“Self-acceptance is my refusal to be in an adversarial relationship to myself.” Nathaniel Brand
“I’m my own worst enemy.”
Isn’t that how the saying goes?
Yet, for a lot of us, perhaps, there’s a more accurate phrase by which we live:
“I’m my own best enemy.”
We get a payoff for self-loathing, judging and berating ourselves.
“But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong: and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied.” Psalms 38:19
It can give us a license to continue our self-destructive ways. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we’re so awful, so unworthy, so ugly, so unlovable. Therefore no one, not others, not God and not ourselves should require anything more of us, right?
But we love to revel in being wrong.
And, come on, it takes far less hard work to hate than love, to reject than accept, to destroy rather than to build.
So, we often take this path of least resistance. We create and nurture our own best enemies, be they addictive behaviors, disorders or unhealthy choices.
However, it’s not hopeless.
After all, we have God- and His perspective on enemies:
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.’ But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:43-48
“But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.” Luke 6:27-36
I know, I know. It’s a tall order. I guess these scriptures fall under the heading of Isaiah 55…
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
His thoughts, our thoughts. But here’s the things about God’s thoughts: there’s nothing enemy about ‘em…
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
So, nine times out of ten, if there is an enemy in our midst, it’s coming from us. We are our own worst/best enemy.
And again, that would be completely hopeless, were it not for one thing: God (Thank God)!
And His different perspective on the enemy issue. God doesn’t seemed to be intimidated by it at all.
He appears to have a plan, even while our enemies, outside ones or self-inflicted, are creating havoc in our lives.
“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.” Psalms 23:5
In fact, there’s even some built-in reconciliation going on there, in spite of us…
“For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” Romans 5:10
With that being said, however, there’s still some work which needs to be done on our part; we’re responsible for our thoughts and their impact on us:
“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…” Proverbs 23:7
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Proverbs 18:21
It’s not entirely up to us; after all, there’s God. But we DO need to accept responsibility for our part in the behaviors.
We need to get honest with the unflattering reality.
And then, it’s up to us to choose what we’ll do from then on…
“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” Deuteronomy 30:19
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8
And so, once again, concerning our self-destructive thoughts and behaviors, be they addictions, disorders or compulsions, we can purposely concentrate on viewing ourselves differently. We can choose NOT to be our own worst/best enemy.
As one recovered from disordered eating, these affirmations are just a sampling of positive affirmations.
Body Image Links
20 WAYS TO LOVE YOUR BODY!!
Compiled by Margo Maine, Ph. D.
Think of your body as the vehicle to your dreams. Honor it. Respect it. Fuel it.
Create a list of all the things your body lets you do. Read it and add to it often.
Become aware of what your body can do each day. Remember it is the instrument of your life, not just an ornament.
Create a list of people you admire: people who have contributed to your life, your community, or the world. Consider whether their appearance was important to their success and accomplishments.
Walk with your head held high, supported by pride and confidence in yourself as a person.
Don’t let your weight or shape keep you from activities that you enjoy.
Wear comfortable clothes that you like and that feel good to your body.
Count your blessings, not your blemishes.
Think about all the things you could accomplish with the time and energy you currently spend worrying about your body and appearance. Try one!
Be your body’s friend and supporter, not its enemy.
Consider this: your skin replaces itself once a month, your stomach lining every five days, your liver every six weeks, and your skeleton every three months. Your body is extraordinary–begin to respect and appreciate it.
Every morning when you wake up, thank your body for resting and rejuvenating itself so you can enjoy the day.
Every evening when you go to bed, tell your body how much you appreciate what it has allowed you to do throughout the day.
Find a method of exercise that you enjoy and do it regularly. Don’t exercise to lose weight or to fight your body. Do it to make your body healthy and strong and because it makes you feel good.
Think back to a time in your life when you felt good about your body. Tell yourself you can feel like that again, even in this body at this age.
Keep a list of 10 positive things about yourself–without mentioning your appearance. Add to it!
Put a sign on each of your mirrors saying, “I’m beautiful inside and out.”
Choose to find the beauty in the world and in yourself.
Start saying to yourself, “Life is too short to waste my time hating my body this way.”
Eat when you are hungry. Rest when you are tired. Surround yourself with people that remind you of your inner strength and beauty.
Reprinted with permission from the National Eating Disorders Association. For more information: www.NationalEatingDisorders.org.
Scripture gets right to the point…
“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31
God’s not our enemy. But if WE are our own best adversary, what are WE going to do about that?