Lately I’ve been posting about the value of adopting a personal ministry and our need to partner with the Lord both to implement that ministry and to live more joyfully. But that’ll be like water on a duck’s back if you don’t really believe such joyful living is within your reach.
I wasn’t always as positive as I am now. I used to be quite desperate for a way out of my singlehood. But no matter what I tried or how much I wanted it, it just never seemed to come to me.
Of course, ladies were available. But the ones who wanted me didn’t seem right for me. And I grew increasingly frustrated that the ladies who did seem right had no interest in me.
Yet gently and patiently, the Lord led me along in the right direction.
You gotta love you
Sadly, many singles don’t really love themselves. I confess I once didn’t. For one, I would look at myself in the mirror and cringe. And that doesn’t begin to consider all of my interactions with others. Many of them went quite poorly. Looking back on failure after failure, I felt justified in not loving who I was.
By not loving myself, I broadcast to the world how unloved I was by me. And since I knew myself better than anyone else, why should anyone not believe me? When it came to eternal companionship with me, many believed I knew something they didn’t.
It didn’t have to be that way. But I was just going through the motions of active Church membership. The true joy of gospel living wasn’t really sinking in as deep as it could have.
I’m doing what I should, I thought, so why isn’t this working out for me? Answers like “The timing just isn’t right” or “You just need to hold on a little longer” weren’t helping. And the more I focused on what wasn’t working, the more things didn’t work.
Eventually, I calmed myself to hear what the Lord was trying to tell me all along. And I started to see how my choices, mostly based in habit, were making me my own worst obstacle.
Fight for yourself
The Lord showed me how to turn the tide. You fight for yourself. You take actions that demonstrate you’re someone worth loving.
Last week I described how Elder Lawrence’s address from the last General Conference can help you know what your next step should be. I highly recommend starting there. In addition, here’s some other items for your consideration.
You need to watch your self-talk. This highly popular habit among singles keeps us living without our desired blessings. If you don’t love you, you probably have the bad habit of telling yourself you’re not loved and why you’re unworthy of being loved.
Nature hates a vacuum, so you can’t stop bad habits; you must replace them with better ones. You have to start feeding yourself positive messages. And you have to do it so well you believe them.
It’ll feel really weird at first. That’s because you aren’t used to hearing it and don’t really believe it. But keep feeding yourself positive messages. In time, you will start to believe you really are worth loving.
Don’t compromise on worthiness. In his brief tenure as the Prophet, President Howard W. Hunter urged us to make the temple recommend the great seal of our Church membership. Qualifying for and using a temple recommend as often as occasion will permit will send a message you’re worth loving. After all, it’s easier for the honest in heart to love what’s noble and uplifting. What could be more noble and uplifting than the House of the Lord?
Getting right with God helps you feel His love better. It’s that love from our Heavenly Father and not our next romantic interest that truly supports and sustains.
Start feeling the love
It didn’t happen for me overnight, but it did happen. As I learned how everything really works, I began to see how my choices guided by my less-effective habits had led me to the life I had. And focusing more on God’s pure love for me and His belief in me helped me to start really feeling love for myself as never before.
So if you aren’t feeling the love, don’t wait. Take action that says you’re worth loving, because you are. When you tell yourself well enough in thought, word, and deed you’re worth loving, in time you’ll believe it. And when you really believe you’re worth loving, so will every one else. After all, you are the expert on you.
Howdy! I'm Lance, host of Joy in the Journey Radio. I've been blogging about LDS singles life since 2012, and now I produce a weekly radio show to help LDS singles have more joy in their journey and bring all Latter-day Saints together. Let's engage a conversation that will increase the faith of LDS singles and bring singles and marrieds together in a true unity of the faith.
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