Self-grace escapes me. It alludes me 3 decades running. And I find myself pondering the very painful difference between grace in philosophy and grace in practice. I wonder if I’ll ever figure out this loving yourself thing.
I know why the inner hatred is so easy to swallow, to nod along in agreement with. I know why it’s so easy to believe the lie, to embrace the negativity in our hearts. It’s simply this: they aren’t lies at all. At it’s core, self-hatred is impregnated with kernels of truth. That’s what makes them so slippery, so hard to hold onto, to combat against.
Beneath “I’m ugly” is the truth “I’m aging” or “My skin isn’t great”.
Beneath “I’m fat” is the truth “I’m out of shape” or “I’ve had children”.
Beneath “I’m lazy” is the truth “I’m not always productive with my time”.
Beneath “I’m a bad wife or mother” is the truth “Sometimes I mess up”.
Where do we find the balance? Where do we find the middle ground where we extend grace to ourselves while still addressing the importance of the root truths in our failures? How do we find joy and peace in the imperfectness of life while still taking steps for a better future?
Love Yourself In The Present
Life happens now – live and love in the present. If the past has taught me anything it’s that if I don’t embrace the blessings of my today, I won’t appreciate the blessings of my tomorrow. I am never going to “arrive” this side of death. I will continue to be imperfect until the day that I die.
I wasn’t happy with my body at 215 lbs. But I also wasn’t happy with my body at 172 lbs. Or 145 lbs.
I’m not happy with my parenting with 4 kids. But I also wasn’t happy with my parenting with 2 kids. Or 1 kid.
If I don’t purposefully find the good in this day, it’ll be lost in tomorrow. Embrace the grace in today.
Know That You Are Loved
Sometimes I think I’m just beginning to understand the truth that God loves me and to understand the depth and compassion of that love. I tentatively take the tired and canned phrases of grace and love off the shelf of my theology and shake out the contents to examine them more closely, hold them up to the light.
God loved me at 215 lbs. He loved me with 1 kid and with 4.
I am treasured in my ignorance and my mistakes. I am treasured.
I have read this fact. But I’ve not owned it.
I must love myself now. I must know that I am loved now. But I must also own my mistakes, apologize when necessary, and strive for a more mature and wise tomorrow.
Are you extending yourself grace in the now?