37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
Matthew 22: 37-38
This is a familiar passage for many, and the call to love God and our neighbours fully may come as no surprise to you; but did you catch the call in this passage to love yourself? How can we love our neighbours as completely as we love God and as we love ourselves if in fact, we don’t love ourselves in the first place? To truly be the light of God in this world we need to remember to take the time to keep that light bright and alive in His word, which isn’t always as easy as we would like. Here are 3 practices you can utilize to foster that self-love.
Turn off your phone notifications and emails for however long you are able and go for a walk through His creation, meditate, practice Lectio Divina, read, pray; do whatever is most filling, calm, and restorative and practice making that time guilt-free. No matter how busy you are or successful you feel you need to be, stillness is a worthwhile, and underutilized pursuit.
Remember to be thankful for yourself- your gifts, your compassion, and the abilities you have to offer as much as the gifts you receive. Practicing gratitude improves people life-satisfaction and improves your sense of self. Keeping a gratitude journal, writing to someone you are grateful for, praying about your thankfulness, counting your blessings at the end of the day and writing thank-you notes are all examples of ways you can tangibly practice gratitude which may enhance your feelings of gratitude. (Sansone, 2010)
Take time to care for your body in all of its beauty and ability. Remind yourself that your body is a home for your soul, and focus on how amazing it is that this little vessel of yours is able to do such wonderful and joyful things and try to make more time to enjoy those things with a healthy mind-set. Knit, run, stretch, breathe deeply and nourish your body with intention. Rest deeply so you can be as energized and alert as you need to be to see the world and yourself for the wonderful creations that you are.
We have all been beautifully and wonderfully made- what else do you do to remind yourself of that? What other practices do you utilize to express thankfulness for all of your gifts? Let us know, and may peace be with you.
“Matthew 22: 37-38.” Bible Gateway, www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew 22:37&version=NIV.
Sansone, Randy A and Lori A Sansone. “Gratitude and well being: the benefits of appreciation” Psychiatry (Edgmont (Pa. : Township)) vol. 7,11 (2010): 18-22.
Taylor, Barbara B. An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith. New York: HarperOne, 2009. Print.