Blog fiLLLed in 5: The Benefits Of Self-Love In Spiritual Growth - How to Love Yourself & Love Your Life
A picture, from behind, of a woman in a hat hugging herself and the words: Spirituality of self-love and fiLLLed in 5

fiLLLed in 5: The Benefits Of Self-Love In Spiritual Growth - How to Love Yourself & Love Your Life



Good morning and welcome to fiLLLed in 5, where each Monday morning at 9 AM Central Time, we take five minutes to discuss an aspect of the spiritual life. We want to build lives that are fiLLLed with light, life, and love.  As we seek to grow spiritually, we know that the more love we have in our hearts, the better we will be. And wherever we have hate, disdain, or dislike in our hearts, it's going to limit us in our spiritual growth. One of the places that we harbor dislike, disdain, and in some places even hate, is within ourselves. That might be a shocking statement, and some of you might be nodding right along, knowing how true this could be.

So I want to take a few moments this morning and discuss how we can eliminate that. first of all, if we want to love ourselves more, and I want to talk briefly about this, loving ourselves more does not mean feeding our ego. It does not mean building ourselves up at the expense of others. It's simply true that whenever we want to seek a connection - a deeper connection - with God, with the Divine, we have to start inward. We have to love ourselves as we love others. We have to love others as we love ourselves.  Wherever there are strong feelings of hate or dislike, they're going to impede our spiritual growth.

When we harbor those about ourselves, we are knocking ourselves out before we even get started.  let's take a few minutes and talk about that this morning. We want to become more aware of ourselves and our reactions. We want to take time to reflect at the end of each day - throughout the day is even better. Take time and reflect upon your actions and your reactions. What had you been feeling? What did you do? What did you say? How did you act? How did you react?  And especially take note if you had blame in there about yourself, because you'll want to look at that more closely. This isn't a time to judge ourselves. That doesn't really help us on the spiritual path. Awareness is what is helpful. Take time and reflect on those things. How do they arise within you? What situations bring those about? Once you know those, then you can find a deeper understanding of where they come from.

The best Action you can take to grow your spirit is to learn how to forgive, and forgiveness begins within ourselves  Whatever has happened in your past - listen, we have all been in places that we are not proud of or that we would rather not share with the world. There are things about my life that I'd prefer people not to know. And I'm sure the same is true with you. It's true of all of us. We all have those things in our past that we wish we would have done better. We have to forgive ourselves for being imperfect in those moments. whatever version of ourselves showed up in that moment, got us through and where we are today.

A more helpful stance would be to thank that version of ourselves in that moment and forgive that version of ourselves for not being fully evolved, for not being fully aware and perfect. That version of ourselves is flawed but got us through in the best possible way. So thank that younger version of yourself and forgive her, forgive him, and then thank him for being a part of the journey.  But we have to forgive ourselves so that we can learn how to forgive others. And that is the biggest, biggest, biggest - not even close - biggest action we can take to grow in our spirituality. I encourage you, in fact, I implore you, to take the time, to do that within yourself. Anytime anything comes up, uh, stick a pen in it and remember to take time if that moment isn't the best time. Take some time at the end of the day and spend some time thinking about that moment and forgive yourself. And thank your past version of yourself in that moment for getting you through. Then you will feel a tremendous weight lift. It may not be immediate, but in time as you lean into that, you will feel it. You will feel something lighter in your spirit. That is the biggest thing you can do.

You have to have love in your heart to grow in your spirit. And it begins and includes yourself, not only others. Beyond that, the next thing you can do that will just skyrocket your spiritual growth is to adopt a practice of gratitude. Every day, take time to at least find 3 things that went well for your day or 3 things that you can pick out of even a bad or horrible day that you are grateful for and you will begin to see more and more of that in your life. And wherever you have gratitude, you will begin to see God present with you. 

This past Sunday, I discussed a story in the scriptures about, uh, ten folks who were healed from a disease that had them outcast from their community. And one of the ten returned and was grateful and expressed that gratitude. And in turn, what happened with that one, as opposed to all the others who were also healed, but that one who expressed gratitude was also made well, body, mind, and spirit.

When we take time to express gratitude, that is the essence of building a strong and enduring faith.

So, that is fiLLLed in 5, a little bit plus, this morning. Thank you for joining me and I hope you can use these in your setting and in your faith. If you have any questions, reach out. As always, I'm Melissa Ebken, the pastor of the Illiopolis and Niantic Christian churches, and I want you to have a fiLLLed life, a life fiLLLed with Light, Life, and Love. 


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A picture of Melissa with her head in her hands and the title: "The fiLLLed Life Blog."

Hello Friends!

Hi, my name is Melissa Ebken, and I'm so glad you found your way here. 

Live a fiLLLed Life!

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