Advent 2015 // Love of Self

“What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race.”John 1:3

Reflecting back on the story about Matthew from yesterday, I can't help but thinking, if he didn't help that woman, then who?

I had to ask myself, “How many times have I been one of the other people in line? At the back complaining rather than being light to our fellow brothers and sisters?” The truth is there are many, many things about myself which I can find that are not perfect. Not even close.

So many words I wish I could take back. So many actions I wish I had left undone. So many looks I wish I had never created with my facial muscles. So many thoughts that I hope never escape through my mouth long after my social filter is gone. (Anyone with me?) Yet regardless of our temperaments, personalities, successes, failures, virtues, shortcomings, sins, and brokenness, we are called to love ourselves.

The other day I spent some time with a 10 year old girl who was very excited to show me her video app on her smartphone. (I didn't even know 10 year olds had smartphones these days.) It was actually pretty neat – you basically make short lip sync videos to popular songs and post them for friends to see. But what started out a neat phone app quickly became a reminder of the many struggles in our culture. I couldn't tell if this little girl was too in love with herself and these videos, or if they were ruining her self image. It was probably both. She made a quick example video for me to see, but promptly deleted it and made a new one after taking off her sweater. She said she didn't look good, but her lucky shirt was underneath. My heart broke as I realized a few minutes later that her “lucky shirt” meant that it was the one she was wearing when she posted a lip sync video that got several likes.

While we are not 10 years old struggling to fight against the trials of our technology-driven culture, we can't pretend like we would never judge our self worth in such a way. We may think ourselves more grounded or more mature, but what do we use to judge ourselves? A job? A relationship? How we think others view our spouse? Our kids (or lack thereof)? Our political views? Our “Catholic-ness?” The way we educate our children?

We don't have to have everything in life figured out before we can be a light to other in this world. But we do need to know ourselves. We need to know ourselves as daughters and as women, and we need to love that. 

So take time to love yourself. And if you find that incredibly difficult (as most of us do), be patient and keep learning how to love yourself better. The world changes for the better when we, as women, love who we are and are not ashamed. We have life through Jesus Christ, and we are his lights in the world.

Study Questions

What do I love about myself?

What do I struggle with loving in myself?

Why do I have a hard time loving myself in those areas?

This year's study journal is broken into 4 parts. 

To view each, please scroll to the middle of the above link