Victoria tagged me for this thing where you write down ten things you love about yourself. I have to say that I was really hesitant to do it, and honestly really didn’t positively intend on filling it out. As it is, I don’t feel exactly comfortable posting it on my own blog 1) because my blog is focused on my walk with God, and 2) because well, it’s a vulnerable thing to post. However, as I struggled this morning to love myself and found myself saying the same disparaging things in my mind, I thought, “You know, it probably would be a good exercise for me to fill it out. It might be a healthy thing for me to do.”
Also, I was thinking about Bernard of Clairvoux’s four stages of love: 1) Love of self for self’s sake. 2) Love of God for self’s sake. 3) Love of God for God’s sake. 4) Love of self for God’s sake. I’m not really sure what number four looks like in reality, but I am striving to get there. I certainly have had number one mastered for the majority of my life, and I feel like now I’m fluctuating between two and three, though Lord-willing I hope I am settling in more cozily in number three. But love of self for God’s sake? What does that look like?
I spend most of my days not liking myself. I feel ugly, slobbish, heavy, imperfect, unsuccessful. I know these are all human-measured adjectives, and I want to get to a point where I just spend most of my days loving the Lord, expending my thought-ly energies on Jesus and loving him and others around me....and yeah, loving myself too....with a love that is right and in a good place.
So here goes: 10 things I love about myself.
1) I love where I came from, in all senses of the word. I love my family and the people they are and how they raised me. I love the mountains of North Jersey and the Narnia and Middle Earth we created there. I love my childhood and what made me the person I am today. I love my friends who grew up with me, and are growing up with me.
2) I love where I am currently. I love being married to my best friend, I love living in community with my brother and his family, I love working at Starbucks and going to school to become a teacher, I love getting to know God more fully and in deeper ways, and I love that Elliott and I are in a place where we can honestly say, “Here we are Lord. Send us.”
3) I love that God gave me an incredible gift of singing. I love floating in the air with the tone of my voice and finding out all the different ways I can use it to make all sorts of pretty and interesting sounds.
4) I love that God has given me the gift of empathy and love for other people, especially those who are downtrodden and outsiders. I like living in that openness and love for others. It’s truly a gift from the Lord.
5) I love that I enjoy being healthy. I like exercising, I like healthy foods, and I like learning about what I can do to become healthier. I like encouraging others to be healthy as well.
6) I love that I have the ability to run. I was never athletic in high school or college, so this new-found challenge of running, though at times difficult, as been exploratory and exciting. More than anything, though, I’m just thankful I have that ability and I love that about myself.
7) I love that I have the ability to act and have gotten to play all sorts of different people in the past. I love especially that I got the chance to be Maid Marion at the Renaissance Faire and got the chance to pursue acting professionally through Villanova’s scholarship. I also love, though, that God had me wake up and realize acting doesn’t have a true place in my life right now. It wasn’t healthy for me, and I’m glad God got me out of it.
8) I love that I enjoy reading and grew up reading books. I love that I like to think and dissect different books with literary theories and such. I love that I got to major in English. I still can’t believe I received a degree for reading books and discussing them.
9) I love that I married Elliott. I love our relationship and that we get to work on that relationship forever. I love our adventures. My life is so much richer.
10) I love that I know I like being around people for my job but also that I know I am an introvert and need time to myself. It’s good to know where the balance is and be aware of it.
So I will tag: Nora and Kate.