What if everywhere you went, you ran into someone you didn’t like? In fact, you absolutely loathed them! Wouldn’t that be an absolute horror? "Oh, crap," you’d think "him again!" You go to a party and you have to hear all about her family and what she thinks. You go to church and he’s sitting right beside you in choir to sing loud and off-key in your ear. "What a pain in the...butt this is!" you think. Then, it gets even worse. There he is at the dinner table with you! She’s lounging by the pool on your vacation. They are EVERYWHERE!
Now, before you put on your sanctimonious shoes and say "I don’t hate anybody. God says we’re supposed to love everybody’ answer me this question. What if I told you that the hated person I just described is YOU?
That's right, YOU!
As many mean things as I've seen, heard, and had done to me over the years, the meanest things I see now are thing things that we say and do to ourselves. We give others grace and mercy while giving ourselves none, we say things to and about ourselves that we wouldn't dare say to or about someone else. When is the last time you told someone else that they were fat, old, lazy, and stupid? Yet, we say these things to ourselves every day.
So how to we fix this? We've got to get UGLY:
U - U
G - Gotta
L - Love
Y - Yourself
One of the hardest things for me to take on in my journey is loving myself. It comes from a combination of fighting low self-esteem from years of feeling unloved by others, plus being taught the bonehead concept that loving oneself was selfish and sinful. In several places in the Bible, it says to love oneself:
Leviticus 19:18 - Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.
Matthew 22:37-39 -Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Romans 13:9 - ...Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Galatians 5:14 - For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
James 2:8 - If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well.These passages tell me one important thing: I cannot truly love others until I truly love and care for myself. I tried for years to simply focus on loving others and ignore my own needs and feelings. I tried to make the passages say, "Love thy neighbor better than thyself. In fact, don't love thyself at all." The worse I felt about myself, the worse I felt about others and assumed they felt the same way about me as I felt about myself. Talk about depressing. I had start trying to see myself as God saw me--the way Christ saw me--I was to die for. I'm nowhere near where I should be, but I'm working on getting and staying UGLY.
The getting UGLY principle in recovery? Principle 2: Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to Him, and that He has the power to help me recovery. "Happy are those who mourn for they shall be comforted." Matthew 5:4
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