Posts in Becoming a Healthy Self
10 Tips for Becoming a Healthier You!

Here are some basic things to help you self-differentiate and to grow a healthier you:

1. Calm your own anxiety. The more anxiety you carry the less solid self you have. Anxiety is typically contagious in family and marriages. Learning to calm yourself is a big step in the right direction to building a solid self.

2. Own your own attitudes. If you need an attitude adjustment then give yourself one. And if you can’t give yourself one, ask for help.

3. Become comfortable with disagreements. To disagree with your spouse is healthy and normal. But disconnecting because your spouse doesn’t agree with you, disrupts a healthy self and a healthy union. Question if being right is worth breaking the connection.

4. Develop your spiritual maturity. God repeatedly says, “Don’t be afraid” or “Be anxious for nothing.” Relax into His love for you. Christian spiritual maturity is the foundation for a healthy self.

5. Monitor your negative self-talk. Self-hatred refuses to let love in. Perhaps your spouse doesn’t love you the way you want to be loved. But self-evaluate. Is there any attempt on your part to refuse to let love in? Whatever your belief system is, you will do whatever it takes to prove that it is true, even if it means inventing evidence that is from the imagination. For example, if you believe you are unlovable, nothing your spouse can do will ever make you feel loved. Your spouse isn’t responsible to convince you that you are loveable. Their love for you can have a positive impact on your belief system, but ultimately it is up to you if you will let love in or not. You must love you.

6. You take responsibility to re-wire your brain. Remember, we were wired for love (or not) during those first three to five years of life. If that wiring did not go well, you have to participate in wiring your brain for love. Very little will change or help you in the growth process unless you take personal responsibility, create a positive structure for change, and engage the help of others such as coaches, comrades, and mentors.

7. Decide to trust that God is the master of rewiring our brains, hearts, and bodies for love. He is more than able. He promises to engage with us in this process … will you engage with Him?

8. Your past does not define your future. Changes begin to happen, when you start living from the belief of Christ within you. You instinctively calm down, anxiety lowers; love grows, because it is Christ inside of you doing His good and perfect work.

9. We are created for relationships. We are relational creatures, with a need to be rooted in relationships with God first and others second. We get into trouble relationally when we become dependent on others for our self-worth and when we expect others to calm our personal anxiety. The outcome of this is a needy and clingy self that pushes others away—believing relationships are too painful.

10. The more we are able to stand securely with our identity in Christ, the more love we are capable of giving and receiving. Love isn’t a feeling, love truly is an ability.

If a relationship has become enmeshed, sometimes you have to move away from the other to learn how to stand on your own two feet. Once you have become more stable, you are then ready to move towards the relationship as a healthy differentiated self. And the better self-differentiated you are, the more you are able to let those you love in. You are less insecure and more able to ask for what you need in a direct, clear way, in this growth process. For example, you ask for comfort, instead of attacking your partner and saying things like, “You are never there for me.” The healthy self, does not freeze up and shut down or move away from the other in a way that resembles withdrawal. Withdrawal isn’t helpful in becoming a healthy person. Neither is attack. Health is the ability to let the love of others in.

Thought Bomb: Which tip resonates with you the most, and how can you begin practicing it today?

Developing a Healthy Self

Being rooted in Christ is the only way to create a healthy self. Our worth is found in Him and, as His child, our value and worth are established and confirmed. Growing a healthy self is how we are able to connect and attach to one another. Jesus said, “love others as well as you love yourself” (Mark 12:31). The truth is, you will only allow the amount of love in that you have for yourself. I am not talking about a narcissistic, destructive self-love, I am talking about loving yourself so you have the ability to love others and receive the love they have for you.

Life is to be lived by actively responding to God’s invitation to live our own story. We are not designed to passively stand on the outside of ourselves looking in, hoping and waiting for things to change. God wants us to take responsibility for the life He gives us and, with Him, become the healthy person He designed us to be. Becoming a healthy self is when you start living from the inside out. You own your own emotions, behaviors, and attitudes. And you take personal responsibility, realizing that you truly only have control over yourself. The more of a solid self you grow, the less dependent you are for the approval and acceptance of others. The less solid self, will adjust what he/she thinks, says, and does in the attempt to please others.

Practice doesn’t make perfect, but good news, perfect is not our goal! Perfectionism will never bring happiness—it’s a deception that only brings dissatisfaction—plus, the bondage of perfectionism doesn’t allow us to humbly admit that we are wonderfully imperfect and have a lot to learn about love and life. Be willing to put in the hard work to grow a more beautiful you. A “God-authored self” is a continual growth process. None of us is ever finished. So make sure you are giving yourself permission to be on this journey. Don’t beat yourself by thinking, “I am such a mess. Where do I even start?” We all have to start somewhere and, thankfully, we aren’t alone.

Thought Bomb: Are you passionately committed to growing a healthy-self?