One fine evening…
Vera: Mummy, if I get knock by a car and fall down, you will come and help me right?
Me: [a little taken aback as a mental picture starts to form.] Of course I will help you…Because I love you.
Vera: You will help me because you love me, right?
Me: Yes, I love you…just like you love me and daddy, right?
Vera: Vera love everybody! Vera love nai-nai, ah-ma-nai-nai, ah-gong, ah-ma, and godma and godpa also. I also love myself. You love yourself right?
Me: Yes, we must love ourselves because God loves us, and He made each of us special.
Vera: We haven’t pray, mummy.
Me: Oops…yes, let’s pray and thank God for making us special, and for loving us.
And so we did.
As I lay beside my precious child, I began to think of the ways where I haven’t fully been loving myself. Those times when I think that I’m not good enough, those times when I envy others, those times when I don’t dare to try, those times when I respond in fear rather than by faith.
But if God loves me in spite of all my flaws and failures, how can I not love myself? If I can’t really love myself, how can I teach my children to love themselves and others?
So…how exactly can we love ourselves? Here are just a few simple ways:
- Don’t allow others to belittle you or put you in a box. (Yes, that includes you.)
- Take care of your mind, body, health and fitness.
- Take responsibility for your own life and don’t depend on others for approval or decision-making.
- Choose to be thankful, for even the little things in life.
- Develop meaningful friendships — ones that build up, not tear down.
- Cultivate a healthy view of yourself. Have confidence in your strengths and abilities, while being aware of your weaknesses and working on them at the same time.
- Stay humble and keep learning. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, and don’t be afraid of trying.
- Make room to dream. Set goals, and take small steps towards achieving them.
- Maintain close links with family and loved ones.
- Treat yourself to something nice from time to time. (Particularly important if you are a mum.)
I’m beginning to appreciate such thought-provoking conversations like these with Vera. They never fail to remind me of what’s truly important in life.
Do you love yourself?