Fragrance of Flowers — Day 17

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Love yourself

Learning to Love Yourself

Yashua said in John 13:35, that the world will know you are my disciples by the love you have for one another. He also said in Matthew 22:37-39, the commandments are summed up in these two, love YHVH with your whole heart, mind and soul and your neighbor as yourself. The bottom line here is you can’t truly love others if you don’t love yourself. Jeremiah 31:3, tells us that YHVH loves us with an everlasting love… Scripture is a love story; YHVH so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him might not perish, but have eternal life, John 3:16. It is an indisputable fact that YHVH loves us — you and me — and as a believer in Yashua we say that we love Him, but love comes from the inside and flows out in those rivers of living water that Yashua talks about in John 7:38. In order for love to flow to YHVH Yashua, my spouse, family, friends, a lost and dying world there is one prerequisite; I must love myself. If you don’t love yourself then all your talk is just that, talk. There is no firm foundation on which to build, love is just a concept, an intellectual piece of jargon that has no real substance. So how does one learn to love oneself? For it is only in learning to love yourself that you will be able to fully realize the great love YHVH has for you. (For those who grew up in abusive homes, whether it was physical or verbal or both, or maybe you were or are in an abusive or demeaning relationship learning to love yourself will require asking YHVH Yashua to show you how He sees you. Ask Him to demonstrate His love for you.)

The decade of the 1990’s was a period in my life when my Heavenly Abba presented circumstances that brought about a major restructuring of my life. I couldn’t perceive myself as lovable and as a result it was very difficult, if not impossible, to truly, from the heart of Yashua, love others because I didn’t know how to love myself.

Scripture tells us that YHVH Yashua wants us to come to Him as a child; innocent, full of energy, unquestioning trust, belief that our Daddy can do anything. He also talks about us as His Bride; the one that is ready for intimacy with Him.

When we are children it is a time to run and play and get dirty and find treasures and live in wonder of all the beautiful things YHVH has created for our enjoyment. If you have learned to take advantage of all these activities as a child you will be well-suited to continue to enjoy and find refreshment in the beauty of YHVH’s creation. Discovering an old-fashioned swing set and swinging as to reach the clouds in the sky is still refreshment and pure joy for my soul! I love to play in the waves at the ocean and I still gather dandelions! I play hide-and-seek with my grandkids and I still giggle when they can’t find me; I love to play card games, i.e., Go Fish, UNO and Flinch, and win! I am not politically correct! I still ride my bicycle through mud puddles and I’ll stand in the rain to breathe in the beauty of a rainbow. But I was never shown what it was like to be cherished as a daughter, therefore knowing how to be a bride was something I did not understand.

Memorial weekend of 1991 was the beginning of my instruction in becoming the cherished bride of Yashua. John 16:13, “But when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” I had to learn to love myself so that I could love my bridegroom. Yashua taught me that I am lovable by coming to me in visions and mental pictures during my times of prayer and reflection or meditation and asking me to dance with Him. I had grown up in a church that believed dancing was immoral and not to be engaged in and my family was not particularly musical so I didn’t have a developed sense of rhythm.

My first reaction to His request for a dance was, “I don’t know how.” But He just stood there in my mind’s eye with His hand out-stretched waiting for me to join Him. His demeanor was so compelling I found myself taking His hand and joining Him in a dance. It was always a waltz, (I absolutely adore waltzes!) and He is the most masterful of dancers. It did not matter that I didn’t know how to dance, with Him I was beautiful and the dance was breath-takingly wondrous. Through His eyes I started seeing myself as beautiful and I began to believe that I was lovable because I knew that He loved me wildly, passionately, beyond anything I could ever hope to imagine.

If you can’t or don’t think you can love yourself ask Yashua to reveal Himself to you in real and true ways so that you might learn to love yourself as you experience how much He loves you.

As you have been following these postings I pray that you have begun to realize that you are a unique creation; YHVH designed you with a purpose in mind and equipped you with talents, skills and abilities that are suited for carrying out His will and purpose for you. As YHVH is helping you discard the useless junk that has been covering your uniqueness it is time to explore the life you were meant to live.

Assignment Day 19: Love for self will manifest itself as nurture of the self. This often comes in the form of play or recreation. You need to have activities as part of your daily, weekly, and annual schedule that are exclusively for the feeding of your personality, desires, and dreams. Identify and then do an activity that will nurture self, daily, weekly and annually.

A daily activity — maybe read a book for pleasure for an hour, or knit or crochet or sew or whittle on a piece of wood, or swing, or garden — something that will daily feed your soul.

A weekly activity — paint a picture, or build something, take a fun class, or go to the theater, again it is what feeds your soul. This is your personal time, not meant to be shared with family or friends or co-workers or those in need; we will talk about time for these in another post.

And an annual activity — plan a solitary week or weekend retreat, or take a day trip to the ocean or the mountains or your favorite park — just you and YHVH’s creation, spend a day bicycling, go back-packing or hike a favorite trail, take a trip to where you grew up; start doing something that you will look forward to repeating year after year.