Self-love? Am I supposed to love myself? Isn't that self-centered and selfish? I took some time to research this on a spiritual level. I knew the world would tell me to love myself, but was it okay with God? I learned that it was indeed. "Love thy neighbor as thyself" does not translate into "Love everyone except yourself." God loves me unconditionally, and I need to love me too.
I started a "Getting To Love Me" journal to record things about myself, to explore who I am and what God wants me to become, but I still struggled in the self-love department, especially when it came to my physical being.
At the beginning of October I prayed, "Please help me find one thing I can do on a regular basis that will help me like [I still struggle with love] myself better." I felt I needed a specific suggestion... something precise or measurable that I could do.
The very next day after uttering that prayer, I heard a talk by Russell M. Nelson, an Apostle. He said,
"Each time you look in the mirror, see your body as your temple. That truth--refreshed gratefully each day--can positively influence your decisions about how you will care for your body and how you will use it. And those decisions will determine your destiny. How could this be? Because your body is the temple for your spirit. And how you use your body affects your spirit."Into my heart entered my answer, "Each day express gratitude to God for something specific about your body and you will experience a positive change, you will grow to love yourself."
Wanting to record the insights, I went to my "Getting To Love Me" journal, and realized I did not have anything in there about my body! Talents, blessings, abilities, ideas, strengths, weaknesses, aspirations… but nothing about my physical self!
So I started a new section, My Body is a Temple of God, and I record, almost daily (I'm not perfect), what I'm grateful for concerning my body.
- I am thankful for my fingers. They can play the piano and write.
- I am grateful that my body can hula hoop.
- I am thankful for my uterus which expanded and allowed a safe and healthy environment for my babies to grow and develop.
- I am thankful for my ears. I can hear birds singing, rain falling, snow crunching under my feet. I can hear music, and the voices of loved ones. I can hear thunder as well as whispers of "I love you, Gwamma."
I'm grateful for Elder Nelson's talk and the answer to my prayer. Here's a beautiful video based on his inspired message: