You were made to love and be loved and loving yourself is a critical aspect of love. The majority of the problems people face go back to whether or not they have experienced the depth of love on a regular basis.
This not only involves receiving the love of God, but loving yourself as He loves you. Living in love relationship involves loving what He loves, and He loves you!
Many do not even realize they are ignoring this issue. Unfortunately, it takes great calamity for us to recognize that we in fact do not love ourselves the way God does. If we continue to ignore the warning signs, here are some things we can expect to experience in our life.
1. A Resistance Forms Within
When you are not trained in what healthy love is, the real thing becomes foreign. Therefore, true love feels a little uncomfortable. Out of this discomfort, a resistance forms. Whenever the opportunity to love yourself arises, we move to something else. We get busy. We change the subject. We avoid the issue.
Anywhere love is absent or compromised, torment will fester and thrive. Wherever love is not present, the counterfeits have more room to operate. Without healthy examples of what loving yourself looks like, we have no grid for how to process it. Without any reference, we don’t know what to look for or how to present ourselves in a healthy way. Our conditioning regarding love sees lust, a rush or some kind of high as the basis for what love is.
The resistance that forms within will drive you away from being able to give & receive love. It can even drive you to become emotionally cold and distant with those around you. The enemy’s resistance to love is against everything that God seeks to establish in your life. It thrives on love being absent.
2. You will Struggle with Affection
The more you don’t experience love for yourself, the more you are setup for bondage and deception. The question is, “How comfortable are you with affection? Not just in giving it out, but in receiving it?”
Men might only become comfortable with affection in the context of it leading to sex. Women can often clam up and lose the powerful nurture they were destined to carry. Either way, the hearts of people grow cold to the power of pure affection when we resist the power of loving ourselves.
3. You will Perform for Love
The resistance keeps us from loving ourselves and gives us a counterfeit alternative to feeling loved. Most do it through performance, achievement and striving. This emptiness in your heart will never be fulfilled with performance-based living.
The more we live in busy achievement, the less we are comfortable with true intimacy and connection. No longer will you be safe in vulnerable relationship. You will only feel safe when you perform. This rush will seem to work for a season, until your lack of self-love causes a severe crash. This is the major cause of a mid-life crisis. We lack love and a sense of who we are.
4. You will Become Open to a Lot of Lies about Yourself
1 John 4 tells us to test the spirits, because there is a lot of deception. If we are to test the spirits, that means there will come a lot of counterfeit thoughts and operations that are not of God. There is especially an antichrist spirit that is already in the world, deceiving many. It appears as truth and peace, but it is not.
The word anti-christ really speaks of anti-anointing, meaning it’s a counterfeit of the anointing of God and it is against the anointing of God. The resistance of the enemy keeps you from seeing the anointing of God inside of you.
What does this have to do with loving yourself? This deception keeps you from seeing the precious design you are. It keeps you from seeing the uniqueness and special value that you carry.
Some of the most antichrist thoughts are the ones that keep you from seeing the anointed person that you are.
The antichrist spirit is not just the deception of a last days world leader, but a deception to keep you from seeing the value that is in inside you, the power within you and the beauty that you possess. It completely opposes what God’s Word says about you and what you are capable of in Him. It poses a “yeah but” to everything God says about you. This why many are resistant to genuinely receiving what God says about them. They want to, but something inside them creates a push back. That’s the resistance I am talking about.
Although it may seem so real and true, it’s full of lies. There are a series of common lies that it perpetuates. I find that it runs a repeating track of accusations:
- People don’t truly love me. I am unlovable.
- I hate looking at myself.
- I am ugly, fat, disgusting
- I can never do anything right
- I am not worth being loved.
- I cannot be happy or have fun.
- I do not have what it takes.
- Everything bad happens to me and will happen to me.
- God doesn’t do good things for me—He does them for everyone else.
5. You will become self-deceived at some point.
The problem with not loving yourself is that it is so familiar. It probably runs in your family and has become one with many thoughts, feelings and imaginations you grew up with.
Most of us have been trained to live without loving ourselves before we even realize what we were doing. We resist loving ourselves without ever knowing it. We ignore our lack of self-love so easily and fall into patterns that become deeply wired into our being. This is because we know of nothing else.
This spiritual hold easily masquerades itself as your own thoughts and feelings. The impressions that you sense feel like they came from you. Many people say to me in their struggle, “Is this me?” because it they have been so used to listening to its voice, they don’t even know God’s voice or their own voice anymore.
The enemy simply does not want you to see yourself as God sees you.
6. You Will Think it’s Normal to be Hard on Yourself
Most people I talk to consider this their had wired personality trait. “I’m way to hard on myself.” They say this like that will never change, because they are convinced they are the problem, without realizing they have been receiving thoughts and impressions from a counterfeit source.
If you avoid loving yourself, spend your life being hard on yourself. Modern Christianity has become so familiar with this habit that we’ve spiritualized it as dying to self or taking up our cross. We see beating ourselves up as just a part of life.
7. A Nagging Uncleanness will Rob you of Pure Intimacy
I work with a lot of marriages that talk about their struggle with affection and fulfillment with physical, sexual and emotional intimacy. There is a cloud of uncleanness that robs them of a shame-free experience.
Many times in the Scriptures, you see Jesus casting out unclean spirits from people’s lives. Many times, the reason they are called unclean spirits, is because that’s what they produce in people’s emotions—uncleanness. Instead of pure love, mankind has become conditioned to experiencing unclean relational interactions and references. Lust has replaced love. Perversion has brought an unclean spirit against us to feel dirty about ourselves. This will not allow men and women to be able to express love with each other in a pure dynamic.
8. You will Become more Open to Heaviness and Depression
One of the greatest ways you can combat depression and heaviness is to engage the power of loving yourself. When you are down, that is when you need love the most.
If you do not love yourself, then how can you keep a solid emotional state on a regular basis? The enemy knows how to alter your mood by keeping you from walking in the love that is available for you.
Without self-love, celebration will not be an easy habit. Joy and extravagant fun are far from reach. Do you find yourself feeling resistance when it comes time to let go and celebrate? Do you struggle to have fun without using alcohol to loosen you up? Notice the resistance that rises when it’s time to let go and just have some fun? That’s the enemy’s programming. It wants to lock you into deep hopelessness and heaviness.
9. Your Relationship Decisions will be Unhealthy
Most of our relationship decisions are based on how we see ourselves. Our ability to love, the boundaries we set and the environments we engage in all come back to how we’ve process love in ourselves.
Without self-love, we become open to people pleasing and carrying the burdens of those around us to feel love. If you don’t love yourself, the boundaries in relationship are almost impossible. You will tolerate abusive people that dump their toxicity on your life. Worse yet, you will think that the toxicity is all because of something being wrong with you.
10. You will Emotionally Check Out . . . a Lot
Because people do not love themselves, the classic response to pain today is to “check out.” We become conditioned to go numb and dead. The enemy wants to keep you separated from love, so that when it does come, you are emotionally unavailable to receive it. Here are some of those check out patterns:
- Emotional Spirals: It has a spiraling effect that disconnects you from relating with people from your heart. It dries up your inner well of love so that you begin to slowly dissolve inside.
- Isolation: It will drive you to isolate yourself, thus leading to harmful relational patterns, dysfunctional relationships, bad habits and even addictions. In isolation, you can be taken out more effectively.
- Numbness: When we turn the heart switch off, we move towards numbness. The problem is we become numb to everything, not just pain. We also become numb to true love when it comes to touch our hearts.
- Self-Destruction: Instead of self-love, some become accustomed to self-destructive behaviors, often as a way to check out and cope with pain. Today’s party culture loves to escape into dangerous habits.
11. You will Become Self-Focused
Irconically, when you become used to not loving yourself, you will develop a deep self-focus and self-centered life. People who love themselves are not self-centered. They are well balanced and generous with the love that flows in them.
Without healthy self-love, we become entitiled, self-centered and down right selfish. We can become navel gazers, always looking within and always checking our emotional state. We lose our vision for loving others and being a vessel of compassion to our world. Instead, we become so focused on our pain or what we need, we can’t see anything else.
12. You will Become More and More Stubborn to Changing
Try to get someone free from these patterns. If they are not teachable and willing, pride to push back. Ain’t no way the enemy is giving up that easily. It keeps a person locked in no matter how much others try to help. It can try to use false-piety, displaying an outward superiority, to cover the true inward battles of insecurity and self-hatred.
In your personal life, you will struggle with self-rejection, self-hatred and condemnation, but in public or in the work place, you will project a mask of superiority, pride, perfectionism and a fabrication of “having it all together.”
13. Navigating Relationships will Become more Complicated and Energy Draining
Without loving yourself, you will catch other people’s garbage much more easily. You will be prone to being easily offended and taken out emotionally.
Worse yet, you will seek for others to fill your emptiness. This expectation will always fail you, landing you in constant disappointment and despair regarding relationships.
On top of it all, loving others will get exhausting and burn out will be a part of your journey over and over.
Until we finally face the fact that we need to receive the love that God has for us in more personal way.