There are three catchy phrases that have never sat right with me. They are extremely popular right now and in my research for my book, I heard them alot. Are you ready?
Living my best life
These bother me. Because I know me. I can’t do these things. I know my insecurities and my shortcomings. I’ve struggled with loving myself for as long as I can remember.
While interviewing for my book, I asked the question: What have you found to help you overcome shame?
A few times I received the answer that they had been learning the art of self-love. In order to refute the lies of shame in their head, they will dig into a reservoir of love for themselves that they had not yet found.
This is hard for me. I don’t get it.
If conquering my shame depends on me loving myself, what happens on those bad days where my mental strength is shot?
What happens when I have legitimately screwed up and hurt somebody? Damaged relationships?
What do I do when I don’t have the ability to love myself because I know that there is a lot NOT to love?
Where do I go when I let myself down and aren’t capable of loving myself enough?
And “my truth”. This simply can’t be. We can’t all live our own truth.
What if my truth is to smash my ex in the knees making him unable to walk for the remainder of his life? What if his truth was to become a dancer but now he can’t walk?
What if my truth tells me that while sitting at a red light, my task is more important than the ones of those blessed with a green light?
And because it is more important, I follow my truth, ignoring the red light and proceeding into the intersection when I’m not supposed to? It was my truth so doesn’t that make it right?
There’s only so far that my truth can take me because eventually it clashes with other people’s truths.
It is simply impossible to live your truth unless you are completely comfortable with putting yourself ahead of every other person you ever encounter.
And living my best life…Who redeems my life when I have a bad day, messing up my best life?
I know myself and that it will be completely impossible for me to maintain the standard of living my best life. And why wouldn’t I have done that already? I don’t believe you ever try to NOT live your best life.
We always fall short because our “best” is out of reach.
In the last 18 months, those terms have been flipped on their head for me. Like they say in the Alcoholics Anonymous book, I don’t have what it takes to love myself enough.
I don’t have what it takes to love myself out of depression.
I don’t have what it takes to love myself after I hurt my step children deeply.
I don’t have what it takes to unconditionally love myself.
I NEED A HIGHER POWER.
I need something bigger than me.
That’s where I fall into this amazing love of God that I have found lately. A love I never knew, even growing up in the church.
What is so amazing about God’s love instead of self love, is that even when I fall so short and cause so much hurt, His love doesn’t change. His love doesn’t have to be forced like my self-love would be at times.
His love is always and forever natural, overflowing, unstoppable. Those are three words I cannot use to describe my self-love.
And truth. How much peace I have found – even when I am in tears or terrified of circumstances – how much peace I have found that nothing will ever change God’s truth that He is always good and I am always loved. Nothing.
And when my self-love and my truth fall short, I will desperately try to repeat this unchanging truth over and over and over again.
And this whole living-my-best-life thing? What a freedom and a joy I have found since letting myself fall into the truth I just said.
I’m learning to accept how God made me and then take it one step further – putting how He made me into unfiltered and unrestrained action.
He made me good at writing, talking, sharing my heartache and showing where God is. He made me with a strong desire to be genuine and real. He made me with such strong feelings and passions that I’m impulsive and brave at times.
How much fun it has been to throw myself unabandoned into all that God has made me.
And after years of struggles, insecurities and trying to fit into a mold I wasn’t made for, how amazing and fun it is to live GOD’S best life for me. It is way better than anything I could come up with.
So in the end, I don’t want a life where I’m pressured to self-love, force my truth and live my best life. That’s too much pressure. And impossible. Letting God take care of it is way more fun and a lot less scary.