As I sit here today, and I think about the #YourLifeMatters project, I see people, just like you and they are struggling with –

  • life.
  • Self-Image
  • Time management
  • Financial Challenges
  • Business failures
  • Relationship issues
  • Pain – physical and emotional
  • Loss – relationships
  • Loss – tragedy
  • Health issues – disease, poor choices and accidents
  • AND SO MUCH MORE

It looks like a mountain and it makes us question our value. We see people on social media that seem to have it all together. They go on the best vacations, they are losing weight, they have these beautiful homes or kids that seem to never do anything wrong and marriages that seem to be perfect. They take 5am selfies of themselves at gym or on a sunny day from a ski slope. Nothing appears to be wrong in the world for them – all the while, your world is falling apart.

It simply is not fair. Or so it seems…

What we don’t see is the mess, the mistakes or the mountain of debt. We don’t see the arguments or the drug/alcohol/gambling problems. We don’t see anything but the slice of life that they want us to see and the rest of it is simply not for public consumption. The truth is – they are not that different from you and me.

One of the traps we fall into is that of social comparison. It can be devastating and in some cases, make people feel like they are a failure when they are doing the best that they know how to do. This can lead people to depression and even worse… because they just can’t seem to measure up, they might be led to say, “maybe the world would be better off without them.”

I want to say this right here – The world would be far less without you! Your Life Matters more than you can imagine. And if you are feeling like taking your own life, reach out to a counselor, pastor, suicide hotline – right now. If you can’t get ahold of one of them, call 911.

Most will tell me that they have had those thoughts (if they are being honest). Many have simply sought to try to ignore those thoughts and work through whatever it is and bury in a closet. But it never stays there… does it?

Instead of ignoring or burying it, why don’t we try something else?

LOVE YOURSELF ENOUGH TO DO THE FOLLOWING –

  1. Why don’t we begin by spending a little less time on social media. It has been studied and it was discovered that spending more than 30 minutes a day on social media leads to higher levels depression and anxiety. (I have quoted the source for this in previous writing, if you need documentation. ) I would even suggest a week long social media fasting period. Take the apps off of your phone, if you have to.
  2. In the place of social media, begin to read a faith-based devotional each day, take notes in a journal (notepad or even your phone) and then pray and ask God to help you apply what you have read to your life.

It really is that simple. But let me tell you the benefits –

  1. Increased Brain Health – According Neuroscientist and MD, Andrew Newberg, doing the above practices on a daily basis will reduce stress, strengthen our immune system, enhance memory and increase our capacity for compassion for others – making the world a better place.
  2. It wards off age-related brain deterioration and we live longer.
  3. It helps us to better deal with anger issues, guilt, anxiety, depression, fear, resentment and pessimism.

Guess where I learned this? I was reading my morning devotional and the article was about the real value of having a time of quiet devotion and prayer. I then did a little more reading about Dr. Newberg and some of his research on faith and the impact it has on the brain. Read his book, Born To Believe and Neurotheology, when you get a chance.

I believe that most of us do not love ourselves very much. In fact, we lie to ourselves more than we can even comprehend. But if we will love ourselves enough to begin this basic practice – put down social media and pick up a devotional, the benefits will change your life. God built you for this – your brain and emotions will respond and you will wonder why you haven’t been doing this all along.

The final takeaway I have for you in this post is this – You mattered so much to God Almighty, that He built you for fellowship with Him and provides such amazing benefits, it is hard to fathom. You are loved my friend – now love yourself.

Dr Cliff