I bought a Valentines mug that said “I Love Me Unconditionally.” My father promptly made fun of me and called me conceited. But I’m not.
I spent years as a teenage not loving myself. I had manic depression and lived under delusions that I was ugly. I was unworthy. I did not deserve love. This put me in many a bad position and I did things I shouldn’t have done.
I started growing into myself in college, but it would take years of therapy and a good group of girlfriends to really understand I was a good person. I am beautiful. I am worthy. I deserve love.
My walk with God has helped a lot. He made me special and he loves me very much. I stumble? He picks me up and forgives me. When I feel no one is on my side. He is there.
I bought the mug as a reminder to love myself no matter what. I have been pretty tough on myself and my body lately. I have been mad that it has betrayed me by being so sick. I feel fat, swollen, and irritable. I feel unlovable because I have special needs. I am angry at myself that my life is not “normal.”
But that isn’t fair. So what if my immune system is screwy? This is me; this is my body. God gave it to me. I can’t let the negative outweigh the positive in my life. I have a great boyfriend, the dearest friends, great advocacy and career opportunities. I am truly blessed. I will forgive myself and love my body for what it is instead of hating it for what it isn’t.
God loves me through sickness and health, through doubts and confidence. It is so powerful to know he gave up his own son for me. Now that’s true love. And if he can love me like that, I should be able to love myself like that.
So today, I want you to look in the mirror. Forget if you’re single, married or dating. Forget how many friends you have. Forget what your family relationships are. Tell yourself “I love myself—no matter what.”
Then thank God for his love and ask for the strength to see yourself as God made you. I know it is hard. I know the road is long, but you can do it. Forgive yourself and learn to love who you are. God will help you.