I was talking with a good friend recently and we realized we have both let others determine our self-esteem. I am slowly learning my self-esteem should not depend on what others think of me. I should see myself the way God sees me. God loves me just the way I am. I’m not saying we shouldn’t work to better ourselves; everyone has things they can work on. However; there will probably be people who don’t like you. Or people who like to point out your flaws. Some people are just mean. Do not let jerks determine your self-esteem. Don’t even let your friends, your parents, or your significant other determine your self-esteem. You are loved and you are worthy of love.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14
Everyone is worthy of love no matter how many mistakes you feel you have made. No matter how many people have made you feel you are not worthy of love. You may have even had people tell you that you are not worthy of love. These are all lies. I thought if I just got married I would feel better. My self-esteem would improve and I would feel better knowing someone loved me. Of course, my husband loves me very much but my self-esteem didn’t improve until I started loving myself. Loving yourself can be hard. My intrusive thoughts often make me feel unworthy of love. But I tell myself it’s just OCD. There’s nothing wrong with me, I just have a stupid disorder.
“You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.” Song of Songs 4:7
Through therapy and reading my Bible I have learned to love myself more. If I am feeling down I remind myself of my favorite verse: Psalm 139:14. Even when I don’t feel like it, I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I recently read the book, Hold on, but Don’t Hold Still by Kristina Kuzmic. There was a quote in there I really liked:
“We feel like we’re failing because we’re not living up to our expectations. But the only reason we’re not living up to them is because those expectations were completely ridiculous, semi-abusive, and unrealistic in the first place! So we obviously need to set some new expectations. Give this some thought: it would break your child’s heart to hear anyone speak to their mommy the way you speak to yourself.”
If you don’t have kids think about if you would say to your best friend some of the thing you say to yourself. Would you tell your friend that she’s ugly, fat, stupid, worthless, unworthy of love? Of course not! So why would it be okay to say these things to yourself? Try to have positive self-talk. Instead of saying, “I’m a horrible cook, I made frozen pizza again.” Say, “Even though I hate cooking I still made dinner for myself and my son.” Obviously that was a personal example but you can do this with anything. Do not let anyone else determine your self-worth, learn to love yourself the way God loves you.
I was lonely and naïve
When I was 23
Looking for love in all the wrong places
Struggling with problems not everyone faces
Looking for others to improve my self-esteem
Trying not to burst at the seam
But I learned recently
Now that I’m 30
My self-esteem is not from others
Not even my husband or my mother
God loves me and that’s what matters
Even when I feel mad as a hatter
I’m seeing myself how God sees me
Which helps me be genuinely happy
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