How can we love others as we love our self, if we do not love our self (Mark 12:31)? What if we compound this issue by refusing to forgive our self for some tragedy that we caused, or some hurt feelings that we initiated?
We are hopelessly hindered from walking in God's Spirit if we neglect to nurture our own soul. Many people think it is selfish to care for our own needs. I was one of these.
I foolishly thought that if I gave, it would be given to me; if I sowed, then I would reap; if I loved, I would be loved in return. I ended up in codependent relationships where I was doing all the loving, giving and serving and everyone else was taking me for granted.
I actually taught them to treat me this way by living as a doormat, thinking I was a martyr and believing that I was saving others by neglecting myself. I ended up frazzled, hysterical and resentful of many of the relationships in my life.
This caused me to get angry easily, to give in to grouchiness and to deprive myself of needed sleep, rest, play time and energy renewal for all of those years. This is very faulty thinking; and I thank God that He saved me from myself.
Unfortunately, I was already 40 years old when my current boss - a recovering codependent - explained to me, "Kathy, you are a person too. You can minister to yourself in the same way that you minister to the other people in your life. You do not have to wait for someone else to meet your needs."
This revelation was life-changing for me, and I started to heal from a lethal case of codependency from that moment until today. I found a freedom to love through Christ in me rather than in my human love. (More about loving our self in Part 2 tomorrow.)
Father God, thank You for not leaving us to our own resources, but teaching us to utilize Your resources, which You plant within us through Your precious Son, Jesus. We humans are so set on being all things for all people that we neglect our own needs. It really is easy to access our needs and to either make a way to meet them each day, or to rely on You to bless us with what we truly need.
Thank You that there are many relationships in this life that truly do have a Biblical reciprocal interdependence. With these Christ-focused individuals we truly can give, and it will be given to us; sow into their life, and reap what they sow into ours; and love them and enjoy their love in return.
Thought for the Day:
Codependent people are very thoughtful servants who tirelessly aid others with their whole heart; the negative issues arise when we start neglecting both our God-given human needs and also for making time for Him in our daily schedule.