Well, sweet, sweet summertime is finally here, and I could not be happier. I have had one too many cold days and too few spring thunderstorms and days by the pool, but now I am home and ready for anything! I always have this high expectation for summer and how it is going to be so adventurous and thrilling. I am about two weeks into summer and so far, the most adventurous thing I have done is gone bowling. Woot. (This is actually kind of a big deal, considering I stink at bowling, and also have a fear of my fingers getting stuck in the ball.) Besides that, working and being bored has taken up a majority of my time.
However, even if my summer hasn’t been so crazy so far, I am already thoroughly enjoying the lowered stress levels, hockey on the daily, and sunshine. I know for some people this isn’t the case, but my summers are usually so chill. I find myself having so much more time to myself, free to do what I please. Anytime I am left to myself, I tend to do a lot of deep thinking. Now, this can end up badly a majority of the time, as I over think things that are so small, but I do have productive thoughts sometimes too. Due to my increased alone time and thinking, summer tends to be my season of renewal; my time to analyze myself and grow. The quote from the beginning of this post has been a quote I have returned to quite often this summer so far.
“Eat like you love yourself. Move like you love yourself. Speak like you love yourself. Act like you love yourself.”
I’m trying to make this summer a season of self-love. Sounds kind of selfish, but hear me out. I think everyone can have issues with self-love, and I am definitely no exception to that, I am probably on the extreme end of the spectrum. I also think in order to succeed in life, you need to set goals. One of my (many) goals? Loving myself better. Why wait? Why not start now? There is no reason to wait. God made us to love ourselves and one another, not treat ourselves and other people like crap. I don’t know about you, but I think God’s intentions are probably best for us and our happiness, so why not start now?
I have always held the idea that it is God first, and then everything else follows. But what follows directly after God? It probably differs for everyone, but I know when I put others after God, I can sometimes forget about myself. If I am not loving myself properly, I find it extremely hard to love others properly. But, I have to be careful when I put myself before others, so I don’t get selfish and self-absorbed. There is give and take, you just have to find the right balance, like with anything in life.
I think too often people forget to love themselves, and that leads to issues with loving others as well. You have to be able to look in the mirror and love the person looking back at you, and then go out into the world and pour that love into other people. There is never a limitation on love, whether it be toward yourself or others. We are God’s creation, His beautiful creation. We are to respect, honor, and admire God’s creation, no exceptions. You are no exception, I am no exception, that stranger is no exception, that person you dislike is no exception, and so on and so forth. So, how are we doing that on a daily basis? Are we waking up every morning, looking in the mirror and already dishonoring God’s creation by thinking a negative thought or pointing out every flaw and issue? What about later in the day, when we avoid eye contact with the person asking for donations or when we make assumptions about someone we pass in the store based on what they look like? I know my own answers, and I hate to admit it, but they aren’t the right ones.
Like with everything, I truly think change starts within ourselves. A little positivity toward yourself can go a long way and overflow into all areas of your life. Every time we show some love towards ourselves, not only are we thanking God for what He has created and showing His creation love and respect, but we are also training ourselves to think differently and in a more positive way, which will help us, in turn, show that love to those around us as well.
What does that self-love look like? For me, I go right along with what the quote is saying.
Eat like you love yourself: God gave us all this natural stuff to eat, and He wants us to treat his creation right, so am I waking up and having the donut that I want so badly, or am I choosing something a little better for myself? Even something this minor is a way I choose to love myself. Plus, my healthy choices have been making my family think twice too; my self-love overflowing into others.
Move like you love yourself: You know what is a great way to connect with God and start your day? A morning run. There is something so beautiful about waking up with the sun, stepping outside, and feeling God bless you with every breath and every stride in the presence of all His amazing outdoor creations. Again, God wants us to keep his creation healthy and striving, so get out and move yourself! Another simple choice that is an act of self-love, and a way to connect with God in the process. There are so many times when I am driving and see someone running or walking their dog or gardening and I get so motivated to get outside too! Another way self-love can turn into love flowing into others as well.
Speak like you love yourself: Whether it be the things you say out loud or just your thoughts, these things can be toxic or super beneficial. Something as simple as telling yourself you are beautiful everyday or choosing five things you like about yourself or so on or so forth can really train your brain to think in a different way, and before you know it, the negative thoughts and words will be overpowered by positivity and love. Then, that positivity and love with pour out into your words and thoughts toward other people as well.
Act like you love yourself: I think all the above fall into this one, along with every single action we take on a daily basis. Everything we do should build us up and be to better us, not to break us down or make us worse. Living by God’s word is a great rule of thumb to act like you love yourself. Our actions speak louder than our words, as some may say, and we can deeply influence others lives by the simple actions we take to help others or by the actions other silently watch us do. I can tend to act without thinking, and in order to love myself and others better, I know I need to start thinking and acting differently.
A little self-love goes a long way, not only for yourself, but in the way you treat other people as well. By allowing God’s love to consume you and overflow into others, I truly believe that the love will reflect right back at you and fill you with so much joy. God created us with His own love, and created us to love one another as well. We can never measure up to God’s insane and incredible love, but if everyone takes small steps everyday to increase their love toward themselves, and therefore others, we can experience God’s love on a whole new level! Cool, right? Getting deep here, people.
But seriously, like I said, I have had a lot of time to myself and these are my thoughts! Love yourself. Love others. Above all, love God, and the rest will come along with it. :)
Thanks for reading!
P.S. I have no idea if this makes any sense, as I just started typing and didn’t stop (except when I almost fell asleep), so bear with me. :)