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love yourself - a miracle
By lawrence
12/14/2010 9:53:18 AM
Yesterday I wrote what follows here. Last night before bed I knelt. I knelt with full confidence that my Father in heaven would answer my prayer. I lack faith at times, but not this time. I knew I would get an answer. My prayer was simple. Please, Father, let me feel the fullness of your love for me. He gave me all the feeling that was possible to feel. It can't be the fullness because the fullness of His love is infinite. It is not possible to describe the feeling I had. Oh, I've had it before, but not like this. I was overcome with emotion and love for a time that seemed to hang, not ticking on to the next minute. I just lay there reveling in my Savior and Father's love for me. God tells me He loves me from time to time...when I come to Him, when I need Him. But this was different. Over the last 4 days, I have committed myself to step 3, to give my entire life and my very free will to the tender care of my Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. He accepted my offering. In the past I have pulled my trust back from Him. This time I give it with more faith and more confidence. He has shown me great things. If you read my writings, you will know that I oscillate from down to up and back to down. I believe this is His way of bringing me home. I have no more desire to do evil. My will right now is only to serve him and my family by trusting Him and staying clean. I am four days sober today, but it is more sober than I have ever been. This period of sobriety is worth more to me than months of half-effort. I love my Father. I know He loves me. He also granted to me a blessing of unspeakable sacredness, a way to always feel His love.

My journal from yesterday:

Comments:

journal    
"Why don’t I want to stop?

Because I do not love myself.

According to President Uchtdorf, a key relationship in my life is the relationship with myself. It may seem odd to think of having a relationship with myself, but I do. Some people can’t get along with themselves. They criticize and belittle themselves all day long until they begin to hate themselves. I truly must have hated myself, and was covering it all with this crazy addiction. I need to reduce the rush and take a little extra time to get to know myself better. I will walk in nature, watch a sunrise, enjoy God’s creations, sit quietly and ponder the truths of the restored gospel, and find out what they mean for me personally. I will learn to see myself as Heavenly Father sees me—as His precious son with divine potential. He loves me and I must therefore love myself to honor Him. I have great reason to rejoice. If life and its rushed pace and many stresses have made it difficult for me to feel like rejoicing, then right now, today is the best time to refocus on what matters most to me and to my God.

My strength will not come from frantic activity and racing thoughts and continuous obsession about every little detail of acting on my addictions, but from being settled on a firm foundation of truth and light. It comes from placing my attention and efforts on the basics of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It comes from seeking God’s will through prayer and meditation, and asking for the courage I need to carry out His will. It comes from paying attention to the divine things that matter most.
As President Uchtdorf suggests in his October talk, I will simplify my life. I will make the changes necessary to refocus my life on the sublime beauty of the simple, humble path of Christian discipleship—the path that leads always toward a life of meaning, gladness, and peace. I sincerely pray to my Heavenly Father, and ask Him to give the wisdom and strength to me to be able to accomplish this simplification of my life that he also plead for to God in the last general conference.

Today I can take a great step toward a return to love by healing my relationship with myself. Love for myself is the key to loving others. Love begins with God. He loved me first, so I love Him. He wants me to love myself. When my relationship with myself is based on love and respect, my relationship with everything in my life will change, including my relationships with the people I love.

In the book, Prayers: A Communion with our Creator, don Miguel Ruiz teaches about loving oneself. I do not agree with all of his concepts, but he presents a good description of self-love. For my own benefit, I have interleaved his concepts with my knowledge of the restored truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ and that discussion follows:

How do I feel about myself? Do I love, respect and honor myself? If I answer no, that explains all the broken hearts I have had and those hearts of others I have broken. When I don’t love, respect, and honor myself, then I allow other people to treat me without love, respect and honor. God loves me, and charity is that true love of Christ. If I have charity, then I will love all of God’s children including myself. Once I learn to treat myself with love, respect and honor, there is no way that I will accept anything less from others. Why? Because I am true to my integrity, and I no longer lie to myself."
posted at 09:53:39 on December 14, 2010 by lawrence
continued    
"Integrity is the totality of myself; it is what I really am, not what I believe about myself or what I pretend to be. When I am true to my integrity, I never consciously go against myself. I am honest with myself, and I notice when someone shows me disrespect. If someone treats me disrespectfully, I have the clarity to say, Hold it. I don’t like the way you are talking to me. I put up a boundary right away because I won’t allow myself to be abused. I create a clear system of boundaries with other people, and I also respect the boundaries that others put on me.

With self-love, if someone wants to be with me, that person has to come from love and respect, not from fear and disrespect. If I am already in a relationship that doesn’t honor me, then I can enter a period of healing and cleansing so that both of us return to love and respect, beginning with myself, and continuing with each other. I begin with myself because I need to have love in order to give love; I need to have self-respect in order to give respect. The relationship needs to be based on respect. If there is no respect, sooner or later there is going to be a broken heart.

What do I mean by respect? If I’m in a relationship, I respect that person’s choices; I will not try to control their choices. Because I love them, I allow them to be what they are. I don’t have to agree with them, but I respect every belief they have, every choice they make, because I love them the way they are. I also respect my own life, and I will not allow anyone to control my life.

If someone doesn’t respect me, I will still love them, but that may be the end. The only way to save that relationship is to recover the respect, to communicate better, and to create new agreements with a new set of boundaries. In this way, the relationship can be healed.

Self-love is something completely different from selfishness. Selfishness says, if you love me, you have to put up with all my emotional garbage; you have to put up with my anger, my judgments, and never leave me. To tell others that I love them, and then to abuse them, is not love; it is selfishness. How can I love you and abuse you at the same time? For me to keep you, even if I’m abusing you, is selfishness, not love.
Self-love gives me the power to break all the lies I was programmed to believe. Lies that say, I’m not good enough; I’m not beautiful enough; I’m not strong enough; I can’t make it, or that I can’t control my own actions. With self-love, I am no longer afraid to face responsibilities in my life, to face problems and resolve them as soon as they arise. Why? Because I can trust myself completely to make choices because I have given my will and my entire life over to the tender care of God the Eternal Father, and His Son Jesus Christ, and They will never want for me to set up circumstances that will go against my best interest, only to help me. I will have afflictions and emotional hard times, but I will always have joy because God is mapping out this journey for me and I am willingly following it. He loves me, so I also love myself.

With self-love, I enjoy my own presence. I enjoy what I see every time I look in the mirror, and the big smile on my face enhances my inner and outer beauty. My countenance reflects the image of my Savior Jesus Christ. I have taken upon myself His name and promised to always remember Him. He is always with me and loves and cares for me dearly. He loves me with all of His heart, mind, and soul. With self-love, I don’t have to follow a false image of perfection or try to prove that I am good enough for love. The Savior loves me exactly how I am, so I love myself that same way. I have confidence that as I follow His will, I will have joy."
posted at 09:53:57 on December 14, 2010 by lawrence
the last part    
"When I have self-love, I no longer live my life according to other people’s opinions. I don’t need other people to accept me or tell me how good I am, because I know what I am. When I crave my addiction this is what I want. I want the opinions of others. I want other people to accept me and tell me how good I am, but it is all false. I am lying about who I am to gain acceptance. They are lying that they accept me to fulfill their own addiction. They want to use me as an object of their lust just as my addict wants the same thing. I only will crave my addictions if I do not love myself. Truly I don’t need the approval of strangers on the internet. I know who I am. I am a son of the living God. With self-love, I am not afraid to share my love because it is really God’s love and my heart is completely open. I have no need for addictive behavior because it fulfills nothing in me. Seeing myself through the eyes of my Creator lets me have love for myself. That loves demands respect and honor. Prostituting myself in internet chat rooms is disrespect. Because I accept the power of God is enough to bring me to complete spiritual health, including learning to love myself, and because I honor and respect Him and give to him my own self-will, I will never have need again for these behaviors. The core need deep within myself is to be loved and accepted. Internet chat falsely fulfills that need. There is no love. There is no true acceptance. There is only lies and objectification of God’s children, including me. That is why there is always craving for more. That was good, but it wasn’t enough. Next time there needs to be more. Then after that more still. I can receive true love and acceptance. There is no better love and acceptance than from the most powerful Being in the universe. He shows me how to love myself and in that way my core need of being loved and accepted is accomplished without any other human being. God loves me and I love myself.

Today is the day when I experience the beauty of myself and begin to love again. When did that love stop? What trauma occurred to me in early life? Does it matter? Do I need to go under hypnosis and drudge it up? No. My God is an awesome God! He lives! He performs miracles every day. Today is the day of a new miracle, when I reconnect with my own spirit and express all the love in my heart. Today I will learn to love myself. Today is a day of cleansing. Today is the day that I take out the trash. Today I take my false need for acceptance and love through strangers on the internet and my addiction to porn and my addiction to masturbation, and wrap them all tightly in a heavy-duty Glad garbage bag and toss them where they belong: in the dump of the hell of the lake of fire and brimstone to be burned with everlasting fire. I have taken out the trash by confessing and now, today, forsaking all of my sins. I confessed in detail to myself. I confessed in detail to my Heavenly Father. I confessed in detail to my Bishop. And I confessed in detail to the angel that God sent to me to cherish and to love for time and all eternity. His miracle today is one of forgiveness. I forgive myself. He forgives me. The Bishop and my wife forgive me. What a glorious day of rejoicing! I love this God, my Father!

I have felt indescribable love from my Heavenly Father. He will teach me through meditation and prayer how to see myself through His eyes, loving myself and accepting me with no conditions. I know He wants to connect with me and revel with me in glorious communion. I feel deep gratitude for Jesus the Son of God. I feel His infinite love for me. I feel it with an intensity that surpasses description using words. I feel the desire to be alive, the desire for love and joy, the desire to create something wonderful to share with everyone in my life. I am in the process of creating, nay, restoring, the love I have for Loren. God’s love for me is infinite and through that love my love for myself will be restored with completeness. I will again know the joy it is to be alive and to be a son of the Most High. The biggest mission I have right now is to make myself happy and learning to love myself. I will accomplish this by selfless service, fulfilling God’s will, and sharing my love, my joy and my happiness. These are all gifts from Him for which I am eternally grateful."
posted at 09:54:20 on December 14, 2010 by lawrence
...    
"Thank you so very much."
posted at 10:20:14 on December 14, 2010 by Preemie
...    
"No words... thank you."
posted at 10:52:46 on December 14, 2010 by paul
WooHoo    
"That was great. I'm so happy for you!"
posted at 23:27:09 on December 14, 2010 by dstanley


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"You lived with your Heavenly Father in a premortal life. You were there with Him. Your spirit knows what it is like to live in celestial realms. You can never be truly happy in an uncelestial environment. You know too much. That is one of the reasons that for you, wickedness never can be happiness. What a great thing it is to decide once and for all early in life what you will do and what you will not do with regards to honesty, modesty, chastity, the Word of Wisdom, and temple marriage. "

— Larry W. Gibbons

General Conference October 2006