RECIPIE OF SELF LOVE.
For those of us women who love to cook, we realise that in a recipe, the most basic ingredient is at the top of the list. I have seen a joke go around on social media: so this guy says he wants to cook Jollof and he’s asking if he should use rice! Funny right, you can’t cook Jollof with gari. It will be called gari fot) and not Jollof. Now, let’s take SELF LOVE to be our Jollof, the basic and fundamentally essential ingredient in this recipe is the HOW FACTOR.
The How factor is the question you’re confronted with amidst all your insecurities and failures(btw your insecurities and failures are merely a state of your mind) and all the other negative things you can imagine. The HOW FACTOR is the question you are confronted with when every other person in your circle has told you how useless you are. Worse of, now they don’t even say it with their mouth, they act it. (Piece of advice, words are powerful indeed, but never turn a blind eye to how a person treats you because of what they say. If they say one thing and act the contrary, pay attention to their actions).
How do I love MYSELF? Is there even the need to do so?
Let’s begin with How do I love myself. ACCEPTANCE! A simple verb, yet very tedious to execute.
ACCEPTANCE OF WHAT AND WHO(our other two ingredients for our self love jollof) WE ARE IS HOW WE CAN LOVE OURSELVES.
Now please follow me carefully as I am building a hierarchy.
Genesis 1:26-27 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and ,let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
As has been my practice, I love to define certain key words so it is more practicable to our understanding of the piece. This is one of the most popular verses in the bible besides John 3 v 16.
Anyway so IMAGE is a representation of the external form of a person or an art. In other words, an image is another of the same kind.
LIKENESS is a form or unit of measurement of attributes and personalities, that depicts that the two things being compared are one and the same. In literature, we learned of Simile, a figure of speech that makes a comparison between two things using the words as or like. For instance, if I say, “she was as brave as a lioness”. I don’t mean she is a lioness, but that she has the bravery and innate characteristics of a lioness.
Here’s what I am saying, image is the physical stature or appearance of a person, likeness has to do more with their innate abilities and personalities.
Being created in the image of God means your eyes, ears, nose, everything we see when we look at the physical you, is exactly how God is, you are another of the same kind of God! Amazing isn’t it! Well guess what, it doesn’t end there. You have the likeness of God, that is the innate qualities of God, the fruits and elements of the spirit, the power over the earth, to dominate it, to say to this mountain move into the waters and it will obey!
That is why the first commandment is this ,
Mark 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
Heart represents your emotions, soul represents your spirituality, mind refers to your reasoning ability, strength refers to your physical ability and actions. We realise that this verse covers everything that forms man except the physical body ( we’ll find out why in a jiffy) .
It means you must love God in your heart, draw closer to Him in Spirit so that your love is eternal because this body is not eternal… just by the way, this explains why there is no body in the dimensions of love given here, because your body is but for a moment… but God needs us to love Him forever, till infinity… okay back to my point. Often times we have heard people say love with your heart, but take your mind along with you. You must be able to reason and think, then you’ll understand and fathom God’s love for you! Your strength, is everything you do to show God you love Him, your acts of service to Him, your ministry, everything and anything .
Now here’s the reason why it is the first commandment, God created you to be like Him, as He is, so are you on earth. Loving Him first, by extension, is loving yourself. It’s a two in one package. Its a buy one get one free promo. You don’t get the promo package without first purchasing the item. If you attempt Self-love without your creator, you’re doing something else I’ll call self-worship.
Mark 12 :31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
This verse has been a common denominator in this series. Need I talk much? Well, just a recap, reading this verse at a glance gives the impression that you are to love your neighbour first before yourself. Nope. Love yourself first, then after that, love your neighbour as you have loved yourself. F.L.Y. first love you. Its not for nothing that the flight attendants announce that you should fasten your seat belt before attempting to help someone. Or in a crash landing situation, fix your oxygen mask before helping others.
You simply can’t give what you don’t have. There is a Latin legal principle, “nemo dat quond non habet”. This literally translates, you can’t give what you don’t have or own. It is that simple.
An empty teapot cannot fill other teacups. Now someone reading this is probably thinking to themselves, this is selfishness. Why do I have to love myself before others? Well then again, English language. Selfishness is placing your needs above that of others, Self-love is simply priority. Selfishness is wanting everything to be about you, without any consideration being given to your neighbour. Self love is sharing what you have, with all (I pray the Holy Spirit grants you Wisdom to understand this)
This, my dear Phenomenal Woman, is how you can love yourself. Accepting who you are in the image and likeness of your creator. If God was selfish, he would have made us anything else but like Himself. But He freely gave us His very being and nature, not even the Angels are like us. ACCEPT however you’ve been made. Bare in mind, that when you look in the mirror, there are two people you see. You see God, then you see yourself through God’s eye.
Second question for today, is there even the need to love myself? Yes! Because everyone else is taken. Also, You will loose out on seeing God in you, and you in God.
Phenomenal Woman, it’s a hierarchy oh! If you jump one step the whole equation is wrong and we won’t get our Jollof. Love the Lord your God. Love Yourself. Love your neighbour as you have loved yourself.
I loved weddings as a child, but I loved the cake even more. Especially when they decorate the cake with a doll of a groom and a bride, I’m fascinated. But when it was time to cut the cake, whoever is leading the couple to cut the cake will say “ marriage is like this cake, so many ingredients. Some sweet, some sour, some bitter, some yucky, some have pleasant smells, others make you want to throw up. But when all these are put together, we have a lovely, delicious, cake. So such is marriage”. But I will want to make this about yourself. You’re made up of so many ingredients. They define you. Inasmuch as we all strive to be the coloured versions of ourselves (go read my series on be your selfie if you haven’t to understand what it means to be your coloured self), there are certain things about us we cannot change. We have to embrace them wholeheartedly. I read about a black young lady in America. A white guy told her you’re pretty even though you are black. Her response, epic! She said, “I am not pretty even though I am black, I am pretty because I am black! ACCEPTANCE! This is the introduction to my next post on the series, what do I have to love?
You can’t choose and pick what to love and what not to love.