Love Yourself And Love God - Your Primary Spiritual Relationship


Love of self which grows out of a grateful love of God, blossoms into an unselfish love of neighbor. A man/woman, who does not love himself rightly, with a love that flows from a grateful love of God, cannot love his neighbor rightly. How can you love yourself rightly when you do not love God? Lack of loving God is the cause of hate toward yourself and your neighbor. God created all things through love; He had deep affections and attachment for all His creatures.

The subject of love interested me from my early age. I was still young and unconscious of my feelings about myself. For years, the concept of loving myself eluded me. Like many on a spiritual path, I became very good at compassion for others, but had no idea what self-love meant. Little by little, I've learned that it starts with loving God, self-esteem, self-acceptance, and finally compassion and love - all progressive stages.

But before I realize this, am already detached from the love of God due to what people and the environment I found myself throws at me. I was very small from an early age, so people made jest of me and called me several names, this made me developed low self-esteem. I hated myself (stature) and also blamed God. But then I read the book of Gen. 1:27 “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created him male and female”. So I concluded that I am the image of God, no matter how big or small I am.

Since then my philosophy changed dramatically, whatever people, environment, and the world like they should throw at me, the one that is beneficial I will grab, the rest I will let go. I am like a flower planted in the midst of a refuse (garbage) which lack nothing.

I observed something from the ocean, the water knows how to sweep everything good and bad, but by the time the water returns back to the bank, it brought back the bad ones and throw them back. Not everything the society or the environment throws at us we should retain, we must let go of anger, frustration, negative thought, evil fears, gossip or rumor monger, backbiter and many more evil vices.

Because as a man think in his heart so is he, these vices are what separated us from the love of God thereby making us to have low intelligent quotient (I Q) and self esteem. There is a saying that “A man of a creative thought is a great man”. How can you be creative when you are always occupied with fears, frustrations, anger, lying, and spreading information you ought not?

To sustain this marathon race called life, we have to be focus on what count, focus is the only fuel that will enable us to reach our goal. When you distract your self because of bad things happening in Nigeria, you may not see the good side. Fela Durotoye said and I quote “the wealth of our nation is trapped between our ear, and not under our feet. It is called BRAIN POWER”.

You are confronted with myriad problem and you say you are confused, it shouldn’t be, instead clear your head and use your brain. Your head is the house of creativity. Think about solution to that problem, don’t allow the problem to overwhelm you, use your brain power. Always think positively, a man or woman that think positively always have sufficient ideas at his/her disposal.

When God sees us worrying, He wonder what wrong with us-disobedient. The book of Romans. 8: 28 said “and we know that all things (both good & bad) work together for good to them that LOVE GOD, to them who are the called according to His purpose.

Do you love God, how can things work well for you when you don’t love God, when you don’t love yourself and your neighbor? If you love God you will not disobey Him, if you love yourself you will not defile your body which is the temple of God. Every one of us knows quite well if he/she is real or not, we can only deceive ourselves but not God. Whatever we sow is what we shall surely reap sooner or later.

Now, let’s take a look at a picture, have you ever thought about negative picture?, the picture in them don’t look good except you print them out.

Certain stages of our life now are like those negative pictures, you cannot see or enjoy anything in them, but God is using what you are going through now to develop you to full maturity, to process you for a predestined purpose. When God is through with you, there will be a cause to smile. The problems we are going through now are to make us stronger and mature so that when those blessings started arriving, we will not abuse or misuse them.

Before you can relax to eat a good food, you must get the materials ready and then, all the items will go through fire. If you forget to put salt you will not enjoy the food, so we should be very careful of what we do to our self now in other not to regret it later. Any problem that is beyond your control, surrender it to God in prayer.

O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pains we bear, All because we do not carry, Everything to God in prayer.
No matter the situation love God, love yourself and your neighbor.

Self-esteem
Most people determine their worth based upon other-esteem. They seek approval and validation from others, and their opinion of themselves isn't very high unless they get it. True self-esteem isn't based on what others think of you, since its Self-esteem.

It's basically what you think of yourself. You may think well of yourself and your competence in some areas, but not in others, and your estimation may fluctuate with illness and life's ups and downs, but if you have good self-esteem, you'll return to feeling good about yourself.

You won't blame yourself, nor take others' opinions or what fate throws at you too personal. You'll think you're an okay person despite losses, ill health, mistakes, and rejection. There is time for everything, a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance-Eccl.3:1-8.

Many people focus on their flaws and have trouble acknowledging their assets. A man’s net worth is important than his out look, your worth is your asset. Your assets are those good qualities that made you to be the image of God.

Self-Acceptance
Unlike self-esteem which varies, self-acceptance is steady and unconditional. You accept yourself despite your flaws, failures, and limitations. You're more self-forgiving and let go of self-judgment. Instead of comparing yourself to others, both positively and negatively, you appreciate your singular individuality.

You feel that you're enough without having to improve upon yourself. Self-acceptance works wonders. Once you start accepting yourself, you gradually stop worrying what others think and become more spontaneous and natural, it is when I accept myself the way I am, it was then I love myself. Self-acceptance is what allows you to be authentic. You can finally relax, and allow more of the inner, real you to be seen.

You'll have no shame or fear of revealing yourself when you accept yourself unconditionally, that special person will accept you the way you are if you first accept yourself. This is the key to intimacy and spiritual relationships that enables you to accept others.

T.D Jakes in his book “LET IT GO” said ‘if you are holding on to the past hurt and pains… LET IT GO. If someone has angered you. LET IT GO, if you are holding on to some thoughts of evil and revenge…LET IT GO, if you are involved in a wrong relationship or addiction. LET IT GO, if         you are susceptible to anger or bad attitude..LET IT GO, if you are stuck in the past and God is trying to take you to the next level in Him or if you are struggling with the healing of a broken relationship..LET IT GO”.

Whenever you are feeling depressed and stressed...LET IT GO, Let the past of the past, and forget the former things. God is doing a new thing, love yourself, accept yourself, keep yourself holy for the use of the potter and let that unnecessary baggage go.

The greater is your love for God, the greater will be your love of others and yourself. The inverse is also true; hatred of others is indicative of self-hatred. When you love someone, you try to understand their experience and world view, although it differs from your own. You offer your attention, respect, support, compassion, and acceptance. Your caring involves knowledge, responsibility and commitment.

These virtues are not compartmentalized, because love is indivisible. Thus, as you develop these abilities, your capacity to love yourself and others grows.
Developing the faculties of attention and compassion necessitate discipline and time. To learn anything requires that you desire it and find it worthy of your effort. Although self-love is certainly an important goal, our society is full of distractions, and its emphasis on speed, performance, and productivity make developing self-love a challenge.

Meditation, yoga, martial arts are helpful in learning self-awareness and focusing attention. But a lot of us including me find it difficult to relax and meditate due to the nature of our work, which is not helpful to our physical body and inner man (spiritual growth).
 Compassion for yourself enables you to witness your feelings, thoughts, and actions with acceptance, caring, and understanding as you would when empathizing with another. 

Compassion is expressed with gentleness, tenderness, and generosity of spirit -- quite the opposite of self-criticism, perfectionism, and pushing oneself. When most people are stressed, overwhelmed, or exhausted, they attempt to do even more, by transferring anger to others, instead of caring for themselves and be in control. If you weren't nurtured as a child, self-nurturing can be absorbed in therapy over time.

You'll learn to integrate the acceptance and empathy offered by your therapist. Self-compassion differs from self-pity, which is a judgment about your situation or feelings. Rather than acceptance and compassion, self-pity says, "It shouldn't be this way."

Faith in yourself enables you to comfort yourself and face challenges and failures without lapsing into worry or judgment. You develop the ability to see yourself objectivity and know you'll survive, despite present emotions. If you constantly seek validation and reassurance from others, you miss the opportunity to develop these internal functions.

As knowledge is pre-requisite to love, spending time alone with yourself is essential to identify and listen to your feelings with sensitivity and empathy, but be careful when you are alone not to be occupied with negative thought. Acquiring the ability to witness and contain your emotions are also faculties learned in psychotherapy.

Perhaps you've concluded that learning self-love isn't easy. Look at it this way. Throughout the day, you're confronted with many opportunities to disregard or attune to your feelings, to judge or to honor them, to keep commitments and be responsible to yourself, and to act in accordance with your needs, values, and feelings. You have an opportunity to learn self-love all the time.

Every time you talk yourself down, doubt yourself, exhaust yourself, dismiss your feelings or needs, or act against your values, you undermine your self-esteem. The reverse is also true. You might as well make healthier choices, because you and all your relationships will benefit or surfer. It depends on the choice you make…..to love God or not.

Your stories and comments are welcome to learn from and thereby enable others to learn from your past experience. Iron sharpen iron, human encourage human. The back horse learn from the front one, therefore send your contribution to:

abaylincoln@hotmail.com, abaylincoln@yahoo.com,

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Love Yourself And Love God - Your Primary Spiritual Relationship Love Yourself And Love God - Your Primary Spiritual Relationship Reviewed by E.A Olatoye on September 19, 2011 Rating: 5

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