There is a reason this is number one. There is a reason this came to my mind before anything else when making my list. There is a reason it is so important to me.
It’s because it is the hardest lesson and the choice I need the most conscious effort for. It is also the latest lesson I have learned.
People always say that you have to love yourself before you can truly love anyone else. I believe that to a point, but not as much as I believe you have to love yourself before your spouse can. Let me explain. A few months after Jacob and I got married, I slipped in to a sort of depression. All I wanted to do was sleep, I wondered if I had married a man who didn’t love me. I love my husband more than I could ever explain, but I have had a hard time believing that he truly loved me. I began to really dissect why I didn’t always believe that the man I married and who would do anything to see my smile, didn’t love me. I had one conclusion. I didn’t love myself enough. I always felt like he didn’t truly forgive me when I wronged him and more importantly, I was not quick to forgive. I had a bad day and I would take it out on him, even when he did nothing wrong. I blamed him for me not waking up to my alarm, but how is that his fault? Why did I do this?
The answer is simple:
sometimes, I forget that I have to love myself to truly love my husband and to truly allow him to love me.
Jake loves me fiercely, every single day. Not a day goes by without him showing me the love he has for me in some way or another – whether I choose to see it or not.
I knew something, anything and everything had to change. I figured if I couldn’t change him, I would have to change myself. It’s funny how quickly I realized there was no need for him to change, so it was a good thing I had already decided to change myself.
Realizing I didn’t love myself enough, changed everything. I realized how badly I talked about myself, how upset I got when I burnt the chicken (seriously, crying hysterically) and how I hated looking at myself in the mirror.
I began trying to recall the moments when Jesus told me He loved me. When he showed me He loved me. This is when it all changed. I didn’t randomly lose 20 lbs, wake up prettier or learn to not burn the chicken… But, if the Creator of the world -and me- can love me, then I can love myself. This was a huge breakthrough I had about 6 years ago, but for some reason, I let it slip. It was much easier to get back to learning to love myself since I had done it once before, but it was still difficult. I have to remind myself e v e r y d a y that it is OKAY to not be perfect.
Since then, the love I have for myself and my husband has dramatically changed. Not because I loved him less before, but because I am actually able to believe Jake when he tells me he loves me. And when I tell him i love him, it’s not out of habit. I mean it. It is honest, bitter-less, pure love. I am confident because I am the daughter of Christ.
Ladies, do yourself and your husband a favor. Treat yourself, feel good about your self. You are beautiful, intelligent and Jesus made YOU and loves you no matter what.. who are you to deny yourself your own love?