Learning how to love yourself

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Is love something that we are born knowing how to do?  Is love really a choice?

I learned late in life that writing is a lot about learning how to edit, and this is exactly what I’m doing to do in this post.  It started as a post about learning how to love, period.  But now it is a post about learning how to love oneself because this is something I feel a lot of people fail to do.

I grew up most of my life believing love was something natural, something we were born conditioned to do.  And I believed even more strongly that the ability to love was not a choice.  I didn’t love my family because I choose to love, I loved them because I just couldn’t feel anything other than love for them.  Now that I’ve grown up, somewhat, I’ve come to some sort of conclusion.  Loving someone isn’t simply a choice or not a choice.  I know this because sometimes I force myself to show love to people, this is me making a choice.  But there have been times when I’ve been so hurt that all I’ve wanted to do is hate someone, but still I found myself loving them.

There are times when loving people feels so hard.  My mom will say or do something that upsets me and the idea of showing love in that situation seems impossible.  There are times when I find it really hard to love myself.  It doesn’t make sense but sometimes the most hurtful things are not said by strangers, they are thought by ourselves.  We fail to recognize the power and authority held in words, even when these words are said to ourselves.  The bible tests to this fact as well.

Proverbs 18:21 – Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

In the above verse we are taught that life and death are in the power of our tongue!  This doesn’t just apply to what we say to people we love, this is found in the words that we tell ourselves.  The devil is a liar.  To anyone who has ever thought that they were meaningless, that their lives were meaningless or that they are alone- do not believe that lie.  Your body is the temple of God!

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

This is how precious we are!  And we are never truly alone in this world, never at all.  The amazing thing about God is that even if everyone we ever love leaves us, we always have him.  This is something we can put our hope and trust in regardless of circumstance.

I mentioned this in passing earlier but love can also not feel like a choice.  I find myself unwilling to let go of some friendships because regardless of pain I may have felt, I still love that person.  With the same token, sometimes it make feel like we don’t have a choice in how we feel.  Although I believe this is somewhat true- we always have a choice. We may not be able to dictate the way we feel, but we can choose the way we act on these feelings.  This is even more true in regards to how we respect ourselves.  Please, love yourself enough to respect yourself.  If you are feeling hurt by someone or something, remove yourself from that situation.  And if you are hurting yourself, please learn the value held in your life.

The saddest thing for me to think about is the fact that so many people fail to see how amazing they are.  Those people who can be told time and time again that they are beautiful but fail to see it!  If you are someone like that, please just take a second look.  Give yourself a second chance.  Because you are valuable and you are loved.  I can guarantee it.

Hope

People are born inherently selfish.  At the end of the day, all that matters is me, myself and I.  It’s a sad but necessary truth to come to terms with.  I see it in my everyday life; I see this in myself.  As much as I want to believe otherwise the truth is so clear.  Think about it.

In our friendships we care about how we feel.  Would we really continue a friendship with someone who really needed us if being friends with them made us feel bad?  I sincerely doubt it.  I don’t even blame myself for feeling this way.  There have been so many times when I’ve known a friend has needed me, but I have thought about myself instead.  I think about how I feel and whether or not I am being benefitted.  I think about whether or not I will be hurt.  It takes every ounce of love in me not to be this person who I so desperately want to be.

This has been my life’s story.   I feel like so much of my life has been spent struggling with understanding the person I want to be and the person that God wants me to be.  I never wanted to be the Christian girl.  It was a stigma I had avoided as early as possible.  But that is what I am and I am now proud of it.  So much of my time is spent struggling with anger, jealously and pettiness.  This is the person that I want to be in the moment.  This person who feels her blood boil in rage because of whatever reason.  The type of person who only cares about myself at the end of the day, as sad as that may be.  The type of person who I want to be, in the moment.  The person I desperately try not to be.

I sometimes don’t want to be around people.  I do not want to love.  Love is a choice.  I know it because sometimes I choose to love.  But despite everything that I have said, God still sees me and he loves me.  He knows that I am imperfect, petty, angry and sometimes just mean.  God knows this but somehow he loves me so much.

God is selfless.  So selfless that he gave his very own son to die on the cross for our sins.  He chooses to love us knowing our every downfall.

That is why I have hope.  I hope in a world filled with misery and shame.  So much pain and violence and hurt- yet I still have hope.  I have hurt so many people and I have felt so hurt but the only thing I know I can cling to, is my hope.

I remember hearing a song once that said just this.  “My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus blood and righteous”

Where is your hope built?

God centered life

 

I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.  My school work, friends, future, family, and everything in between.  And when I was so busy thinking about everything going on in my life, I failed to remember God.

It’s funny isn’t it?  No, it’s not.  It’s a little bit sad.

For the entirety of my life I have been a “christian” but I fear I’ve been a Christian in name alone.  I go to church, I follow my commandments but I fail to give God all the glory and honor he deserves.  And what amazes me is that God see this girl who puts him last many times, who forgets him..  Somehow he still deems me worthy of his forgiveness, his love, his mercy.  There is no one in the entire world who would be so gracious, but my God.

Today I want to change the way I live my life.  I want to say I am a Christian and be so grateful to know the truth.   Because I am blessed by the fact that my grandfather was a believer and his before him.  Their prayers still watch over me and cover me.

But their salvation is not enough to reach me, I need to make a decision to really and actually put God first.

So what does it look like when someone leads a God centered life?

Well everything else that goes on daily simply pales in comparison.  You don’t read your bible because you have a daily quota, you read your bible because you just want to.  You get lost in praying to God and wonder how time could slip so quickly away.  And you change, 100% you change everything about yourself.  Not because you make this conscious effort to change.  But because you are so in love with God and so surrounded by him in every aspect that he influences every action you make.

When we choose to follow God and put him first everything else just falls into place.  Philippians 4:13 reads “I can do all things through him who strengthens me”, and we can.  That’s the amazing thing about God.  There are literally no limits to what you are capable above, and God will direct in the path meant for you.

I want to live like that.

So in love with God that my life can be a testimony to him and that I can shine because of the light and joy he places into my life.

Mark 12:30 reads, “Love the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”  That’s no joke.  That means something.  Today for the first time I will try to understand what exactly that means.

What makes you beautiful?

I researched long and hard about this.  I wanted to know to an exact science; what exactly composed a perfect face.  Could it be perfect facial symmetry?  Was it the correct distance of eyes from one’s forehead?  Was beauty something that could be calculated and more importantly, is beauty something that can be bought?

I could never have been so wrong.

In the midst of all of this I found written on the inside of my friend’s bible the following verse,

“1 Peter 3:3-4

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.  Instead it should be of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which is of great worth in God’s eyes.”
I think you demean beauty by limiting it to the structure of your face.  Because anyone can be born with a pretty face, but being beautiful means something much more.

I believe that when someone is truly beautiful, every feature of their face is illuminated by their smile.  That when someone is a happy person, there’s this glow inside of them that makes them look 100% better than they could ever look like with a frown.

Your face can never be perfect.  I doubt that even the beautiful face in the picture above is really and truly perfect.  I see makeup and tweezed eyebrows.  But imperfections are what make us unique.  Imperfections make us who we really are.
I remember telling these two twins I thought they were so beautiful and having them say to me that their nose was ugly, that it literally looked like a witches nose.  What they failed to realize is that the distinct appearance of their nose is what made me find their face so beautiful in the first place.  Their faces weren’t perfect, but they were beautiful.

Proverbs 31: 30 reads ” Charm is deceptive, beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the lord is to be praised.”

Beauty is fleeting.  Isn’t that crazy?  And isn’t it so very true?  Looking back on how greatly we weigh beauty, isn’t it all a bit foolish?

There is no formula for beauty.  There is no equation one must follow to be seen as beautiful.  But maybe there are so many more beautiful things we fail to notice while aspiring towards perfection.

Like those distressed pictures of people so happy you can’t help but feel the joy oozing from them and smirk.

Like when you find someone who just understands you so well and you can’t imagine how you ever lived life without them before.  Be it a friend, a family member or a significant other.

Or a love so magnificent that even death could not hold him down.

Now that is what I call beautiful.

Winning isn’t everything. 43/365

photo from deviantart.com

This post isn’t all too relevant to people who aren’t big on competitions…or who don’t go to my church!  But I decided to post about it anyway because there are so many people who I think might benefit from this.

I used to think that competitions in church were horrible, when I wouldn’t win in topics like memory verse or bible quiz or singing or ANYTHING when I was younger, it was really discouraging.  I felt as though since I didn’t win then I would never win and it made me never want to participate in competition again.

I won’t lie and say I outgrew my childish fears, but on Saturday I honestly just refused to take the bible quiz given to us because I thought I would lose.  And I memorized the bare minimum number of memory verses because I thought I would lose.  I was wrong.

For the topics that I was good in: essay, speech & singing [well…now for singing and still that’s up for debate].  It was really encouraging, it gave me a chance to practice my talents to see what I was good at and feel confident in my abilities.  I remember public speaking for my first REAL time outside of school [besides presentations and etc. ] and I was so nervous that I was honestly HORRIBLE! I just kept thinking about the fact that if that was the first time I ever spoke in public, I probably would have never let myself go through that experience again.  But I was lucky,  I was given the opportunity to try public speaking in my church and build up my talent and then finally compete.

At the end of the day I think competition can be either pointless or extremely beneficial, it all just depends on your outlook.  If you’re the person who did bad in a topic once and then refuses to participate in it again [like me…] then your going to hate competition.  I’m not going to lie to you, your going to gain nothing and in the end waste your time by showing up.  BUT if you’re the type of person who grows from your mistakes, and tries to learn from them, who doesn’t care so much about the prize but how you can grow, then competition is amazing!

I make it a point now to ask people whenever I go on stage, what I can do to make myself better.  Sometimes it can be hard to receive critique, but without it, you leave the same way you came.  I may never memorize a million trillion verses or memorize every fact in the bible for competition  [or for myself], but I can try.  Just as Luke 18: 27 reads “Jesus replied ‘What is impossible with men is possible with God.’ “.

Today I want you change your outlook.

See you tomorrow,

Nina

Be the change you wish to see in the world 42/365

Do you guys like my awesome Ghandi quote?  Well, as all of you should probably know [if you have been reading for a while], I AM A YOUTUBE JUNKIE!  haha I know, its pretty sad, but its nice to have another source of solace when I can’t use facebook anymore =(

So basically, I thought I would show you all a video and then talk a little bit about it.  Just click the video below:

What this Youtuber had said really impacted me.  Can you imagine that you smiling JUST ONCE, can brighten up someone’s day?  That YOU have the power to make someone who feel undervalued and unloved , happy.  I want all my readers to try this.  I have a theory that if 5 people read my blog and brighten up 5 people’s days and this continues and continues, before you know it hundreds of people can feel better about themselves, and all because you were willing to give a compliment.

Do something today.  You just might change a life.

See you later,

Nina

Keep on waiting 41/365

Ouch.  Apparently my blogger views have FELL dramatically!  The internet REALLY does not wait for a blogger who chooses to be lazy.  I was checking my stats and I think I got 1 view today and around a month ago I was averaging around 70 views per day.  The deactivation of my Facebook will also take away a chance for me to market so I guess I need better tags!

from deviantart.com

I kind of wanted to keep my age a secret to the whole internet world, FOR my safety of course.  But honestly I don’t think I can make my point without naming my age and you can pretty much guess how old I am from my posts.  PLUS the majority of my posts are viewed by people I know any who.

I just entered my S E N I O R   Y E A R of highschool!  I was pretty excited to enter a new chapter in my life but as soon as my day ended I saw something pretty disturbing written on pretty much EVERY status I saw.  Day 1 down __ days left, blehh first day only __ more, and on and on.

I remember waiting to enter 2nd grade and then 3rd and then 4th and then 5th and then 6th and then suddenly being in middle school and then suddenly being in HIGHSCHOOL and then I remember counting down the days until summer.  Wondering how long it would take me to reach the “fun part”, waiting for APS and SATS and every other thing to end.

I then realized that while I was waiting for all of these things to end I had missed out on truly enjoying the good things.  I thought about how during APs I had actually blogged the most with my friend and how during finals I would really confide in friends and laugh about how dumb finals were.

Point blank, if you rush through the bad things, you miss the good things.  This wasn’t a religious post but today, take it slow, think about everything you do and  ENJOY the small things.  I know I will.

This is ninarachel621 and maybe I’ll enjoy the countdown to 365 full posts a little bit more.

Ask Nina 40/365

Who’d a thunk formspring would be such a great resource for questions for my blog?

My anonymous formspringer [who I am assuming is the same person from before] posted another question for me to answer, and I actually think it will be a bit of a challenge for me to answer, but I will sincerely try my hardest.

Why are there starving and sick people in this world? If everyone has a specific plan and purpose by God, whats theirs? – answer in blog please 🙂

[btw I don’t know why the font comes up larger when I copy and paste it, but it does smh.]

It makes me feel horrible when I think about all the people in the world who need something, whether it be tangible or intangible, and I know I can do nothing for them.  Some people need to feel like someone loves them, some people need someone to believe in them, and some people lack the basic substances needed for their survival.

But when I also think about this situation, I also think about the fact that I’m sitting on my butt sipping an arizona iced tea and although I feel bad when I think about these people, I have done absolutely nothing in my life to  help one of them.  That is beyond donating old clothes that I honestly didn’t care about anymore.  If you really care about those people who are starving them GO OUT AND HELP THEM!

It is our duty, not only as Christians, but as humans, to do everything we can to help those in need.   Because God had given us free will, because we have the ability to sin and make choices, imperfection is inevitable.  People WILL be hurt if they have no love in their family, or not enough money for food, or even if someone simply wrongs them.

I truly believe that God has a purpose in our lives and that things are never as it appears.  The people I feel are most blessed are people like me, I was born into my faith and because of that I KNOW the truth.  All I can do is spread this message and hope to help these people in whatever way I can.

I know it seems horrible that some people are starving but I KNOW they have a purpose, maybe a purpose I don’t understand or truly know just yet, or maybe they do not know.   Our lives here are just a second of eternity and even though I don’t always understand his ways I will still praise God [I copied that from a song, I’ll put it at the end].

I hope I was able to somewhat answer your question, and please feel free to ask anymore.  At the end of the day all we can do it try to the very person we can be and maybe, just maybe, we can help someone in need.

See you tomorrow,

Nina

**If you want I can try to find ways that my bloggers can help out people in need, whether it be sending food or trying to go on mission trips.

I don’t know what to blog about?!-30/365

Good day my fellow bloggers…or is it wordpress-ers?  [haha FAIL]  I’m having one of those day where I really want to write but can’t think of anything to write about…  IN FACT I just wrote an entire post about haters and realized I didn’t like it and would  rather not edit through the kinks.

One preacher I’ve been in love with for as long as I can remember is Joel Osteen.  Whenever I’m having a bad day or I’m just feeling like my glass is half empty, I watch one of his podcasts and my day feels revitalized.  I want to do that for someone.

Scratch that.

I want to do that for you dear reader, the ones who actually take time to read what I write!  [even if you don’t comment 😀 ]

SO I decided to look over the titles of his messages and see if maybe just one will inspire me to write.

—-

OKAY I’M BACK!  [well I guess you guys didn’t have to KNOW that but I liked to fill you in on my writing process], none of the messages really struck out to me but the title of a book he has did.  It was entitled “Rise and Shine”, what a wonderful topic to write about!

So many times in my life I’ve found myself comparing myself to others or trying to emulate someone’s attitude or be like someone who seemed to have it all together.  It was pretty stupid.  I remember admiring the oddest people, I used to LOVE this girl named Darcy from Degrassi because she seemed so put together.  But if you know the show Degrassi, that didn’t really last all that long.

I used to think the only way I could be happy was if certain thing played out a certain way in  my life.  I was one of those people with a 5 year plan for success.  When things didn’t go the way I wanted them to…I was disappointed.  Sitting in my bedroom blogging this I can honestly say that  I feel happy.  I mean I wished I studied more this summer or used my time more productively but it was actual a facebook status that made me realize that regretting my choices would do nothing, all I have to do is move on.

The status read ”

The summer is gone……You can’t change the past, but you can ruin the present by worrying about the future”

HOW TRUE IS THAT?  [Sorry I don’t use caps to sound aggressive but to show emotion and excitement]

Today I want you to rise and shine, I want you to forget the haters [that I may later blog about, and just be who you are.  The great thing about God is that he accepts us for who we are.

“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called.”
1 Timothy 6:12

“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”
Proverbs 16:3

See you tomorrow,

Nina

**I hope you have a great day [or night depending on when you read this!]