I am writing this post in amazement. This is my 365th post on my 365 Days with Flylady blog. A whole year has passed by. A whole year, documented in this blog. A whole year that was filled with the wonderful blessings of gaining both another son-in-law AND a precious granddaughter. A whole year that included the overwhelming stresses of unfair job loss and unexpected church issues. A whole year of shining sinks, swishing and swiping, making beds, blessing my home weekly, going on date nights, having family fun. A whole year of learning about myself. A whole year of weeding out the perfectionism in my life. A whole year of learning to finally love myself. Yes, number one in my Top Ten Things I’ve Learned in 365 Days with Flylady is:
Finally Loving Yourself (FLYing!) is the most important thing Flylady taught me to do.
A year ago, I didn’t even realize that I might not love myself. I never thought about that. I take care of myself physically by eating healthily and exercising very faithfully, so I felt like I must love myself. I know God loves me. I have relationships (many!) with people who I know love me.
But, when I started really examining how I thought about myself, what I said to myself in my head, what excuses I made for NOT doing things that would make me happy, I realized that I may not sincerely love myself. For example, it was, many times, difficult to justify spending any money at all on myself that might be considered “non-essential.” I scrimped to have money to spend on others, so why would it be difficult to spend money on myself if I really loved myself?
And, then, there was always the question of whether loving myself was actually selfish and narcissistic. I really had time to explore that idea in God’s Word back in June and I came to the realization that since He has told us to love each other as we love ourselves, He must intend that we love ourselves! From that point on, I made a concerted effort to stop myself when I started in with non-loving self-talk. When I knew something would boost my spirits (you know me and pedicures!), I would make sure I took time–and, even, once, MONEY–to make that happen.
The result of all of this contemplation and action has been that I am much, much (exponentially!!) better at loving others when I am drawing from a full love tank of my own. For example, when I make time to be creative every day, when I prioritize creativity, I am loving myself. I then am energized to face my day of parenting and homeschooling and, yes, doing Flylady chores that I inherently dislike. Loving myself pretty much totally erases any residual martyr in me, too.
So, I can never thank God or Flylady enough for showing me the first steps toward genuinely loving myself. Thanks for a life-changing year, Flylady. I love you!