…we abuse ourselves.
Why did I continue to seek love and approval from family members and partners who treated me so bad? It has taken me a long time to understand, because it’s not as if the opinions of people like that should even matter. Why would I care about what someone with no morals or values thinks of me? Why would I want acceptance and love from people who have abused me?
I kept going back and being drawn to those personality types, because I was empty inside and felt a huge void in my life. That void magnified all the terrible things I heard growing up. It honestly led me to believe that I was unlovable to others, to myself, and especially to God. I figure if my own family can’t love or accept me then somehow God really can’t either.
Do You Know How To Love Yourself?
Part of me simply hasn’t known how to love myself. I was taught rigorously by a church for years that one is a sinner and going to hell if they have such selfish thoughts. I realize this is an extremist point of view, but I bought into it all the same. Just as I subconsciously believed what my abusers said about me – like the saying goes, “if you listen to something long enough, you began to believe it’s true.” While I don’t believe in those extreme religious views anymore, the negative and hateful voices of my abusers have rung louder than God’s loving voice within my own head, for way too long. It’s time to turn them off!
Self Love As Armor
It is healthy and not selfish for me to take care of myself first. Isn’t that what God wants of us as well? Isn’t it our responsibility even, because how can we help others to our fullest extent if we haven’t first helped ourselves?
Learning to love ourselves may be the greatest armor we have against abuse too. When we learn to love and respect ourselves, because God first loved us, we won’t tolerate being manipulated or treated bad, because we will believe we deserve better. It seems crucial for us to realize our value and worth through His eyes and not the world’s. Once we are full of God’s love, we no longer have those empty voids to fill either.
The love of self, because God first loved us, is our greatest armor against abuse.
Do you have an emptiness or void in your life? It doesn’t matter what or who you may be chasing trying to fulfill it (family, spouse, children, work, possessions, addictions, etc.) I can tell you from personal experience that if you don’t learn to fill it with the love of God, it will always be empty and your search will never end.