I've been watching a lot of Once Upon A Time lately. I've seen all of season one and part of season two when they first showed... but didn't really watch after that. I don't usually pick back up watching a show after I pretty much give up on it... so I don't know how it happened that I wanted to see it again. But I did, and now I am. And I love it just as much as I did when I first started watching.
But this isn't about that show. I'm laying in bed watching it on netflix and drinking tea when I read a fact about how being good at flirting is more effective than being good looking. Interesting. It reminded me of how I once told a friend I would challenge her to a duel of who can more numbers in a bar. I've no doubt I would win. She argued it and really tried to press the duel to happen.. but I declined. While it sounds like fun, it's not something I'd really engage in. I'm not out there trying to break hearts or be heartbroken. I'm not out there trying to deceive anyone on account of winning a contest. But it still remains that I've no doubt that I'd win.
That's not me being arrogant... that's me being honest. While my friend has the flirt factor in her favor, I like to say I have natural charm in mine. I don't need to pretend or spit game to get somewhere... I'm just myself really. And I've gotten a lot of what I want from just doing that. You see, I know how to work people. I know what to say to them, how to be with them, how to put myself in their life. And I'm good at it. Why? because I'm a manipulator.
No, that doesn't mean I'm that way with people... I'm saying I know how to be that way with people. I love people. I love because Jesus loves them... and because He loves me. So my love for others isn't a fake or seducing one. If it was, you'd probably end up feeling quite taken advantage of after a while.
I've been able to get what I want from a lot of different people a lot of times. I know how to seduce people into giving me what I want. It's happened more times than I'm wanting to admit... which, one is just that. You'd be surprised, but then again... you might not be if you knew me long enough. Again, I'm not proud of it.
So why am I telling you all this? Because I was posting to instagram when I typed out how I loved myself. I don't think I've ever plainly said that before.... actually, I don't think I've ever actually said that before. But it's true. It's weird to say it because I always thought it sounded arrogant and ridiculous to say it.
I love myself.
It's actually not as hard to swallow as I thought it would be. If I saw someone being the manipulator that I can be, I probably wouldn't like them much. But I'm commanded to love others.
The point I'm trying to make here is that, I love myself even though I can be awful. Here I am letting you in on this secret sin of mine that I've put into play many, many times. I'm forgiven of it.. and I'm still loved in spite of it. And I want to love the way God loves.... and that includes even loving myself.
For a big part of my life, I hated myself. I hated what I did... and I hated myself for doing things... and because I hated myself for doing them, I did those things even more... which resulted in bigger hate. It goes on and on. I hated the way I lived my life. Hating myself made me hate a lot of things around me. It's easy to not be happy with everything else when you let yourself be unappy with one thing. And I know a lot of people who still live this way. When you live in this state, you wonder how anyone could ever love you... or how you could ever love yourself. It's exhausting really.
But, I love Jesus.. and the main reason I love Him is because He loved me first. I love because He did. If I'm to love the things He loves, I have to include myself in that. He commanded that we love Him with everything... and then for us to love others as ourselves. I used to think that was a way of saying that we have to think of others the way we think of ourselves. But the verse doesn't say to think of others as ourselves, it says to love others as ourselves.. If we're going to love others as ourselves, we have to love ourselves. God wants the very best for each one of us because that's how He loves us.
The relationship you have with others comes second to the relationship you have with God. Love Him with everything. Why? Because He loved us first. That relationship establishes that you are loved first.. So you love back. And then you love others the way that He has loved you.
All I'm trying to say here is that it's okay to love yourself. So give it a try.