While this is a quick tip, it was 34 years before I tried this. It impacted me so much that I had to share it with you.
I can’t remember where it was that I first read about doing this, and that’s a shame, because I would love to give credit to the person who introduced this little activity into my life. Let’s just say I’m grateful for this quick little tip that for some reason, is life-changing.
It’s going to sound so simple, but it was actually pretty hard for me to do.
Ready? Here goes.
The next time you have a few minutes alone in front of a mirror, I’m going to ask you to do something you’ve probably never done.
Look at yourself straight in the eyes. I mean, look directly into those pupils! Look at yourself and say to yourself, “I love you.”
I. Love. You.
Really mean it. Say it again. Don’t take your eyes off that person in the mirror.
Because you do. Everyone, deep down, loves themself; they just might have to dig around a little to realize it. You love yourself! You don’t want bad things for yourself. You don’t want bad things to come upon you. You want blessings. You want love. So give, and receive it!
If you’re anything like me, when you look at that person in the mirror and show that love – and really mean it – you’ll find tears start to well into those eyes you’re looking into. It’s very affecting. It does something to your soul.
Sigh. I know. I know it sounds totally crazy to look at yourself in the mirror and talk to yourself, much less tell yourself how much you just love you. I thought it was crazy too, and put it off for a long time. But when I did, it was just. . . well, just try it. And mean it.
For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church. . . – Ephesians 5:29
This verse is in the middle of a passage talking about husbands and wives, but it interjects with such a simple truth we sometimes miss. We love ourselves.
The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these. – Mark 12:31
Here’s another truth to consider. When Jesus told us to love our neighbor as ourself – did he mean to glare at our neighbor and painstakingly find every single one of his faults? Did he mean for us to call our neighbor names under our breath and harp on his worst flaws? Did he mean to never forgive our neighbor for that time he screwed up and keep bringing up the past over and over again?
Friend, no He didn’t! He meant love your neighbor – treat them right and show them love. He meant to do that to yourself too!
Too often we humans throw the baby out with the bath water. We do realize that it’s wrong to be puffed up with vanity and self absorption, but we end up throwing out a very important part of the equation, and even going to the opposite extreme: “Oh, ALL of YOU God and NONE of ME!!!”
Well if God wanted all of Him and none of you, He wouldn’t have made you now, would He? 😀 He made you because He has an important purpose for you to fulfill in the earth! Not for you to treat yourself like a loser. I know I’m being frank, but I mean it in the best way, and believe me when I say I’m telling this to myself just as much as anyone reading. We are already winners in Christ. (Woohoo!) Somehow we get the impression that self-disparagement is the path to true Christian humility, but I think that’s missing the mark.
We are commanded to love ourselves. It is biblical to love yourself, sweet person. God loves you, His amazing perfect Son died for YOU – He would never want you to hate yourself, the same way you would never want your children to hate themselves.
You want your daughters and sons to look in the mirror and realize the gifts that God put in them. To know with confidence that they have a purpose in this world and are a masterpiece right from the hand of God. Your Heavenly Father wants that for you.
So give yourself permission to love yourself. You can do it! You can look at that lovely person in the mirror, the one you know so intimately, straight in the eyes, and tell that person, with deep conviction:
“I love you.
I love you.
I. Love. You.”
Let it sink in.
You. Are. Worth. Loving.