// Jacque Anderson //
Self-love. Self-empowerment. Body positivity. These are words we are bombarded with in our society today.
I’ve always struggled with loving myself, as I’m sure many of you have as well. To love ourselves, the world tells us to focus on ourselves more, to take care of ourselves, to change our negative self talk and tape affirmations printed on cute neon pink posted notes to our mirrors.
Now don’t get me wrong: NONE of these are bad things to do. In fact, changing my negative self talk and repeating affirmations to myself have been key components of my own healing in therapy. But too often, this positive thinking is rooted in empty rhetoric and superficial goals that can easily turn into self-obsession, pride, and vanity. It is difficult to really love ourselves in a world that simultaneously tells us to be empowered and confident while also telling us we need to be skinnier, prettier, and loved by the masses on social media.
And for myself, it is extremely difficult to love myself when I can see the reality of my sinfulness, of my broken nature and flaws. Of my shortcomings and how much my own actions have hurt others around me. And truly, the only way to become secure in yourself and love yourself with this reality is to deeply believe in the mercy of Jesus and His love for us, no matter our flaws. No matter our brokenness. A genuine and healthy love for self can only come from truly falling in love with Jesus and seeing yourself through the eyes of the One who sees you as the beloved. Only by falling in love with Him will we trust what he has to say about us.
We have to quiet ourselves to hear the voice of the One constantly gently whispering to each of us, “You are loved. You are mine. I want you, every inch of you, despite your fractured nature, despite your sin..” Without the love of Jesus striving for self love (for me) feels like constantly oscillating between vanity and pride and self-hatred and shame.
Not in the world, not in focusing on myself or excessive introspection, will I find the true peace within myself that I seek. If I have my eyes on Him, He will show me who I am: His beloved, with all of my flaws and sins, bumps and bruises.
It’s in losing ourselves that we find ourselves. It’s in seeing ourselves through the eyes of Jesus that we truly see our worth.
Fall in love with Him. He will show you who you are.
Nice piece! Lately, when I started reading the diary of St. Faustyna Kowalska, I realized more what deep Love meant. I imagined how a girl could suffer so much and fall DEEPLY in LOVE with Our Lord.
Yes! The contemporary world is so obsessed with the “body” leaving out what REALLY MATTER more, the SOUL.
The craze is so much that it leads to and leaves the person empty…devoid of any meaning…
We all have had our fareshare of the vice, but just as you wrote, the true meaning of our body lies in knowing Him.
At a point, during my quest on the meaning of the human body, I bought and read part of the book written by JP II – “The Theology Of The Body”, and I started the journey of reality…
Thanks Jacque for your work!