
It is, yeah. Oh, I was just gonna say that that part that you write of self rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the beloved, that causes the beloved. So these women who are listening sing for you who are listening you beautiful beloved woman, write it down. And maybe at the top of your journals, you explore ways you’ve rejected yourself make space to hear that sacred voice. I will link the quote from Henry now and these questions to journal through the song belovedness. And I would love it if you could close us in prayer.

Kit
Yeah, yeah, we really can pray to release self rejection in our life, you know, which is a beautiful, beautiful thing. So I would love to invite our listeners to pray with me right now. Lord, released me from being unloving to myself. Fill in my heart with Your love, and affirmation and validation. helped me to value who I am, who you made me to be and helped me choose to celebrate what you made. helped me to appreciate, affirm and celebrate who I am. helped me to grow in loving and accepting myself. helped me to know that as I love myself, through receiving your love, that that love will then get poured out to others. Help me God to embrace my humaneness and to ask you to help me to continue to grow into who you created me to be day after day, week after week, year after year. Amen. Amen. Thank you

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