A friend of mine wrote this statement a few months ago but wise words catch my attention.
Makes me wonder if the space between really being loved and accepting that love is actually walled by our own perceptions of what we deserve, hidden behind our own self condemnation. Rebecca Roberts
Feeling loved is very different than intellectually knowing that you’re loved. One is left-brain thinking and the other is right brain experiencing.
I agree with Rebecca. We can not love ourselves when self-condemnation is the forefront emotion. When there is a constant low grade guilt, “I’m not worthy” or “I’m not enough” thinking lurking within our minds, there is also an accusatory finger pointing inward to our hearts.
And that doesn’t leave much room to love and be loved.
What is self-condemnation? Here’s a good explanation and a wise direction provided by Mind and Soul blog.
Self-condemnation is your own voice internalised; self talk that commentates negatively on your value, person-hood, actions, feelings and behaviours. Common experiences of self condemnation would be, “You are stupid, unacceptable, weak”. “You are sinful, unworthy, a fraud”. “You are unforgiven, unlovable, a failure.”
There is a story in John Chapter 8 where a woman is being judged having been caught in adultery. Jesus challenges the judges with their own shotcomings, then he asks the woman,
v7, Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
v8. “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
In this story Jesus doesn’t let sin off the hook (something many self condemners are worried about). Instead he deals with sin and condemnation separately. Jesus dealt with our sin at the cross when he took our sin upon himself.
There is no self-condemnation in Christ. There is truth. There is forgiveness. There is hope.
And there is healing of self-condemning lies that we tell ourselves.
Freedom to love and to be loved – what a wonderful feeling.