Do You Love Yourself?

Yesterday, after having sat in the dentist’s chair for 2.5 hours in a procedure that has required multiple visits and an endodontist and STILL isn’t done, I was kinda done with my day. Yes, many hours remained, but the desire to be productive was drilled away with my temporary filling.

When a day like this occurs, the hardest hour is from 4-5, the hour before my husband comes home. For some reason having another individual around gives me a second wind, or at least gives me assurance that I have some back-up in the parenting department. I think many mothers feel this way, hence the Oprah Show being on at that dreaded hour – aimed at women, sometimes a little stimulating, but at least it’s distracting. I only turn to Oprah in true hours of desperation – yesterday was one of those days.

Except it was not a fun show – nobody won any cars, Rachael Ray didn’t make a guest appearance to engage in lushyness with Oprah, no celebrities broke down talking about “how hard their lives are.” No, this was one of her “true life” episodes focusing on “real people,” and those real people happened to be women (specifically moms) who hated themselves. One was anorexic, one was an overeater, and though they looked different at night and day, Oprah’s doctor/specialist of the season said their problem stemmed from the same element: self-hatred. Apparently when asked what is missing from their lives, the number one things said by Americans is “love of self.” Oprah spouted off a number of ways self-hatred manifests: anorexia, over-drinking, over-eating, over-spending, gambling, gossiping. I couldn’t help but thinking, “Where have I heard a list of these compiled before? Oh yeah, Scriptures.” Hmmm.

What Oprah really whanged on these women was regarding the effects on their children, how their attitudes and actions dramatically affect and shape their children’s future. Wow: throw on the guilt – very helpful. I suppose for some it could be, but for myself, knowing those nasty little things I can’t or don’t know how to change, it pushes me further towards self-hatred, and the spiral deepens.

It’s hard for folks to get help. “Life gets in the way.” “I’m so busy.” “I can’t afford counseling.” “It didn’t work last time; why would it work now?” But for one group, this is very true – for moms, particularly of young tots. I wonder how I’m called to get help as well as make resources available to folks – for support, for prayer, for healing, for wholeness.

As Mother’s Day comes upon us, would you take a look around with me? To talk with God about your love or hatred of yourself? To ask the Spirit who you might be able to walk with towards the love of Christ? It seems like such a small thing, but lately that’s where I see God moving: the little details, the casual conversations, the small gifts – I just have to keep my eyes and ears open.

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