One of the things I like least about myself is that I’m loud. I don’t mean to be, maybe I need my hearing checked? But anyway, I laugh loud and (sometimes, when I forget myself) I talk loud. I worry that I interrupt when I get excited about a topic, and perhaps sometimes I say more than I should. I share exactly what is on my mind and on my heart and I always forget to keep my cards close to my chest. I just can’t operate that way.
I know, I know — we all have things about ourselves that we just don’t like — I don’t think that’s necessarily bad. Being self-aware is good, right? Walking around oblivious to the fact that we might possibly have any flaws at all is… well, I’m sure there’s some clinical term for that.
And then there’s that difference between accepting who God made us to be without allowing those character traits to be an excuse to hurt others. It’s one thing to wish you hadn’t been so talkative, for example. It’s another to use your talkative nature as an excuse to dish the dirt on every little situation swirling in your brain (and trust me when I say I have been guilty of both).
Learning to love myself, who God made me to be, is an important part of personal growth. The older I get, the more I appreciate the fact that just because I admire a personality trait in a good friend, it doesn’t mean I’m supposed to transform myself into that person. I share about this a lot when I speak at conferences and retreats, but I don’t know that I’ve written too much about it here. One of the most freeing things God has done for me is to help me learn to love myself — who He made me to be — because that in turn really helps me love others. When I am acutely aware of God’s love for ME, how can I hold back in my kindness?
And then I watch my daughter, who is still so little. And I watch my boys too. I look at them, who God made them to be, and I am overcome with gratitude. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made — and while I know there are things about my kids that need to be tweaked and refined, I would never want them to change who God made them to be.
Realizing that about them helps me embrace it a little more in my own life.