Just who we are
Every human being on earth has many desires. Out of these desires I believe the list of human rights was drafted. Some of these include a desire to have a family, to choose our leaders, to have health care and education.
There are two desires that I believe are the most powerful and common to all: a desire to love and a desire to be loved.
We spend the greatest portion of our time pursuing love and the things we love but most of us spend little time and energy pursuing loving ourselves.
How can we desire to love someone when we don’t even know who we are and what our purpose is, all of which is tied up in loving ourselves. Where purpose is unknown, abuse is inevitable, and that has been the reality of many for a long time.
We want to give love to others but have never experienced loving us. That’s like me wanting to build someone’s house although I never learnt anything about construction, woodwork or masonry. The only conclusion to this would be confusion, brokenness and destruction.
We need to learn to love ourselves before we can try to love others.
In January of 2000 I made a prayer to God and I said to him for the next five years I am going to spend all my time, resources and energy pursuing Him and finding out who I am, what my strengths are and what my purpose on earth is.
Those five years turned into seven and began with great difficulty, loneliness and frustration but ended very well. Actually, I have deemed it the most productive, life-changing and fulfilling time in my life. So many great things happened for me during this time.
It was during this time that I recognized that I didn’t know or love myself and I also discovered that self-esteem is an ungodly principle. (This I will explain in another article).
Through those seven years I had to make many uncomfortable sacrifices and God taught me how to break my own heart. I had to learn how to love myself, how to be comfortable with myself and even how to enjoy myself.
I had to end friendships; I attend numerous camps, conferences, concerts and workshops alone; I watched over 20 movies at the cinema alone; I went on mission trips with people I had no relationship with and the list goes on. All of this I did because I had to learn to love and enjoy myself.
For those seven years I didn’t have a lady and initially it was very lonely and hard but as I became more dedicated to the things of God and to developing myself, my focus became stronger.
I knew in the near future I would want to get married and it would be unwise of me to try to love someone without first loving myself. How could I give to someone what I had never experienced? As a result, I decided to be what I wanted.
I wanted a lady who was educated, so I pursued an education; who was healthy, so I changed my diet and joined a gym; who had a global perspective, so I started reading autobiographies and following world news; who was knowledgeable and wise, so I read books by authors like Edward de Bono and Gunner Olson; who had a desire to travel so I got involved in cross-cultural missions and eventually lived in Australia as a missionary for some time.
On my wedding day, I gave to my wife the greatest gift
I could give: myself, a person who knew his purpose and who he was and loved himself.
You may not be able to sacrifice seven years but you may be able to sacrifice six months or a year or even more. Finding yourself and loving yourself takes time and sacrifice, and most things of value come with sacrifice.
Everything that we do is motivated by some form of love – we can’t deny it and there is an explanation for this.
The Bible says God is love and God created us in His likeness and His image. Therefore, we are made from love, of love, to love and to be loved – it’s just who we are.
• Corey Worrell is a former Commonwealth youth ambassador. Email [email protected]