Women are caregivers, so loving ourselves ought to come naturally to us, but often we are so busy looking after others that we don’t take time to notice the ways we harm ourselves.
Some of the more obvious and extreme examples of self-harm are hurting ourselves through cutting parts of our skin, or through suicide. In these situations, we encourage people to seek help, to understand and overcome the cause of this behaviour. Trained counsellors at Project Rahab can help you, or anyone you know, who may be involved in self-mutilation or is having suicidal thoughts. Our trained counsellors offer free, confidential, non-judgemental counselling.
Another form of self-harm which is just as destructive is thinking negative thoughts. When we criticise ourselves, we restrict our ability to achieve our potential. We rob ourselves of a positive future. If we see ourselves as worthless, it is difficult to love ourselves. We get into the habit of seeing the negative and not developing our positive qualities.
When Women in Action visit people in prison, we see women who struggle to let go of the past and give themselves a second chance. They lose hope. They are completely hopeless. This is a terrible form of self-hatred.
Part of the prison rehabilitation process helps them take responsibility for their actions and understand why their choices resulted in them being in prison. They learn to accept their past and their current situation, and work towards a better future. They learn that they are valuable and their past does not determine their future. They can change their attitudes and behaviour and make positive choices. All of us can do this too.
No matter what you have thought about yourself, you can make a decision to change and give yourself a fresh start.
Choose to let go of the past, of self- hatred and feelings of hopelessness. Stop condemning yourself, speaking destructively to yourself and thinking you are incapable of greatness. Choose to be different. Choose to love yourself, with all your flaws and imperfections, because you are made in the image of God. He loves you. You need to love yourself!