What would life be like if we could just look at ourselves in the mirror and say "I am beautiful," "I am talented," "I have great potential," "My hair looks good!," and so on? What if we looked at ourselves the way that our father in Heaven sees us... as children of God. What if we could see ourselves the way God sees us?
I've been trying to understand who I am and my worth for quite sometime. This isn't a recent thing. It's been something I've been working on since maybe 6th grade, maybe even longer. I've been trying to learn to love and accept myself. Looking at this and seeing that I'm not the only one in the world who feels this way and struggles with loving themselves, I want to share with you a few things I've learned over the past few months.
I've learned that in taking time to ponder and be with the lord I am able to see more clearly and see myself as my Father in Heaven sees me. Doing things such as studying the scriptures, praying, writing in my journal or just going out to find a quiet place to watch the sunset is time with the Lord. In making time to be with the Lord and come closer to him we come to understand our true worth. Instead of looking at ourselves in a way that is demeaning and hurtful, we come to see ourselves the way God sees us as we come to him.
Accepting yourself isn't a chore, it's not something that is going to happen right away (as much as you would like it to). It takes practice, patience with yourself and lot's of prayer. Over time as you come to recognize your beauty you will come to understand more of who you are as a person and see that your beauty is so much deeper than what you have been seeing in the mirror.
Another thing I've learned is that looking at the small, tender mercies the Lord has given me each and everyday, helps me to come and understand how much my Heavenly Father loves me. By taking time to recognize these tender mercies I've grown more and more in ways that I could never have imagined.
There is something so pure and sweet about recognizing the blessings the Lord has given you. When you see the small and simple things he does for you each day, that's where you begin to see just how much he really loves you and in turn you come to see how special and important you are and come to love and accept yourself for who you are, because of his love for you.
I've had many experiences this year that have helped me to see how much Heavenly Father loves me. For example, when we came back from Guatemala we didn't have any furniture... literally nothing. But over time we have gathered together furniture that is exactly what we needed and wanted and most of it was free. This has been a great tender mercy to me, because sometimes I feel like these things I want are so small and not really that important, but that's not how the Lord sees it. I've learned that what means a lot to me, means a lot to him.
I've also come to truly understand how important it is to think of others. In serving others we become less focused on ourselves and in doing so we come to see ourselves more clearly. Even recognizing and praying for the people around you who have come into your life and touched your life in someway each day, can help you to come to be more selfless and more compassionate and loving. Thinking of others helps you to feel good and brings the spirit into your heart.
Last, I've learned that it's important to be your own best friend. You wouldn't go out and say hurtful words to a close friend or loved one, you would try to build them up and help them the best you can. So why wouldn't you do that for yourself?
These are just a few things I've learned and have been thinking a lot about lately. It has made all the difference in my life and on my journey in coming to love myself. They may be things that I've known my whole life, but in coming to understand these things, it helps me to see more clearly.
It's a process, coming to love yourself and I have come a long way from where I was. I still have a ways to go, but it's part of learning and growing. I'm so grateful to be learning more and more about myself everyday. I'm grateful that I have a loving Heavenly Father who watches out for me and knows my potential and helps me to see for myself who I truly am. I love this beautiful journey I'm on in my life and I hope you find that your journey is just as beautiful!