Love of self is not as easy as it sounds. To be patient and kind to yourself is not simple either. A young woman tells me that she is always anxious. My heart went out to her. I remember as a teenager how anxious I was. I was so afraid I’d fail and everyone would be so disappointed in me. She took me back to a time when I was battling debilitating anxiety, obsessive thoughts, panic attacks and relational phobias. I was drowning in it… I found relief in some form of addiction. Addiction numbs the pain. It takes over, and control our lives and drive us deeper into where we are out of control… you just don’t know how to get off the rollercoaster.
Like I said before, I ran all over the place looking for healing of my heart. I went to counselors, devouring books and resources, dove into any source of help I could find. I went to seminars, workshops, and women’s conferences looking for help. They were inspiring but not transforming. This was in the 90’s and early 2000s. No one in the church talked about anxiety like I was facing. OCD was only seen as struggling with that “clean freak”. I always went back to check things twice, to make sure the burner is turned off, milk is in the fridge, no dripping faucet, kitchen towels hanging nicely. And no laundry in the basket. Sometimes I rushed to the car because I’m running late for work and had to run back to make sure I locked the door. Oh, God, please help me!
My symptoms were saying to me that I had what experts calls, “Self-love Deficit”.
One day I was so frustrated I thought I’d explode. God came to my rescue in that painful moment and awakened me to the reality that I had some learning to do. LORD God, my Father, please enlarge the teachable spirit in me. I needed to give myself time to learn about love, how to give and receive love with greater freedom. To settle in God’s love; a journey, not a light switch. I needed patience, lots of it, for this journey. I learned to let go of the yoke of pressure of thinking I needed to be better long ago. To let go of the pressure of perfectionism and intense expectations that blocked the power of God’s loving patience with my journey. Lord
Jesus, teach me to trade off my yoke of perfectionism with your yoke that is easy and light. (Matthew 11:28-30.)
Patience tells me that Healing will take as long as it needs to take.
Transformation will take as long as it needs to take. Perfectionism is the number one enemy of transformation. Sometimes I allow mistakes in these articles to remind myself that it’s ok… love is kind.
As I write this I laugh to myself: Who inspect these things?
Not God. He understands.