If you read my article last issue, you know that I am focusing on learning to love myself this year. It is something that I have struggled with my entire life and am having to learn how to take care of myself at 41 years old. These first 3 weeks of the year have not been easy. Old habits of self-sabotage have tried to make an appearance almost every day. I truly did not realize just how awful I am to myself.
I am going to focus on a different aspect of 1 Corinthians 13 in each article this year and put each of those into practice in my own life. This week I am focusing on patience. Love is patient! I feel like I am a pretty patient person. I give others time to be the best version of themselves. I am patient with our crazy papillon puppy, I am patient with my nieces and nephews, but I am not patient with myself.
Forcing myself to break down God’s definition of love, verse by verse, is forcing me to take a hard look at myself. Overall, in my life, I am not patient with myself. I expect myself to learn new tasks quickly and to be the absolute best at it. I am extremely competitive and do not like to lose, at anything. Just ask my husband what happens when we play Mario Kart.
When it comes to my physical body and appearance, I expect results immediately. I have one salad and expect to wake up the next day with 20 lbs. gone. I understand that’s not how it works, but I am an overachiever, I should be able to handle 20 lbs. in a day right? Wrong! Oh, so wrong. So, when I go to the doctor and they do my weigh-in, I always expect to have lost weight. However, this is not always the case; sometimes that number goes up. My heart just breaks, and I feel as if my entire body is weighted down. There have been many times that I could not stop the tears from streaming down my face. And in that moment, I hate myself. My inner voice tells me that I should just give up, that I will never be able to have control of the number on the scale, that I cannot do it. I have zero patience, zero tolerance for myself and failure.
How do I give myself the gift of patience? How does loving yourself transfer to being patient with yourself? 1 Corinthians 13:4 says, “Love is patient.” If I am truly living a Godly life, I will be patient, not just with others but also with myself. I have to re-learn how to approach this journey of health. I will not lose weight every day, but that doesn’t mean that I have failed. My body is 41 years old, and it will take time to relearn how to process what food I eat and how to respond to exercise. And that is just fine, I will enjoy the journey and take time to recognize the small changes that will occur.
In order to be patient and loving to myself, I can no longer compare my journey of health to anyone else around me. My journey will not look like anyone else’s. God has made each and everyone of us unique for a reason. We all bring something special and different. Being patient with myself will help make those differences shine, and I need to realize that’s a wonderful thing!
Be patient with yourself; I am going to try to be patient with myself too. I am going to give myself the grace to fail and know that it’s okay. I think the Lord starts this chapter about love in the Bible with learning to be patient because that is the foundation of how love starts. If you can master being patient with others, with yourself, the rest of the building blocks of love will start to fall into place.
This week’s recipe is absolutely delicious! My husband loves Italian flavors, and this is one of his favorites. Not only is it super yummy, but it is also super nutritious. I hope you give it a try and love it as much as we do.
“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.” Psalm 37:7
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14