F.L.Y. – First, Love Yourself

In an age where images of half-dressed women are everywhere and the majority of songs about women hardly ever refer to loving them (not just having sex), it is so important that we instill self-love and respect in our girls and young women.  All too often they’re hearing “you’re too fat”, “you’re too skinny”, “your lips are too big (or too thin)”. Those voices get ingrained in their mind. We have to drown out that negativity by making positive deposits in their love bank. Those positive deposits create an abundance of self-esteem.

We should want our daughters to KNOW they are beautiful and not just by society’s standard of beauty. They should KNOW they are loved so they don’t go looking for it in the wrong places or have a warped sense of what love is. Love definitely is not in getting beat, slapped around or called out of your name. My husband & I make sure to do this with our daughter. It’s so important that she hears these things from her daddy – the first man who’s ever loved her and the first man she’s loved. We tell her that her hair doesn’t need to look like someone else’s to make her beautiful. Also, that she doesn’t need a ton of make up on to be beautiful. The hair and skin you were born with are beautiful. God chose them just for you. It’s what makes you unique. Remember that you were born to stand out, not fit in!

As adults we also must remember to love ourselves first. So often, especially as mothers, we take care of everyone and everything else and leave what’s left for ourselves. Many times, it isn’t much. Make a date with yourself everyday. Take 30 minutes to do something for YOU and only you. Read a book, pray, meditate, take a walk, do yoga or what ever it is you like to do.  It’s easy to get caught up in all the other things that need to be done or that you should be more “productive”. But think about it. How can you be truly productive if you’re tired and stressed? I’ll be honest, it’s a challenge to do this on a daily basis. But I’ve turned to my handy dandy calendar and literally made an appointment with myself. My 30 minutes to exercise is there with pop-up alarms to remind me to get moving. I get up a few minutes earlier than I have to so I can have a few moments of peace to speak and listen to God. Now if this wife, mom of three, troop leader, pack volunteer and moms group leader can do it so can you. I challenge you to take the time to  first love yourself for at least one week. Then come back and tell me how it went and how you feel.