God's Brave Women - Alisa's Story


God's Brave Women - Alisa's Story

There’s a verse in the Bible that says, “Love others as you love yourself.” (Mark 12:31)

This verse is a little tricky for me. I don’t really have a problem “loving others” - for the most part that’s kind of easy. It’s the “as you love yourself” part that seems to trip me up.

You see, I don’t really love myself.

Oh sure, I think about myself and put myself first and consider what’s in my own best interest. Ironically, I think that is a completely different thing.

But actually loving myself, like putting value on myself? That is not really something I do well.

"Oh sure, I think about myself and put myself first and consider what’s in my own best interest. Ironically, I think that is a completely different thing. But actually loving myself, like putting value on myself? That is not really something I do well."

In fact, often times it’s the exact opposite. Often times I find that I actually *despise* myself.

Pretty harsh words, right? I know. Even thinking about it kind of breaks my heart.

It breaks my heart because I know the truth. As a follower of Christ, I KNOW how loved I am and how much my Father in Heaven gave and continues to give each day to prove His immeasurable love for me. I mean, what more could you really ask for when the God of Heaven reaches down and tells you personally and clearly, pretty much every day, that “You are worth it”?

Yet still I struggle. I battle. I fight back.

I hear the truth and still something deep down inside of me says “Ok, that’s all well and good, but let’s be real here. You can be pretty stupid. And you are annoying. And you’re gross. Oh, and you’re also insecure. And you’re ______ " (fill in the blank with whatever other self-deprecating adjective you’d like to use that day.)

I let that voice bring me to a darker place and I stay there. I linger in that space until the truth no longer can be heard and all I see and feel and hear is how pitiful of a person I am.

So, then I try to find ways to fix it. I overcompensate. I push myself a little harder. I hold myself to higher standards. I scroll the internet looking for ideas of how to make my life a little better, a little “cleaner”, a little more exciting, etc.

I worry about what others are thinking of me. I try to fit their mold. I think to myself, “If I could only just _______, then maybe I’ll have made it and won’t be so lame and sorry anymore.”

It’s a never-ending merry-go-round that really sucks the joy out of living and gets in the way of the life that I know God wants for me. Yet still I stubbornly cling to that merry-go-round!

I share all this because I have come to realize that this is something I really need to face, head-on. I believe this self-hatred, this refusal to accept the truth of who God says I am, is a poison that infiltrates almost every area of my life. I can see it creeping out in the way that I work, the effort I put into my appearance, even the way I interact with others.

"I believe this self-hatred, this refusal to accept the truth of who God says I am, is a poison that infiltrates almost every area of my life."

I recently read an interesting quote by author Brené Brown that said, “When perfectionism is driving, your shame is riding shotgun.” I believe this is true. Often times the shame that I feel about who I am as a person goes hand-in-hand with all of my efforts to make everything look “just right”.

But I don’t want to live that way anymore. It’s tiring and exhausting and I’m finding more and more that I just can’t keep up.

So maybe then, the only other option I have is to just start for today. In humility and gratitude, coming before my loving God and letting Him hold my hand through every painful minute of it, to start loving me for ME today - bumps, bruises and all.

"So maybe then, the only other option I have is to just start for today. In humility and gratitude, coming before my loving God and letting Him hold my hand through every painful minute of it, to start loving me for ME today - bumps, bruises and all."

To start extending the same grace that I extend to others, to myself as well. To forgive myself today. To speak words of encouragement to myself, just like I try to speak to my loved ones. Not with popular clichés but with words of real substance. Words from the real source of truth: God’s Word.

To start playing defense when those other voices want to drag me back to that dark place of self-loathing again. To battle, but this time, for the opposite side - the side of self-love and self-forgiveness and “enough”.

I’m guessing this will probably be a battle I face for the rest of my days on this earth. But that’s ok. Life here wasn’t meant to be battle-free. And the best part is, I’m not fighting it alone. <3