“Jesus said, Love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and most important command.
The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”

~Matthew 22:37~39

{Part II}

Love myself? Yes, that’s right…LOVE YOURSELF!
But “loving self” sounds prideful, right?
Ever read this acrostic
Jesus, Others, Yourself.
This is the method for J~O~Y…so I have been told.
This little acrostic and following the greatest and second greatest commandments involves me loving Jesus with everything that I am along with loving others as myself.
I don’t know about you, but I oftentimes find it difficult to love myself.
I am my greatest critic and find myself on the struggle bus with insecurities more often than not. I question most of what I do and say and feel inadequate most days. When I find myself in a world of comparisons and doubting my self worth, I am normally in a state of not being kind and loving to others. This unloving trail of myself and others is initiated in times of spiritual drought.

It really doesn’t take long to get thirsty. A long to do list and filled calendar makes the daily  walk heavy, long, and rushed. Being the “go~getter” and overachiever that I am, I find myself overwhelmed and overextended frequently. Saying “yes” to often gets me entangled with “busyness” that makes me skip quiet time of refreshment with the Lover of my Soul. When I am not refreshed I become very dry and prickly to those around me. These thirsty days bring me quickly to a reality check that make me question how well I have been loving myself.

Loving others necessitates that I love myself first. It is much like listening to an airplane attendant giving instructions of what to do during times of emergencies. Once the air masks are dropped we are to place the mask on our own faces before others. In order for me to love my family and friends, I must love myself first!

Loving yourself is loving your heart.

Take care of yourself physically. Exercise. Go for a walk. Sweat. Eat Healthy.
We only get one body, so we must take care of this gift God has given to us in this season on earth. 

Loving yourself is loving your soul.

Our soul is the spiritual aspect of our being. Just like our physical bodies need to be taken care of, our souls must be as well. Time invested maturing our relationships with Jesus strengthen our faith and keep us rejuvenated no matter what life brings our way.

Loving yourself is loving your mind.

Our minds are powerful forces in our lives. Our minds were made to love. Love God, love others, and love ourselves. Oftentimes we believe what we think. The world around us flood us with many different messages. We must be sure that we are allowing the messages that God wants us to believe are louder than the messages from the world. Taking time to be quiet…listening to the sounds of nature, the crackling of a fire, the popping of bubbles in a hot bath, the breaths of loved ones sound asleep snuggled beside us… What clears your mind and brings it to focus in amazement of your Creator & Savior?

Let the Lord bathe you in His love for you today. Be reminded that He adores you and loves you with an everlasting love that draws you to Himself. It is with this love that we can be assured we are loved so we can in turn love others authentically without any hesitations. Love BIG! 

Fashioned for This,

– Candy