In a world where there’s racism, sexism, hatred of another and ignorance, I want to remind you, remind us on the importance of embracing ourselves. I was reminded of this this week when I saw one of Nourie Flayhan’s illustrations on Instagram. Nourie is a talented Lebanese illustrator. Our looks, our gender, where we were born are all things that we cannot control. I don’t remember God sitting me down, pulling out a tablet before giving life to me, asking me what race I wanted to be, what country I would be born in, the family status I’d be born into, or giving me a choice as to what gender I’d be. All I know is that as soon as I was old enough to know myself, I was black, a female, American and middle class. And I’m sure you can relate because you got the same deal as me.
Oftentimes, I believe we forget to embrace ourselves. Maybe we get caught up in the day to day of life, or we busy caring for others or empowering others that we forget to embrace ourselves. Or, we don’t have total and true contentment with the way God has made us that we’re always trying to change something about ourselves.
So, here are 5 ways to remember to embrace yourself:
Knowing who you are is identity. How you treat yourself, what you think of yourself, and what you know of yourself depends on what you have been told about yourself. If you’ve been told negative things about yourself and you keep hearing them, you will eventually believe them. If you are a true Christian then you know from the Bible and your daily walk with God what He thinks of you- so what you’ve been told is solid and no one can shake that. It will determine how you treat yourself, and what you think of yourself, and what you know of yourself.
2- Relationship With God-
You know, more often than not, when someone is adopted as a child, when they get older, they will go on a quest to find their birth parents. There is an insatiable hunger for these kinds of people to know where they came from. They want to be embraced with the truth.
We all come from God and there is something on the inside of each one of us to know where and Who we come from. We are all searching for our Creator and some of us have tried to find Him in atheism, drugs, fornication, Eastern philosophies, work, education, not even realizing we are truly looking for HIM. God doesn’t make a human and not run after him or her in some way or another. No matter if you’re born into a nation that practices Eastern faiths, or born into a house where the Father, Son and Holy Spirit weren’t the foundation, or even if you abandon a relationship that you once had with God, He will still run after you in some way.
Embracing yourself means walking with God, having a relationship with Him. He loves every human He makes and when we come to Him through Jesus we will have peace in our souls, as well as purpose and contentment of why He put us on this earth.
Without a relationship with Him, we won’t fully be able to embrace ourselves.
3- Forgive Yourself
Part of embracing ourselves is forgiving ourselves. We’re all on this journey of life and we’re constantly learning. The learning gets harder and often complicated as we age, because our responsibilities get heavier- and people around us become more complex as time passes. We’ve fallen short with God and with people. And as the years pass, we should be getting better as people.
There will be moments when we will realize character change is necessary. When we realize we’ve fallen short in our relationships, we need to firstly realize we have a problem and that we want to change, we need to go to that person and ask for forgiveness, then we need to go to God and repent and ask for forgiveness and the strength to change bad behavior problems and thought processes, and then we need to forgive ourselves. We may need Christian counseling, a mentor or advisor, a class or to read a book for extra help in changing.
Forgiving ourselves helps us to move on, to let go of bad behaviors, and to embrace the opportunities and relationship that God has for you us the future. Even if others won’t forgive you for what you did to them, when you’ve repented before God and asked for their forgiveness, you’ve done your part. So, you must now live and move forward so God can use you. Embracing yourself means forgiving yourself.
4- Treat Yourself
Don’t forget to treat yourself every now and then. Take a holiday, take a nice drive, buy yourself something, get a massage. Embracing yourself means treating yourself.
5- Pray for Yourself
And don’t forget that as you’re praying for others, to pray yourself. Pray for God to bless you emotionally, mentally, financially, spiritually, health-wise, and with the right kind of knowledge. Ask Him to protect you from the wrong kinds of people. Ask for discernment about decisions. Pray BOLD dreams that seem impossible. Embracing yourself means praying for yourself.