If I'm moody and upset, my world around me will be the same. If I'm at odds within myself, I'm going to be combative with those around me. If I feel worthless, useless or of little value, that is how I am going to treat others too - like they have no worth or value.
You've heard the saying "hurt people hurt people"? It's true! If I'm hurting, I'm not one to openly love on others... in fact, I'm more likely to hurt them more so they can taste how I'm feeling. Sad, but true...
I find that the more of something negative we have endured, like abuse or rejection for instance, the more we long for the opposite, like love and inclusion. We long for it, but at the same time we aren't really sure we actually deserve it because it has evaded us for so long. So we stick our toe in the water to test it but at the first sign of 'whatever it is' we retreat back to guard ourselves from the same old stuff happening. And it continues... over and over and over...
So, how do we change that? I have found in my life that it is definitely a process for me... I have had to let go of a lot of hurt, rejection, neglect and abuse. I have had to let go of the notion or thought that those things were who I was.
I can't love others until I truly love myself. In order to love myself, I have had to discover who I really am. I spent decades TRYING to be this or be that, do this or do that... Jumping through the hoops of other people in order to be liked, loved or accepted... People pleasing... Only to find that I could not keep it up and that it wasn't being true to myself.
There is in each of us, a core value... a core person... a core need... It's there on purpose... It's there because we are supposed to seek it, need it and indeed reach it. I believe it is God-planted. I believe it is something that ONLY God can actually fill. If it weren't meant to be that way, it wouldn't be there.
But it took me a very long time to understand and recognize that.
When I started to see it, when I was broken enough that I had no where else to turn, when nothing was filling that void, when God was my only hope, THAT is when my life started to change... I started to change... My heart started to change... My perception started to change...
The journey of discovering who we are REALLY... the person we were created to be, the fatih walk, the trusting God, the growing and changing... it is most definitely a process... it doesn't happen overnight... BUT it DOES happen!!
It isn't a process of perfection either... we stumble, we trip, we fall. But we do NOT fail if we keep going... if we keep learning... if we keep digging in to what God's Word has to say.
What I have found with myself is that the more I discover who I am in Christ, who I was created to be and how God sees me, the more I am able to let go of the baggage, junk and negative perception I have of myself and the more I am able to accept the love God has for me. The more I can accept His love, the more I am able to love others as He does... The way we are meant to love one another.
But in order to let the good stuff in, I need to make room by getting rid of and letting go of the bad stuff. I have done this, and continue to do this, each day by renewing my heart and my mind with God's Word. His Word is so powerful - it is truly ALIVE! It speaks to the spirit within me and it is the Spirit within me that does the work. I just need to have a relationship with Jesus, being connected daily, being interested in and seeking more of Him.
Today, while I am so far from being finished or complete, I can actually cry tears of joy for all the blessings I have inside me. Not the external blessings - they are temporal albeit still amazing! - But the internal blessings are peace in my heart, freedom in my heart, joy in my heart, and being able to look back and see how everything weaves together for my good - even the icky bad stuff - and for God's glory!
I would not be alive today if The Lord had not had his hand on my life from the beginning. He is faithful, merciful, gracious and just.
There is a purpose to everything and for you! Love yourself as God loves you. See yourself through the lens of the Cross and watch everything piece together like a massive puzzle and slowly but surely make sense!