Dr. Deb’s Mental Health Vitamin: Loving yourself
“You cannot go back and change the beginning, but you can begin where you are and change the ending.” – C.S. Lewis (British author and lay theologian)
By Dr. Deb Wade
GCU Vice President, Counseling and Psychological Services
What is so great about being YOU? Sometimes people just don’t like themselves. When they look in the mirror, they see nothing but flaws; when they prepare to take on a project, they silently mock their own efforts; when they are complimented by others, they quickly discount the words as meaningless; and, when they stumble in their pursuits, they mock and name-call themselves.
“… if only I were taller” … or shorter, thinner, more muscular, less muscular …
“… if only I were smarter” … or wittier, more astute, more intense …
“… if only I were more agile” … or stronger, more flexible, more poised …
It is so easy to look at self and pinpoint all that is wrong, or all that is missing, or all that should be changed. What is often not so easy is to look at self and be pleased with the view.
Do you have a history of self-condemnation, self-reproach or self-loathing?
Were you planted in a family of origin that tended to point out shortcomings and dissatisfactions instead of offering praise and support?
Were the early messages from your home ones of disdain, criticism, ridicule or derision?
Have you found it difficult to see the positive attributes that you have because the negatives are so glaring?
There is GREAT news! You can stop at mid-sentence of self-criticism and do an about-face, you can reverse your negative predictions of self and make them positive, and you can finally look in the mirror and be content and pleased with what you see!
It all comes down to making a decision! Indeed, you can choose to move away from the negative thoughts, conclusions and predictions of self … and, instead, move forward with a healthy eye that evaluates, a healthy expectation of performance and a healthy summation of your gifts, talents and skills!
How in the world can this happen, you may ask? … Well, I’m glad you did! Here goes:
- Remember, always, that God doesn’t make junk! (“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” – Psalm 139:14)
- Realize that God wants to take away your timidity and fear! (“Take courage! It is I. Do not be afraid!” – Matthew 14:27)
- Realize that God will love you deeply … forever! (“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” – Jeremiah 31:3)
- Remember, you were formed by God as a masterpiece and He is pleased with you! (“You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” – Psalm 139:13; “… You are precious and honored in my sight, and … I love you.” – Isaiah 43:4)
The reality is that often the world (including a family of origin) can fool us into thinking that we are not good enough. However, if that sentiment was part of your past, it’s time to MAKE A DECISION to reverse those negative thoughts, summaries, predictions and evaluations. Rather, tune into what the God of the Universe says about us!
You can begin to change your view of yourself TODAY … and that will change all the faulty beliefs that you have carried from the past!