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In an effort to promote an authentic and healthy love of self as many of us fail to do, I’ve taken 1 Corinthians 13 and made it into a statement that a person can speak to themselves.

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I could speak or write brilliantly in the language of humans and heavenly beings, but let’s be honest – if I do not have love for myself, all my words are just a bunch of noise.

And if I seek justice and peace for the world, and understand all and know all, and if I have an amazing faith on paper, which may look like I could move mountains,
ALL OF THIS…
But
do NOT love myself – you know, the unconditional way that God loves me –
my work is empty… even hypocritical.

If I give away all I own to appear as a fabulous philanthropist,
and if I dress up my body so that I may boast that I look young or hot,
but do not have genuine self-love of my essence and soul, I gain nothing.

Loving myself through all my errors takes patience.
Loving myself means that I am required to be kind to myself.

Healthy love of self doesn’t mean that I’m envious of others (which I am quite often).
It does not allow me to brag over and over of my accomplishments or become arrogant and rude to prove that I am better than others.

Love of self absolutely can not be shadowed in shallowness,
and it requires me to reflect when I’m irritable or resentful of someone else’s accomplishments or celebrations.

This unconditional love does not allow me to rejoice when someone else errs, and it leaves no space for me to berate myself when I make a mistake.

It rejoices in what is best for everyone.

In order for my soul to thrive, true love of self will seek help when life is harsh.
It believes that anything is possible.
It continues to hope for all things
It endures when love seems present no where else.

Authentic love for myself is meant to be permanent and eternal.

But as for the work I do, it will eventually come to an end as my body ages or my mind falls away.
As for the brilliant language that I write or speak- it’s all going to cease.
As for knowledge that I possess here on this side of heaven, it will come to an end.

Let’s face it, now I see myself and God and others only in part. All I do will always fall short because of that partial view I have.
But when the complete comes somewhere on that side of heaven, the partial will come to an end.
The complete view of me and God and others and the universe will be all I can see.

I remember when I was a teen. I spoke like a teen, and I thought like a teen.
I reasoned like a teen.
I was disgusted by myself the way a teen would be.
Since becoming an adult,
I’ve been working on not to look at myself the same way I did at 14.

For I must remember that I see myself in a dim, cloudy, foggy mirror.
But someday, somewhere I will see the true view of my face and heart and soul.
For I must remember that right now I only myself in part-
But at some point I will know fully, even as God knows and loves me fully.

When nothing goes right and the world seems hopeless and I’m thinking so little of myself, I must remember that these three pieces are my foundation:
faith, hope, and love.

And even when faith in myself weakens and hope for the future wanes, God’s authentic, unconditional love for me will guide me back to where I need to be.

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