You have heard it said, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” This seems pretty simple. But every time I read it I find it difficult to live out. What if you don’t or can’t love yourself? How can you even start to love others? I find it so much easier to love others than to love myself. No one can see my heart the way I can. Except God. Speaking of God, what do you do when you think God sees you just as badly as you see your own heart?
Everyone else seems so kind and caring and compassionate. Their smile looks like they’ve never kissed anger on the lips. There’s a light in their eyes that looks like darkness has never dimmed their candle. I can see why God would love them. And why He should. And why I should. But how do I love myself?
I am hoping I’m not the only one who struggles with this. Even though I wish that everyone could see themselves and know that they are deeply loved no matter what they have done. I think most of us find it easier to love other people than to love ourselves. And to believe that God loves them more than we believe He actually loves us.
This is where I think the enemy is beating us. If he can get us to not see beauty and light in ourselves, maybe he can keep us from truly loving others the way Jesus did. I also think the enemy has so many tactics to keep us from love. He seems to know our weaknesses and what we doubt about ourselves. Think about it, he’s been dealing with humans for centuries! He knows how we work and how we think and he knows how to bring us down and drag us into darkness.
One of the ways through which I believe the enemy works so strongly to attack us and surround us in darkness is through our thoughts. How many times a day do you think something negative about yourself? How many times do you think, “Wow, I can’t even do this simple little thing right. I am such a failure” ? Do you hear yourself saying, “My belly sticks out to much. I have so many rolls. And this acne on my face! Really?! No one is going to want to look at this. No one wants me.” Or what about these thoughts:
“I don’t make that much of a difference. Anyone can do what I do. And all I do is mess up.”
“ I’m not brave or courageous. I couldn’t even tell the waiter he got my order wrong.”
“I have no talents. I can’t sing or dance or even draw a stick figure right.”
“My dad didn’t even want me…why in the world would God or anyone else want me?”
“I’m better off alone.”
“Don’t believe in me because I will fail you.”
“I’m not pretty enough.”
“ There must be something wrong with me. I’m not where I should be. And I keep messing up.”
These are just a few of the thoughts the enemy bombards us with on a daily basis. But not only are we hit with the enemies lies that taste so much like truth, but I think we, especially women, are very good at seeing all of the bad in ourselves or all of the ways we don’t measure up. We criticize ourselves for not being a good enough mother or daughter or wife or child of God. The enemy doesn’t really have to do any work because we do enough degrading of ourselves all on our own. Sometimes we have been told something so much or, have told something to ourselves so much, that we have grown to believe it. And even though it is a lie it feels and appears to be true. Sometimes a negative word can feel true even though our minds know it is not. Why is it so much easier to believe the bad and negative about ourselves than to believe the good and the beautiful?
I don’t know the answer to this question, but I feel it to be true. So how do we change our thinking about ourselves? How do we tell the lies the truth and actually believe it? How do we love ourselves so we can love others more fully? Maybe we can’t do this on our own. Maybe we need to hear God’s truth about who we are over and over again and actually experience Him before we can believe it and before it can settle like a peaceful stream in our hearts.
There is one wonderful lady I would like to introduce you to who has come up with a simple but powerful -and also stylish- solution to help repel these negative thoughts from climbing into our minds. Elizabeth Gray, or Liz, is an artist who makes jewelry with encouraging engravings on each piece to remind our hearts and minds who we truly are. She says, “Every word I use in my work is chosen to directly challenge the lies we have believed about ourselves.”
Liz knows the negative thoughts and feelings that deceive us into believing their truth, and she knows that it is only through a constant reminder of who we are in God that we can overcome the enemies in this battle. It is her desire “to encourage and edify the women in [her] life and hopefully come alongside them to help slay some serious dragons they may be facing. Dragons like insecurity and loneliness. Fearsome beasts like anxiety and depression. Foul monsters like fear and self-doubt.” So through her various necklaces and bracelets and earrings she is giving women a weapon to speak truth to our own hearts until we believe it.
In her work she uses words like “Chosen” and “Courage” and “Strong” and “Beloved” to remind us that we are God’s beautiful, chosen children. She adds, “ I like to use crowns in a lot of my designs to symbolize our dignity and value as intricate human miracles.” So when we doubt who we are and our worth and purpose, these little crowns can remind us who we truly are. We are daughters of the King. He created us and He sees all of who we are and believes we are wonderful and beautiful and full of His light.
So as Liz would say, “Whether you wear the words because you know they are true or you wear them until that you do, It is a declaration of truth over yourself everyday. You are Free. You are Brave. You are Loved. Wear the truth boldly.”
You can find her designs at She Wears Truth and see all of the different reminders of God’s truth. One of her best selling necklaces is very unique and interesting because it not only has your chosen word of truth, but it is also a diffuser. The diffuser necklace comes with little pads inside of the locket in which you can drop your favorite Essential Oil. So while you are reminding yourself each day who you truly are and fighting the battle of lies and negativity you’re necklace will also be emitting a fragrance of your choice! I think this is a really unique feature and reminds us that we truly are a sweet fragrance to God our devoted father.
What Liz wants you to know: “I am working toward some exciting new projects that will give She Wears Truth a slightly new look while presenting the same message. I’m hoping to launch some new designs in the fall of this year.”
So while you wait in anticipation to see her new projects take a look at her website (She Wears Truth) In addition, Liz also makes Customized gift boxes! So if there is a specific word or phrase or favorite quote or verse you want on your gift box all you have to do is let Liz know and she will write it and “add a few flourishes to make it unique.”
Please remember that you don’t need jewelry or outward adornment to determine who you are. God is right there with you even when you can’t feel Him. He constantly sees how beautiful you are and He is ready with reminders of His truth to fight off every negative, degrading thought that sets itself up against you. Believe His truth about you. Accept all of His love for you. Then go and love others as fully as you are loved by Him.
If you would like a daily stylish reminder to wear, or if you know someone who needs to hear a daily, truthful reminder of who they are please visit She Wears Truth.