Be My Valentine

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” – John 15:12

Have you ever considered the idea of loving yourself the way God calls us to love all people? I mean, you too, are people, right? What if God’s command to ‘love one another’ includes loving ourselves? I believe it does.

And for good reasons. We can only give what we have. If my inner love reserves are low or empty, my capacity to love others is impacted. We’ve all had those days that call on us to give, nurture, listen, empathize, give, and give some more. My ‘giving’ begins to look and feel a lot different to the recipient as I become more tired and depleted. My ’empathy’ starts to feel more like annoyance!


In those moments, I’ve found two ‘love-reserve-boosting’ strategies that work beautifully:

Providing words of encouragement and support for myself
Receiving words of encouragement and support from God


When I try to love people from empty reserves, without first being filled with God’s love, it is just noise and nonsense (Reference 1 Corinthians 13:1-2).

When I am worn out, overwhelmed, fed up, and empty, I’ve learned to give myself encouragement and permission to take a pause. That might sound like, “De, you’re doing a good job. There is a lot happening today, huh?! Take a breath. Sit for a moment. Be filled with the Holy Spirit and receive His Love.”

“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.“ – 1 John 4:16

This Valentine’s Day, let’s give our love to ourselves too. First, even. Let’s try on self-love and experience the peace that grows within. ‘But how do I love myself,’ you might ask?

Below are a few self-loving affirmations to try on. These are based on some of St. Paul’s lines from 1 Corinthians as well as my coaching experiences with clients (and with myself!).

I am patient with myself.
I am kind to myself.
I am not rude to myself.
I do not demand of myself.
I keep no score of my wrongs.
I do not replay my sins over and over in my mind, reinforcing the belief that I am not good enough.
I forgive myself daily.
I check-in with myself daily, asking about my own needs.
There is nothing I cannot face. I hope all things. I endure all things.
I pray for myself daily, asking God to open my eyes and my heart so I may see the TRUTH of who I am; the Truth of who HE says I am.

Re-read the sentences above, saying each one aloud. How true or authentic does each feel for you? Which one or two feel most important for you? The exercise below will guide us as we practice with the one or two that we most want to bring into our self-relationship.

EXERCISE: Practicing Self-Love Spend a few quiet minutes in prayer, and then follow the steps below:

  1. Choose one phrase or sentence from the list above that you want to experiment with today. Perhaps it will be “I am patient with myself” or “I do not demand of myself.”
  2. Write this phrase or sentence on an index card to carry with you all day. Read it aloud to yourself often throughout the day; reminding you of how you will relate with YOU today (i.e.: patiently and non-demanding). Allow this particular way of showing love guide your inner conversation today.
  3. As thoughts arise that are contrary to your phrase, simply acknowledge them and release them. Unhook yourself from that thought today. For me, that often sounds like this, “Yes, I hear you that there is a lot to do yet. We’ll get there. What we don’t finish will wait until tomorrow. You deserve a good night’s rest tonight.”
  4. At the end of the day, check-in with yourself:
    • What was it like to show love to yourself in this way today?
    • What impact did you notice, if any, on your external relationships?
    • How do you feel in this moment?

Click on the picture below to download a 2″x3″ Self-Love Card for your mirror, refrigerator, computer monitor, etc. Self-Love Card

Sharing this devotion with Motivation Monday, Mommy Monday Blog Hop, Fellowship Friday,, Faith Filled Fridays,

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Join the conversation!
  1. Dawn says:

    This is something we don’t often think about as busy mothers. It is hard to take time for ourselves, but it is necessary. It is important to make time to be filled by His grace so we can be grace-givers throughout our day. Wise words we all need to consider and implement.
    Blessings,
    Dawn

    Reply
    • De Yarrison says:

      Hi Dawn, I love that phrase ‘grace-givers.’ Yes, we are grace-givers, soul-nurturers, emotional guides in addition to all the daily “practical” aspects of mothering. I wouldn’t even know how to begin without the Lord!! Thank you for visiting.

      Reply
  2. Laura says:

    Such a good message here! Loving ourselves helps to create a person that is capable of loving others. I think the same things goes for grace. It can be hard to offer ourselves the same grace that we give to others.

    Reply
    • De Yarrison says:

      I like to think of my “love tank” or “energy tank.” If there is no fuel in my tank, I’ve got nothing good to give others. Only fumes. Finding ways to keep fuel in our own tanks is so important. And while God is always the One who provides for whatever we need each day, I think He appreciates our help by treating ourselves compassion, love, and grace. Have a blessed day!

      Reply
  3. Dear De,

    This is an important issue. Thank you for sharing! “We can only give what we have,” you write. How very true. Amen.

    God bless!

    Your neighbor at Faith Filled Friday,
    HBHW

    Reply

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