hscrubs asked: Hey Unka Glen, I was just wondering what you think it means to love yourself and how do you go about doing that? A re-occurring theme in my life is people saying that you have to love yourself in order to have healthy relationships with others, so that you aren’t looking to them to fill voids like unhappiness or insecurity, but then I sit and think, “What does all of that even mean and how do I do that?”. Thanks so much! [edited for length]
Unka Glen answered: Well, yeah, on one extreme you have a situation where you might begin to pridefully think too much of yourself, and on the other extreme, you get into self-hatred, and that can’t be what God wants to see in us. So let’s start further back, and make sure we’ve got the right picture.
Jesus said “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). We’ve been grafted onto this vine. In this vine we live, move and have our being. Apart from this vine we are nothing. He is the vine, we are the branches, but it’s all one plant.
Thus being united with Christ means we can’t really judge ourselves apart from Him, we cannot accomplish much apart from Him, we cannot point to much and say, this is me, and not God, and it’s really something. So yes, loving yourself as an individual is tough, as you find yourself lost deeper and deeper in Christ. But likewise hating yourself is impossible without rejecting or denying the connection you have with God.
Being united with Christ means that you are never alone. It means you are never incomplete. It means that you are whole and secure. Sure, you’ve got some spots that need pruning, and some wild branches that need to be secured, and lots of other areas that need work, but I can get everything I need for all of that through this connection I share with the Father.
It’s not exactly about loving yourself, or even focusing on yourself, it’s about living into this connection more and more.