Do You, Boo: Love Thyself

Do You, Boo: Love Thyself

Shingai Ndinga

Love others as well as you love yourself

Matthew 22:39

Having been in therapy for just over five years, one of the constant themes that keeps recurring is how much I still need to deeply care and love myself— even when my system is often rejecting it due to some trauma experienced earlier on in life.

I was at a prayer meeting recently when my shepherd shared that God said: “Let us make man”. In an instant, I had such an ‘aha‘ light bulb moment within myself. Before God created man, before He spoke to and with man, He spoke with Himself. He sorted out everything by Himself and said that it was good.

The principle for me remains: that I ought to speak to myself, affirm myself, dream for myself, before I can go on and do that for someone else — more so  in a romantic fashion. Do we show up for ourselves as God showed up for Himself, like we show up for other people?

I stand to be corrected, but how often is it easy to utter the words “I love you” to a friend, a sibling, a parent, a romantic partner, an icon… and yet still not say to oneself “I love me… I love myself”.

There has been a strong wave of “self-care” across social media recently, and it basically rests upon this principle that we ought to love ourselves first. Now, this does not mean we ought to become self-conceited, toxic, selfish and unkind people who are filled with pride (which is the danger associated with not balancing self-love).

It simply means that we must be kind to ourselves, in our shortcomings, failures and flaws. It means taking ourselves on a date, spending time with ourselves, going to watch a movie…by ourselves. Do that very thing for yourself that you would expect or want your partner to do for you, or what you would plan to do for someone else.

I am not talking about [merely] materialistic-depth kind of action. That can be fleeting. I am emphasising on loving yourself with the same kindness and love that God sees you with. Beyond the physical stuff that we can do, we can simply just show up for ourselves, by saying ‘no’ to a meeting or an outing because we are exhausted.

I hope that we will start to love ourselves in the God-kind of manner, with respect, dignity and kindness. May we love ourselves as well as we love others.


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