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Archive for December 18th, 2007

Light shining into cave (c) Lynda Bernhardt

This is something I wrote almost exactly three years ago.

***** religious triggers *****

I have discovered that the secret to healing is learning to love yourself, but that is easier said than done. Some people say that loving God will heal you, but I found that loving God, in and of itself, wasn’t enough – I had to be the one to make the decision to love myself. Other people say that you can heal without God, but I found that I couldn’t love myself until I saw myself through His eyes. I believe that we need God to show us the beauty of who we are, and then we need to embrace His view of ourselves as our own.

I believe that, when our abusers hurt us, they metaphorically cover our bodies with ashes. When we look in the mirror, we see the ashes of our shame – shame that isn’t ours to bear – when all the time we are royalty underneath. It is so hard to believe that we are anything other than dirty because that is what is reflected back to us in the mirror – a mirror tainted by our abusers’ lies. No matter how many times other people tell us that we did nothing wrong, our reflection in the mirror keeps us from believing it.

But we are royalty underneath. We are innocent. Nothing that anyone ever did to us changes who we are underneath, no matter how many ashes are heaped upon us. God sees who we are underneath the ashes, and He has the power to show us our pure and clean reflections in His mirror of truth. That reflection is waiting for each and every one of us, but we have to have the courage to look. And once you see yourself the way God sees you, it’s easier to love yourself. It’s even easier to like yourself. Because you are not the ashes that your abusers heaped upon you. You are the untainted royalty that lies beneath.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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