I try to always stay positive. In fact I feel like the positive me is the best version of myself. Mostly because I like the way it feels and sometimes it even helps others feel good. However, I don’t always feel like Positive Patty or Mayor of Optimistic-ville. I definitely go through downtimes. Because I enjoy being positive, when I get in these downtimes I tend to bottle things up and be super hard on myself.
I say all of this to say that self love isn’t easy for me and I know a lot of people struggle with it. Personally, I know I’m cute, smart, talented, and full of potential. (Modest, I know, but sometimes you have to brag on yourself a little.) The part of self love that I struggle with is patience.
One of my favorite chapters of the bible is 1 Corinthians 13. The whole chapter talks about love and how important it is. I love love in all its forms, so there’s no question as to why it’s one of my favorites. The one quote everyone loves from that chapter is “Love is patient, love is kind…” (1 Corinthians 13:4 NIV). In the past year I’ve committed to spreading love to others and this verse took a good amount of effort for me. As a result, though, I like to think I’ve become way more compassionate and considerate.
However, when it comes to myself I’m not so forgiving. I’m can get super impatient with where I think I should be in life. It’s not like I think I should be CEO of a Fortune 500 company right now. To me, the goals I set are achievable for where I am right now. So when things don’t work out, I get frustrated. Then because I know I need to be patient with myself and the process, I’m hard on myself for getting frustrated.
My logical me says, “Lisa, you know God has a plan that’s 10 times better than whatever you think should be happening. Chill. You’re overreacting.”
Then my feelings come and say, “First of all, I’m allowed to be frustrated. Things aren’t going the way I want them to. I can see where I want to be but for some reason I’m not there. What’s really good?”
Then logical me pops back like, “Sis, I don’t know. I do know that having a bad attitude and moping around isn’t gonna help.”
This leaves my feelings livid, “Whatever. I’m gonna go eat some chocolate. Leave me alone.”
Y’all may think I’m kidding, but for real this is the kind of conversation that happens in my head. I go back and forth between wanting to give myself a break and wanting to be logical. I know I can’t be the only person battling this. Even the most positive people are not positive 100% of the time. We all have off days.
So moving forward I think there’s a way to let my feelings breathe and also let the logical me come in and get things together. I’m going to start being patient with myself the way I’m patient with others. If someone else was going through a rough time I’d love them by being patient. I’d give them time to breathe, let out what they were feeling, and then come in and lift them up with some logical advice. I should give myself the same space, if not more. I have to remember I’m only human.
In the long run, this will help me to continue to be positive. Like I said before, I love love. A big portion of my positivity comes from love. Another one of my favorite bible quotes for love is “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39 NLT). In order to love my neighbor and stay positive, I have to first love myself. Self love is just another way to spread love.
My revelation that I need to be more patient with myself was greatly added to by a sermon I heard. Here’s the link if you want to check it out!