If we’re made in the image of God, if we’re one with God, then we were created as perfectly beautiful and infinitely precious. This can be very hard to accept! Our culture is constantly telling us our worth is based on what we do, what we accomplish, how we look, how much we have, the roles we play, or what people think about us. How can we come to love ourselves?
- Start from where you are. Right now, God loves you more than you can even imagine. You are his beloved child. Right now. Sit with that realization, pray with that realization. If God thinks you’re this awesome—and he knows you far better than you know yourself—who are you to disagree?
- As Catholics, we need to always reflect the glory of God. “You may be the only Gospel your neighbor ever reads” (St. Francis). Self-debasement sends a message to others. St. Paul writes, “For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body” (I Cor. 6:20). Remember that purchase price in everything you do: God thinks you’re worthy of his son dying for you! Once you really understand and believe that, it will change the way you think about yourself.
- Practice patience with yourself. This isn’t self-indulgence; it’s simply acknowledging yourself as a work in progress. Think of the patience a parent shows their child, and acknowledge the child within yourself that needs to grow and blossom.
Two books by Sr. Marie Paul Curley, FSP, can be helpful in learning self-love and self-patience:
- Meditations to Grow in Self-Esteem: This set of reflections is designed to help you develop one area of your spiritual life: growing in self-esteem through the love of God who loves and cherishes you. God will lead you to be interested in certain meditations, so you can go wherever he leads you!
- See Yourself Through God’s Eyes: This amazing book will take you on a journey not only of self-discovery but of inner healing through the experience of how much you are cherished by God. These 52 meditations are short enough for daily prayer but profound enough to break open your heart to the grace that saves and rebuilds what has been broken. Indeed you will learn to see yourself through God’s eyes!