Do you truly love yourself?

Do you keep putting others before yourself that you sometimes forget to take care of your own needs?

Do you sometimes feel so tired that you want to get away for a while?

Contrary to popular belief, loving yourself is not always such a selfish thing. Let’s not confuse “self love” with “selfishness”. The Lord Jesus shows us that resting and taking care of one’s self is actually a good thing. Jesus teaches us to get alone from time to time. In the Bible, we see examples of this. He would go up to the mountain or to the sea to have a commune with God, away from the crowd. He would always have his personal retreats, to restore himself.

“Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”  – Luke 5:16, NIV

“And immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side to Bethsaida, while He Himself was sending the multitude away. And after bidding them farewell, he departed to the mountain to pray.”- Mark 6: 45-46, NIV

You see, my friend, in each and every one of us is what I like to call a “love jar”. This love jar is full of love that we give to others on a daily basis. Everyday, we start our days with a jar that is filled with love. We then give this love out to the people we choose to give it to. A scoop goes to our parents, a scoop goes to our siblings, a HUUUGE scoop goes to the spouse, a scoop goes to friends, and before you know it, the jar becomes empty. There is a saying that goes, “You cannot give what you do not have,” and this is why it is important to withdraw from time to time… to reflect, to pray… so that we may refill that love jar again. Let God help pour love into your jar everyday, my friend. He wants to be alone with you.

Find a quiet and secluded place. It may be in your room, in your garden, or in your church. Disconnect yourself from all distractions. Turn your cellphone off, close your eyes, and just talk to God. He wants to know more about you. He misses you. He wants to know how your day went, and how you feel about certain things. After all, He is our Father.

When I feel lonely or tired after a long day, I withdraw and take my time to be alone.  I stay in my room and listen to soothing music. I tell God my problems, my worries, and sometimes I cry to Him. Then I treat myself out to more alone time by taking a long hot bath or by watching my favorite movies alone — away from the problems and stresses in my life.  Away from the crowd.

In doing so, I feel a wonderful sense of renewal. I feel ready to give again, because I let God help me fill my love jar.

Love yourself, my friend. The way Jesus did, and the way He wants us to.

“You shall love your neighbor as you love yourself.” – Matthew 22:37, NIV