My hardest lesson to learn is to love myself

This post would be sharing my conversation today with my boyfriend who is oversea. From afar, he taught me something that is very important. Something I know the importance but ignore it, until now. I learn to love myself, to respect myself, and to be easy on myself. Believe it or not, that could the hardest lesson I’ve learned. I want to share it because maybe there are a lot who be in my position: hating own self. That was a terrible place to be. And I thank God there’s him to help me. Well, hopefully this share could help too for someone who’s been in my position, to somehow find the light.

I didn’t notice for how long, but last night until tonight, I was intensely angry to myself. I was upset to someone which is I, myself; because she couldn’t keep up with what I want her to. She kept failing to fulfill things I want her to fulfill. Maybe that was the worst feeling ever. I wouldn’t let myself went to sleep until everything in today’ to do list was completed. Even when it took me till later than 2 AM. Then every time I was alone, I would be hyperventilated, became hysterical, and mocking myself. I even refused to look at the mirror because I was very angry to someone I looked at.

But tonight, I was reminded to forgive myself and to love me. He told me that somehow, perfectionist is something against love. To put high standard on someone else and to own self; and be hard when the standard was failed to be achieved is already against the second greatest commandment in the gospel, Matthew 22:39 – “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Yeah, the biggest point on those words is to love own self wholeheartedly. Only then someone could love his neighbor wholeheartedly.

I learned something that may be weird to hear: To fulfill high standard or fail to do it will not change how God loves us. When I succeed to meet the high standard, God loves me. But when I fail to keep up with it, God loves me still. We, the imperfect human, will be easy on our children if they were learning to walk but keep falling. What we will say truly would be like this: “It’s ok, just rise and try it once again.” We wouldn’t be saying to them: “You stupid. I’ve told you, you would never make it.

If the imperfect human being like us could be easy on our children, more over is our perfect Father to us, His beloved children. He would say, “That’s okay to fail. I still love you. Just rise and try it again.”

Yeah, just rise and try it again! We still have tomorrow. We still could try again what we failed today. Just like one of James Bond movies: Tomorrow Never Dies.

To start love myself, he made me learn to say these words to me.

“Karina, it is ok to make mistake. I know you are better than this. You can do it! Hehehehe..” (I felt weird to say hehehehe to myself, but that part is also important: it is about me telling myself that I’m not angry with me again. When I said it the first time, I felt awkward. The second time, well,, yeah a little bit better. The third, fourth, and so on, somehow that felt like a burden started to be removed from my shoulder and my chest.

Doing it repeatedly might be looked like a fool, but I know it will grow love toward my own self.  I start to reconcile with me. He warned me that in more days, as my love toward myself grow, I will be easier to someone else who couldn’t do things in my expectation. Then I start to reconcile with others.

I then remembered one of Bo Sanchez’s video in The Feast. He said, “Someone is hard to someone else because he is hard to himself.” And he told that the BIG message is: “Don’t be too hard on yourself.”

When I heard that message, I instantly confront it with the classic wise men’s life principle: “If you hard on yourself, the world will soft to you. But if you soft on yourself, they will be hard to you.”

Today, I learned that it is the world’s saying. It is not totally wrong, because we should have to have the high standard if we want to succeed. But, the point is: Don’t condemn yourself when you can’t fulfill it. That is written on the bible. Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Jesus Christ.”

Well, if God would not condemn me when I fail, why should I condemn myself?  I realized now all I have to do is to encourage myself, rise, and try again! When I condemn myself and force me to do better, I may be succeeding, but there will be emptiness inside. That was not an effective way to purpose driven life, to true success and happiness. That was like old-fashioned educational method, where a child will be hit or beaten if they couldn’t perform as expected. Nowadays, that would be called child abuse. The more proven effective way right now is by encouraging them to rise and try it again, again, and again.

People have been loud and aggressive when it comes to fight child abuse. Now, it‘s time to be loud and aggressive to fight self abuse. Don’t be too hard on ourselves. It’s not easy to love ourselves, but we worth it.

So, let’s start to enjoy ourselves.. After all, I realize that’s one of the greatest gifts from God for each one of us: our own selves.

PS. Thank you for Ambrosius Pin Pin, you inspire this post.

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