Loving yourself is loving others

In this series, I’m exploring some of the primary misconceptions we believe about love. To watch the free class I did on this, feel free to watch it here!

Our greatest strength can often become our greatest weakness. One moment we step into our dream opportunity to serve or offer our assistance only to find ourselves becoming fatigued or disgruntled down the track. Or perhaps we give and give of ourselves to the point where we start to run on empty instead of giving from a place of overflow and abundance.

In a world surrounded by pain, suffering and need, taking the time to care for ourselves or to rest and explore our own needs can sometimes be perceived as selfish.

In the midst of the relentless needs around us, we find ourselves working harder to reach people, help people or receive value in response to what we do or offer.

The tendency is that we live from pressure instead of pleasure.

The truth is that love is supposed to be a river not a dead sea! We cannot change environments effectively if we do not allow our own environment to be changed.

There is a revelation of love in our own personal belief system that then allows us the grace and the ability to extend love in a healthy way from a place of abundance rather than from deficiency.

I love the privilege of being a part of what God is doing by traveling extensively and building relationships with world-changers and history makers. But it comes at a cost – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. There are times when I return home after a longer trip and perhaps realize that I have begun to burn flesh rather than oil of intimacy with my lover (Jesus)!

When I reach that place, I am aware that I have become overextended in love at my own expense. In other words, my greatest strength has become a weakness in that moment. I then need to take time to rest and recharge and it often takes longer to do so.

We need to give ourselves permission to love ourselves well by regularly returning to Him and to a place of rest.

We are called to live from fullness. It is in His presence that we can be refreshed and renewed and it is also through practical rest that we love ourselves well. Whether you like to take a long walk, watch a movie, take a spa day, relax by yourself or with friends or take a drive, we all recharge differently and we all need to take the time to do so.

Loving ourselves well by resting and receiving is actually the most loving thing we can do for others.

When we allow ourselves to be transformed by love, we grow in our ability to be a transformer of love. I know personally that when I have taken the time to rest and recharge, I am a much better version of me and am able to love those around me well.

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Perhaps you need to take time today or this week to love yourself well. When was the last time your truly had a sabbath and disconnected from the pressure of your to-do list? Maybe you need to take that full lunch break and go for a walk to clear your head. Or perhaps you need to just put on some music and soak in His presence. I encourage you to find one practical way to love yourself well this week.

It may seem extravagant at first, but I guarantee you that the fruit will be tangible and the people around you will be grateful for a healthier you!

PS) Again, this is a series inspired by a recent class I taught on Lies We Believe About Love. Watch it for free for a limited time here!