If you know me, you know that I love music. Like, I am crazily obsessed with it. A few days ago, my family went out to Lowes to pick up a few things and left Hattush and I at home. I put on my playlist and started cleaning. (Another thing you should know about me: I cannot stand messes… I look around my house and just want to organize or clean everything!)
After about thirty minutes, the song Can’t Even Love Myself by Unspoken stared playing. I hadn’t heard the song in a while and as I listened to the lyrics, I was reminded of how much I see myself in it. The whole song has so much depth packed into each word, which is one reason I love it so much.
After it had finished, I got the idea to write out my own thoughts on the song. Every line resonates with me so much that it ended up being pretty long! So… here are some of the lyrics from Can’t Even Love Myself and my thoughts on them…
(Warning: this is a longer post, so grab a cup of tea, settle down in your chair and get ready!)
Look into the mirror, what do I see?
All the imperfections that define me
So often I find myself staring at my reflection, wondering why I couldn’t look like so-and-so, or why my hair couldn’t have been a different color, or why God decided to make me look like I do. I’m sure we’ve all heard Psalm 139, in which David praises God for all his works. In verse 14, he says, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” That goes for everyone. But really, deep down, how many of us truly believe it?
God created us in his image. He created a masterpiece in us and while it’s sometimes hard to see, he has a purpose in every single detail.
I know the golden rule
Treat another like you want to be treated too
But lately I’ve been hating on myself it’s true
Beat up my heart ’til it’s black and blue
In Matthew 22, the Pharisees came to Jesus and asked him which commandment was the greatest. He replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-38)
Jesus calls us to love our neighbors as ourselves. But simply by talking with people and hearing others talk, it’s become obvious that we are not loving ourselves. We compare ourselves to others, we mentally tell ourselves that we should do better… we’ve become unsatisfied with how God made us. So how are we to “love our neighbors as ourselves” if we’re constantly hating ourselves?
How can I love, can I love, can I love You
If I can’t even love myself?
Honestly, you can’t. You cannot always be hating everything about yourself, while fully loving everyone else. And as Christians, we’re called to show Jesus’s love to the entire world! If the world sees us being dissatisfied with who God made us to be, then we are not fully shining for him.
Trust me, it’s hard. There are days when I can’t find one single thing I like about myself and those are not days you want to be around me! But if we ask God for help and strength and embrace who he made us to be, we not only bring joy to ourselves, but to everyone around us.
I try to hide that I don’t feel worthy
But the truth it will always tell
What you carry always shows
What you bury it still grows
To be completely honest here, I don’t feel worthy. It’s this insecurity I’ve been carrying around since I was like ten: I’m not worthy of anything that anyone does for me. I need to work harder so that people will keep loving me.
And at times, I’ve pushed myself too hard. But what this song is saying is that you can’t hide your feelings of insecurity for long: it shows in your actions. Ever heard the phrase, “Actions speak louder than words?” If we’re carrying around a heap of guilt and insecurities, it will show in our actions.
And wow, that is… hard for me! See, I have the amazing(?) ability to hide my emotions. I bottle away whatever I’m feeling and bury it somewhere in my heart. I imagine that it goes away, but it doesn’t. “What you bury it still grows.” Those feelings of anger, or hurt don’t disappear: they get bigger over time. Sometimes you can’t see it, but other times it’s obvious.
I think what the lyrics here are trying to communicate is that when we try to hide our fears, or guilt, or self-hatred, most of the time it doesn’t work and even if it does, it’s not a long-term solution.
Normal conversation seems to get harder
I try to hold my tongue ’cause it’s been getting sharper
Oh-h-h. Ouch. Yeah, I can see this in myself. Whenever I’m having one of those days where I can’t stand to look at myself in the mirror, or am upset over some dumb mistake I made, I’ll get really snappy. I’m a rather sassy person and I know that my words can cause serious damage to my family. So to keep myself from saying things I’ll regret, I close myself off. This can also be known as “giving the cold shoulder”. It comes across to most people that I’m ignoring them and I end up really hurting or offending them.
I’d open up the gate but I can’t find the key
Maybe I’m afraid, afraid of what You’ll see
So often when something happens that hurts us or rocks our world, we’ll avoid conversation with people. Instead of opening our hearts (AKA, the gate) and letting someone share in our hurt, we hide in our closets. (Yes… I’m guilty of doing this once or twice)
A few weeks ago, something like this happened: my perfectly happy world was going great, but in a second everything kind of fell apart. I wanted to lock myself away in a dark hole and stay there for the rest of eternity, but I knew that it wasn’t right. Instead, I opened up to one of my friends about how I was feeling and we shared my sadness together, but also the joy and hope that the pain we experience on earth isn’t the end.
If I had completely closed myself away, I wouldn’t have been helping anyone. Instead, I would have added yet another bottle to my stash and planted another tree of hurt. We need to be honest. We need to be vulnerable. There are some bad people in the world, but there are also people God has given us in our life to help us.
I need you to pray for me
Need you to stay here with me
Though I’ve pushed you away from me
Don’t turn away from me
I feel like a lot of the time when we’re hurting, or unhappy with ourselves, we push others away. We tell ourselves that it’s more important to keep up some kind of image than to keep our friendships strong and healthy.
When we moved to Minnesota, I refused to allow myself to make friends. I knew that, because my family moves so often, sometime or other, we would just leave them again. Or maybe they would leave me. I’ve had to say a lot of goodbyes in my life, for one reason or another and they all hurt. Why would any sensible person risk being hurt?
This is still something I struggle with. I tell myself that I’m better alone: I don’t need anyone because if I have no friends, I have no chance of being hurt, or betrayed, or abandoned. But the truth is, I don’t want to be alone. When I’m pushing people away, I’m testing them to see just how long it will take before they leave.
“…for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” (Hebrews 13:5)
Even if the whole world leaves you, you’ll never be alone. If your friends and family forsake you, you’ll never be forsaken. Jesus is by your side, fighting with you: fighting for you. And no matter how far you try to push him away, he’s never going to leave.
And that brings me to the end of my notes! Thanks for sticking with me through this whole thing (it ended up being almost three pages on my Word document!) and I hope that now you’ll go listen to the song for yourselves! It is really, a very encouraging and amazing song!
Okay, signing off here. Have a great day!
P.S. Just a reminder, if you’re participating in the photography contest, your pictures need to be in by the 27th. 😉 Thanks!