I was watching a show on Netflix and one of the main characters was evaluating her life after a series of unnerving events. She asked her daughter if she felt loved unconditionally as a child. Her daughter’s answer was a resounding…no, but then she softened her reply by saying, “But, it’s okay mom, I understand because you are not unconditional with yourself.” Wow! I could totally relate. I love my daughter unconditionally, but I’m remiss at showing that same love to myself. How many of us when we do something wrong, fail, or just simply don’t live up to our own sometimes unrealistic standards are particularly harsh on ourselves? Not loving yourself unconditionally is such a sad way to live this precious life.
Why? It strips you of your confidence, it doesn’t allow you to take risks for fear of failing, it keeps score in the most relentless and excruciating way. Not loving yourself for all your imperfections keeps you in the chains of perfection…a standard that no one can ever reach. When you embrace who you are and love yourself unconditionally you give yourself the freedom to simply step fully into life. You give yourself permission to make mistakes, to learn and to move on from them to something better. We can be harder on ourselves than any judge and jury.
When your children misbehave badly or fail, do you hold it against them? Of course not, because they are more than their accomplishments, failures and actions. You love the true essence of them. You find them incredible, beautiful, amazing, and exquisite with all their faults. You can forgive them even when they are at their worst, because your love isn’t based on performance it is unconditional.
My prayer is that you love yourself unconditionally, that you give yourself grace and that you see your beauty through your imperfections and embrace them because it is who you are…wonderfully and perfectly created by God.