On a day dedicated to “love” it’s comforting to know that even if you don’t love yourself, God still loves you.
A therapy practice based in Bristol is launching a series of self-love journaling/meditation sessions around Valentine’s Day to support single people and those wanting to promote self-love in their relationships. Epiphany Therapy will offer self-love workshops both online and in-person, run by Nika Nazarova-Evans, a certified clinical hypnotherapist, committed to combatting dissatisfaction in life through self-love. These self-love workshops have been created to inspire people to discover love within themselves before they seek it in the external world.
In theory, I am wholeheartedly in support of this practice. In a society geared towards couples and couples with children, its hard being single and especially in teh run up to Valentine’s Day. What’s tough swallow though, is this idea that we can somehow replicate that love (if desired) from another person by digging deep to provide that love for ourselves. Now don’t get me wrong, I generally have a healthy sense of self-worth and value, but to be honest, it comes in ebbs and flows and telling people that they’re just not loving themselves enough is just a tiny bit annoying.
Telling people that they’re just not loving themselves enough is just a tiny bit annoying.
Speaking about the project, Nika Nazarova-Evans said: “Self-love is very similar to a healthy relationship with another, in the sense that it makes you feel loved, secure, connected, accepted, joyful and many other positive feelings. Feeling loved, safe and secure in yourself is way too important to be left to chance.”
There is an increase in mental health awareness that often promotes self-love as an intrinsic part of this movement. Self-love is described as: “love of self” or “an appreciation of one’s own worth or virtue”. This is a very healthy mentality and one I would encourage everyone to cultivate. However, I had a call the other day from a friend suffering severe post-natal depression and she simply could not muster up any of this self-love or appreciation. In fact, she was dangerously close to being unable to think of herself of any worth at all.
As Christians we do not have to find love for ourselves from deep within. The Bible tells us in 1 John 4:7-12, that God is literally love: “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”
Isn’t it comforting to know that even if you don’t love yourself, God still loves you?
Isn’t it comforting to know that even if you don’t love yourself, God still loves you? Not only is his love for us not dependent on us loving him first, but we don’t even have to do anything to earn that love or keep up any maintenance.
So while I’m all for encouraging people to recognise their value outside of a romantic relationship, please know that you don’t actually have to. God who is Love, values you and it is my prayer for you right now that you ask him to show you his wide, deep and all-encompassing love for you and that you feel it deeper than the love of any man or woman.