How to Foster Self-Love When Life Beats You Down


So, today’s all about the love thing, but instead of the relational kind between love birds, I’d like to chat about self-love. As in, the kind of love that deserves its own national holiday, celebrated every day, 12 months out of the year, every year running.

The kind of love we all need to—scratch that, DESERVE to—nurture daily to live the life God so desperately wants for us: a life fully identified with our magnificent worth as daughters made in His image.

Healthy self-love can move mountains, absorb failure, extend grace, and persevere through chaos and stillness. Such an intentional love of self happens when we recognize our inherent value in Christ and choose to anchor down into this spiritual genealogy.

The young woman in this photo is my 21-year-old baby girl. Last night was Senior Night at John Carroll University. This pic was snapped after the final buzzer went off, signaling a historic win that gave JCU the first-ever outright league championship in its 48-year history. Kahrin played the game of her life, and this expression was her victory roar.

My daughter is passion in a bottle. At 5’2”, her fierceness looms large in the form of mental toughness, lightning speed, and plain old guts. What you don’t see beneath the grit is the internal war she’s endured to garner her moxie. Kahrin’s always been tough and determined on the outside—like so many of us are. But inside she’s battled her entire life to cultivate convincing self-love—as so many of us do.

But oh, what a shot to the soul when we find that sacred identity.

When we know we are fully loved and fully known as beloved in our Father’s eyes.

When we cling with certainty to the promise that nothing we do can separate us from Divine love.

When we believe that no matter what labels society places on us, or how others treat us, our worth is etched in eternal gold.

Getting to this space of unshakeable self-love isn’t easy for any of us. Life will perpetually beat us down, and people will hurt and betray us. But if we warrior up–by sinking our emotional claws into the truth that God’s LOVE dwarfs all shame, guilt, failure, weakness, cruelty, or otherwise, we will come out as champions every time.

Self-love is a birthright of believing in God’s everlasting love regardless of what the world tells us otherwise. My daughter is showing me how to do this every day. She blows me away with her strength and tenacity.

Let’s go after it. Together. As warriors for one another.

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Shelby Spear
Shelby is a sappy soul whisperer, sarcasm aficionado, and pro-LOVE, Jesus adoring mom of 3 Millennials writing stuff & doing life with her hubby of 25 years. You can read her stories on her blog at, around the web, and in print at Guideposts. Shelby's new book, co-authored with Lisa Leshaw, is now available: How Are You Feeling, Momma? (You don't need to say, "I'm fine.")