Hola lovelies and happy weekend! The beginning of another week is upon us and I’m grateful I get to enjoy it by drinking Abuelita, snacking on Nilla wafers, and writing to you guys.
I find that in the business of everyday living, there are so many things that vie and claw for our attention, our love, our talents, and time. It becomes quite easy to forsake personal time and development to these various pieces of our lives and we can forget to invest in the things that build us back up and rejuvenate us.
It happens to all of us and when this happens, self-care needs to become a necessity. Self-love and self-care allow for learning to say no, spending time with yourself, and personal growth in beautiful ways to intricately understand the numerous layers of self, peeling back the stress to reach peace, contentment, and joy.
Self-Love and Self-Care Debate
In a world full of working people, entrepreneurs, and social media influencers, we are all on a path to create, be creative, innovative, and most importantly, authentic in the craft and path we’ve chosen. However, there has been space given to self-love and self-care that I find slightly over-hyped.
Don’t worry, I’ll explain what I mean.
This is not a bashing of self-love and self-care kind of post. These are things I advocate for in my own life because they are vital and necessary. God advocates that we love ourselves and take care of our mental, emotional, and spiritual being.
However, the intense glorifying of self-love being the supreme motivator for a life well lived has its misgivings. Knowing who you are as a person, your likes, dislikes, motivators, and encourager(s) is what begins the journey to being a whole person, mind body and spirit. We, as human beings, obviously should choose a journey of wholeness in every aspect. We should seek peace and be peace bearers, seek joy and also be givers of joy. But my question is how can we do those things adequately without knowing the One who gives the things in life worth having.
Self-love only goes so far until one day you realize there are still parts of brokenness that reside and there seems to be no explanation as to why.
A Love Greater Than Self-Love
A year ago this time, I was in a different place. Spiritually and even mentally parts of myself (mind, body, and spirit) were discombobulated. I felt a heaviness within that wouldn’t seem to go away. There were moments where I had to refocus and tell myself, “this is not who you are, Antavia.”
I could light all the candles in the world, sit in a bubble bath of scalding water, and listen to Christian meditation music all I want, but something was missing. There was still an emptiness in the quiet that did not bring peace. My mind raced and replayed moments from the previous year, and even from 14 years ago and all of the self-love posts poppin’ on my IG weren’t helpful.
I kept telling myself that I needed time to be with myself and know myself and to heal. Then, one day it kinda dawned on me. There was so much time spent focusing on myself, my hurts, my wounds, my pain, real and valid, and some not that I didn’t look towards God to validate myself. I made no time or effort to truly seek God and allow Him into the parts of my heart I didn’t want anyone to see.
It took patience, trust in His plans, and the people He placed around me to love me. My sister and my friend and my mom were added to the foundation of my validation and rest in God because I knew that loving myself without the right perspective would not get me anywhere.
So, by all means, love yourself, but love yourself well. Heal and rest and cry and laugh and stand strong upon a love that is greater than the love you can give yourself because His love covers it all.
Antavia, a woman learning to love herself as Abba God does.