Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The true definition of love

You may have noticed that I have a LOT of links to other bloggers on my blog.  Some are doing Optifast like I am for their weight loss, while some are doing it through other methods.  Regardless, I get so much from the journey of everyone who walks along the path to good health like I am.  I can't read all the blogs every single day, but I do try to keep up, comment when I can and reflect on the writings and experiences of others.

Yesterday I read a completely fabulous, beautiful and inspiring post from Jennifer over at It Sux to be Fat.  She talked about the love between she and her husband, referencing 1 Corinthians 13:4.  Even if you're not a Christian, you've probably heard the verse a million times at weddings.  "Love is patient, love is kind ..."  But one thing that she said that hit me square between the eyes was to have us think about whether or not we show ourselves this kind of love.  I have not been able to stop thinking about it since reading the post last night (if you haven't read it yet, seriously, click on the link above and read it - it'll hit home). 

As I lose more and more weight, as I become more present in this world, I am faced with the task of accepting myself as I am - right here and right now.  That means accepting my excess skin that is showing because of the weight loss, my imperfections as being wholly perfect in God's eyes and, essentially, loving myself unconditionally where I stand right in the moment.  As I was reflecting on the verse and my response to it, I realized I am way too hard on myself.  Way. Too. Hard.  I'm going to repost that verse and those associated with it below and then break it down in a way to help me see where I can continue growing.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8:  "Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails."

So the questions I am asking myself are these as I look at how I show myself this kind of love ...

Am I patient with myself?
Am I kind towards myself?
Am I jealous of others?
Do I brag about myself?
Am I arrogant?
Do I act unbecomingly?
Am I self-seeking?
Am I easily provoked?
Do I not take into account wrongs I have suffered?
Do I celebrate the truth?
Do I believe positive things about myself?
Do I have hope in myself?
Do I have hope in others?
Do I endure?
Do I see myself as a failure?

Looking at this list of questions, I am attempting to be as honest with myself as I can possibly be.  I have a long way to go.  This in no way minimizes the road I've already traveled, but it also helps me see that I need to keep staying the course on this road.  There are reasons people overeat or partake in some other sort of addiction.  It is my charge to do things differently in my life.  Do I need to seek comfort and solace in a bag of chips or scoop of ice cream?  Of course not.  Yet, those things are an easier method of escape than dealing with why I am sometimes not kind towards myself, why I am jealous of things other people have, of why I tell myself lies about the sort of person I believe myself to be and so much more.  I am absolutely my own worst critic, convincing myself of things far worse than anything else someone might lay on me.  I am certainly not patient and I am not kind towards myself.  However, I also am starting to see the things other people see in me.  I do have a good heart, I am a loving person and I have a lot I contribute to this world.  I just get to keep working on finding a meeting point between the worst ideas I have about myself and the reality of who I am.  It seems so much easier to believe the worst about ourselves than the best.

In what ways do you show yourself love?


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