As stated in my previous article, living wholeheartedly means to love yourself, God and others with all your heart. Most of us have erroneous beliefs and unhealthy behaviors that prevent us from wholehearted living. However, there is a secret family recipe (for living wholeheartedly) that I would like to share with you.
Whether or not you’re aware of it, you already have the ingredients on hand. The first ingredient in the Wholehearted Living recipe is your relationship with yourself. You can have a healthy, vibrant relationship with yourself, or one that is harsh and damaging. Every day, whether you’re aware of it or not, you are actively choosing one or the other.
For example, what do you routinely think when you look at yourself in a mirror? That you are beautiful and amazing? Probably not. Unfortunately, most of us are our own biggest critic; we’re our own worst enemy. Have you ever stopped to consider just how hard you are on yourself? Do you treat yourself like a friend, or perhaps, do you love your neighbor instead of yourself?
The first step in working with this ingredient, is to disengage from your inner critic. The average woman has over 31,000 self thoughts per day, and 75% of those thoughts are negative and self-defeating. No wonder we’re worn out, sick and disillusioned! We simply must learn to pay attention to our self talk; we must deliberately say things to ourselves that are truthful, kind and supportive.
The second step, is to let go of guilt and shame (which is closely connected to your inner critic). We’ve all done things we aren’t proud of, but only as you process your past and learn to let go of guilt and shame, can you be free to live wholeheartedly. As Scripture says, there is no condemnation for those who are followers of Jesus. So are you ready to put that two-by-four down and quit mentally beating yourself up?
Although these first two steps are fairly simply, that doesn’t mean they are easy to master. We’ve all had a lot of practice being harsh with ourselves. Therefore, this will take some effort. A friend of mine says it best, “Massive repetition is the mother of mastery and skill; dabbling, is the mother of bozohood.” It’s true. If you are serious about living wholeheartedly, you must become intentional about decluttering your relationship with yourself. Start practicing today. Look yourself in the mirror and say “goodbye” to any critical thoughts about how you look, who you are and what you do. Then, watch the good “fruit” that is produced in all your relationships.
(Look for the 2nd part of this 3-part recipe soon.)