Week 3 Day 5: See Yourself
Week 3: My Relationship with Self
Workbook Exercise: My Own Self
Watch: Week 3 Day 5: See Yourself
How does it feel to imagine God looking at you – with adoring love?
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Transcript of Video:
Now here is a suggestion for you: to take a body map – your body. Go to some place, perhaps outside sitting under a tree or inside some place that is cozy, maybe some place where you can dim the lights, even light a candle, and to map your body from the top of your head to the bottom of your toes. How do you see yourself? How do you see your face or features of your face? Work your way literally through your entire body. Where do you find your own belovedness? Where are you amazed with your body – maybe what your hands can do? Where do you find sadness or pain? Where do you see brokenness or scarring? What doesn’t work? What do you wish were different and why do you wish it? See where you are wounded and where you really need healing. The invitation here is to be aware of how you carry yourself through life and to accept an invitation from God to see yourself as God sees you with the eyes of love, amazement, devotion. You are God’s child whom God adores.
– Br. Curtis Almquist
This was probably the most difficult exercise for me so far. I have a hard time imagining (or feeling) that God would look at me with adoring love. Intellectually I can assent to this idea, but feeling it is quite another matter. I remember long ago learning that love is a choice; so I will choose to believe that God looks at me in this way, and trust that in His time my feelings about this can grow. As for my body assessment: overall I am very happy with my body and how it has been made. I am in good health mentally and physically and able to do most things now as well as when I was a younger man. I am aware though of the passage of time as I consider my body – things have changed from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet, and most places in between!
There are things about my body I am most grateful for. Health wise and cosmetically. There are also things I wish I could change and also be free of pain which I have every day with arthritis. But I am still so grateful for all I can do. Cooking and creating. When I think how God so loves me…all of me. It brings serenity and makes me feel beautiful from the inside out.
When I imagine myself in the adoring gaze of the Father, it brings a peace and a calm that are difficult to attain under other circumstances. Furthermore, when I come to terms with the fact that this is reality and not my imagination, I am reassured and strengthened.
I wish to express my feelings of how I feel under the adorable gaze of God, with feminine words. I have a picture of Jesus looking so handsome and all geared up, like a groom, and when I look at it, I feel loved and besotted, as one whose lover looks at, because he wishes to pass on a message- you are special to me and I care.
As for my special part, I like my eyes, which is like a window to the soul, from where I also encounter my intellect and mind which enables me envision many beautiful thoughts and ideas, that I hope to bring to reality by God’s grace, that put them there in the first place. God’s love is so amazing.
When I practice body mapping I see those areas my shoulder neck abdomen that give the most pain and memories of a time when I was close to pain free. I do marvel at what my fingers can do on a computer keyboard. How coordinated those movements have to be. I can only that he sees me with adoring eyes. I know he loves me because I am his creation but my emotions create doubt.
I imagine that God sees how I could be, and how I am, presently. A lifetime of overindulgence has injured God’s gift to me. It is very difficult to correct 40+ years of insecurity, mixed with sloth and indifference. I pray that God can instill in me, at long last, the mental capacity, soulfulness, and strength of heart to carry on a more positive and constructive life, and identify the plan God has for me in my later years.
I can only imagine God looking with adoring love becasue this is the area of myself in which I am weakest. Actually it is a mental thing for me but I have never in my life felt good about myself. I tried to make myself look better and failed because of lack of discipline. Now I am old and have so many physical scars. My body is bent and I ache almost everywhere. The bright spot to my day is I dont believe God sees me the same way as I do–so I can get through each day knowing he loves me in spite of how I look to others.
lemme get back to you. This is going to need some space to grow.
It feels super beautiful and safe.
Imagining God gazing upon me with adoring love is SO countercultural and counterintuitive for me. I am trying to just notice, and not judge, the feelings of unworthiness and unlovability that rise to the surface when I think of God loving me in this way. Dear Jesus, please grant me the gift of self-love, so that I may pass it on to others with complete abandon.
Thinking about this has made me realize that I keep looking for love when I don’t have to God’s love is enough to get me through life. For a while I would see people in relationships that showed great human love and wanted that love. In reality I already have that love from God. It feels great to have God’s adoring love.
I love my body now more than ever. I am smaller than I have ever been as an adult. I have knee replacements and love being able to walk better. At 76, I am grateful to feel so well.
I love being one of God’s beloved.
In Genesis Adam and Eve discover that they are naked. God sees them and asks who told them. Of course, He already knows. They cover themselves out of shame, but God made them naked so He must have thought that was “good” like all His creation. Too often Christianity and especially St Paul seems to have forgotten that and has taught us to dwell only on our spirit. I don’t think Jesus was a dualist. He gave us His body, naked as a child, naked on the cross, as well as His spirit. That perfect love helps me accept and love my imperfect body. St Francis calls his body “Brother Ass.” I like that; it is friendly, gentle reminder it’s all ours and we should be kind to it even if it stumbles, complains, and gets tired. I don’t imagine God on a cloud watching me, but seeing me through the eyes of my wife, my children and grandchildren, friends, doctors, teachers who have treated me with care and love.
I cannot even begin to imagine God looking at me but instead he is looking inside me. He sees my heart. He sees my soul. He sees my inner person. This fills me with incredible joy. Humans looks at the outward person but God looks at the heart.
I believe that I was created in God’s image and when He was finished, He saw what He had made was very good. He knows all about me. I believe that in His eyes I am wonderfully made since He created my inmost being. I don’t imagine that God is looking at me, I know and believe that He is looking at me with Love.
For longer than I can remember, I have believed that God dwells within each of us, and therefore, within me. God is a part of me, and We are inexorably interconnected.
I have always sensed that when I look deeply into the eyes of another person with my heart and mind open to my Spirit within, I can “see” God within them, unless they are “closed” to their own Spirit. This helps break down the barriers between us and allows meaningful communication between us (though not always verbal).
I feel God’s love the most when I am with my wife. She is the most loving person I know, and God’s Love is very strong within her. When we are alone together and we look into each others eyes and embrace, I truly feel the adoring Love of God. It is such a joyful, peaceful sensation, and I am so blessed to have such a perfect partner, and to be able to share these precious moments with her.
Sometimes, when I am well relaxed and with an open mind and spirit, I may stand before a mirror and gaze into my own eyes. If I stay affixed to my eyes, I will experience my Spirit within me. This conjures up intense feelings which I cannot begin to explain. There is a powerful feeling of attraction such that I feel as if We can touch, and an intense feeling of love more overwhelming than I can comprehend. It is unnerving, yet addicting. I must fall away from Our gaze before I am consumed. But the sensation of warmth and intense love remains with me for awhile, even though it is totally beyond my understanding.
I find the idea of anyone looking at me with adoring love difficult to believe. I tend to compare myself to others and feel that those others are more worthy of love than me. But I did this exercise lying on my living room floor and included the body scan with positive Montras like “God loves my eyes, God loves my nose” all the way down my body. Then I said what I loved & what I didn’t, which was surprising. I asked God to help me love all parts of myself- it’s a very hard thing for me to do. I hope that by doing this on a regular basis I can be more aware of God’s love for me no matter what flaws I see in myself.
With all that has happened to me through the years of mis- and un-diagnosis, I am a bit of a physical wreck in many ways. That is current reality, though I hope I will be able to return to a more normal normal.
Physically, I feel a bit like a picture scrawled by a toddler that is stuck to God’s refrigerator door. No one else might be able to see the beauty in me or even tell what the picture was supposed to be, but to God’s eye I am beautiful.
…when a person is dying, with an eye rolling back up into their socket, they don’t ‘lie’ when speaking…in 1995 this beloved friend told me that i was Gods’ beloved…I have often thought about that scene and never have understood it…
It makes me feel special.
I feel embarrassed and almost grossed out at the thought of being looked at in this way; with intensity and great love. It is so intimate. I’m not very good at intimacy. Maybe this is something which I have to work on. How can I be intimate with other people if I’m not intimate with God? OR How can I be intimate with God, if I’m not intimate with others? These are good questions. Ones I needed to be made aware of, so I can work on them. I know that I have all of Gods’ Love, but am I ready to receive it? How do I make myself ready? Hmm, things to ponder. Thank you Brothers.
It is a blessing , comforting and a joy to know
that God looks at me with adoring eyes. Years
ago I came to terms with and accepted my fully formed left arm and hand. They can only help me carry medium to large objects. I cannot hand a paper to someone with that hand as the paper would reach them crumpled.
Wonderful imagery about God looking down on a person like one’s grandparents. My last grandparent died in 1977 (when I was 11), The other two died in 1923 and 1935 – long before I was born. For me, the miracle is God (and my grandparents, my father 20 years ago /other relatives) looking down , seeing BOTH accomplishments and foibles and still being
able to feel a sense of adoring. I am an
adopted only child of only children My mom
has COPD, Iis in the twilight of her life. Plus my wife having divorced me (due to burgeoning
mental health issues of her own) and thus
taking away a whole slew of relatives. It is
very comforting to know that God adores/
I never really thought how or if God was looking at me. That he sees me with adoring love is a little overwhelming and scares me. Why I’m not sure, but I suspect it is something I might need to discover and pray about
I’m struggling with anthropomorphising God. Not only do I have a hard time visualizing a God that sits around looking at one individual, I have a hard time believing that God has a physical entity at all. However, I do think it is our responsibility to learn to love ourselves, to work through our issues & end up on the side of self acceptance & love. Frankly, I hope that God has bigger things to deal with than my ‘body’ issues! BTW I’m OK with who I am. Not perfect. Not horrible. Just fine.
I am grateful to be one of God’s creation. Like a mother, God would look at me lovingly observing my strengths and flaws and gently guiding me to be the person he created me to be. Knowing that God loves me helps me love myself.
Because I am a performance artist that has training in modern dance and so movement becomes important in the performances I make—I replayed today’s video and moved to Br Curtis’ words. (Not the stillness he advises, but for some of us, we meditate better in motion.) Movement is its own language and speaks what language may not have access to. That happened today, in this exercise. It touched a joyous spot that brings tears.
Artistic people understand things that others don’t. When you get immersed within the performance of your art, you are in essence in the act of creation. This is God’s gift to you. And your performance is your ultimate act of worship.
You are correct. You bring to mind one piece I made with two other performers. I called it “Until Spring” and it was fairly explicitly about death and resurrection. Basically, it was a ritual wrapping and unwrapping in an enormous length of black cloth. We were only meant to perform it (in a parking lot!) for, I think, 90 minutes. I didn’t wear a watch, assuming the people in charge of the event would signal us when our time was up—-I’d understood other performers were to take over out space at a certain time. Turns out the subsequent performers took over another space and no one came to tell us our time was up. We ended up going twice as long, but we were so deeply in it (or I was) that I didn’t realize how long we were going. You’re right, it was a sort of worship, a meditation, a being present in a way “ordinary” life sometimes makes hard to be present.
I’m recuperating from chemotherapy and so feel mainly pity for my poor battered body. I’ve lost weight and hair, including eyelashes. Not a pretty picture if measured against popular notions of beauty. I look forward to trying this exercise during my morning meditation. God looking at me with adoring love. That sounds good. Thank you, Brother Almquist.
When I imagine God looking at me with adoring love, there is an inexpressible joy and thankfulness in me. I recall these feelings that I experience most intensely in worship, where I can be overcome to tears with the compelling and compassionate accessibility of God. God is here for me. God is interested in me. God holds me in existence by God’s desire to have me with God, God longs for me to reach out to God and embrace God’s loving kindness. It feels like too much, how can I be that important to God? And yet, here I am, living and blessed by consciousness and creativity, compassion and intention. Amazing.
this is amazingly confirming by which to start the morning: “accept an invitation from God to see yourself as God sees you with the eyes of love, amazement, devotion. You are God’s child whom God adores.” Thank you –
I reflect on God giving me the ability to reason, to then use that ability to help others. Life here on Earth is short so it’s our duty to make the most of it by helping others that in turn helps ourself.
This is a recently new concept for me. Believing that God see me is hard to imagine, let along He sees me with adoring love. But, my sense of Him is growing. So, I have trouble articulating it right now. It is a worthy awareness to work on.
I cry. I’m 82. My body is crippled by 43 years of acute onset rheumatoid arthritis. Years ago I prayed for a miracle…didn’t get what I prayed for. Need to focus on what God sees. And the many good things that have happened because of/in spite of this body. The miracle is the positive impact my life has had on lives of others through my work, my family, my community. I will pray to focus on what God sees and to keep on going. Amen.
God bless you Betty. I have been very active in sports when I was young. Now at the age of 66yrs my body is very often burdened by rheumatoid arthritis and have chronic pains 24/7 and the anti-inflamatoria hardly helps me. Yet every day again God gives me the strength to be in His service to help others. And as you I have prayed for a miracle, and still hopefully awaiting one. In the meantime I am enjoying God looking at me and enjoying the status of being His beloved daughter. In what ever condition I am. My life is in His hands. That gives me hope , deminishes my fears and strenghtens my faith.
Thank you, Bettie. You are absolutely right. God answers prayer in unexpected ways. If we are deaf to His answer and blind to His gifts because we are expecting something else, then we miss the boat completely.
God did not make garbage, humans did. If I dare see my self less, then that radiates to those around me. Some will be compassionate, others will see it as a sign of weakness to be ridiculed and made lesser so they themselves can be superior. I am perfect and that is how I am made no matter how I try to change it I can focus my self on other more important things. I take care of what I have. I listen to its warning signs, take care of them and move on.
There are parts of my body that I can imagine being loved and adored by God, and there are parts of my body that I don’t want to even think about. Parts that have been involved in abuse, and this abuse has caused me to feel shame. I heard last night at church that shame is not healthy for me, and it has no basis in God’s love. I want to learn to love those parts that are causing shame right now, because the longer I allow the thoughts and feelings of shame, the longer I allow the abuser to rule me, instead of allowing God to love and adore me.
What a compelling comment! It brings to mind this thought (apologies for the lack of proper attribution): shame has nothing to do with what was done to us or what we did; rather, it rests on the lies we told ourselves to make sense of what happened. Call out the lies and shame dissolves. Blessings to you.
Karen, I just prayed for you, envisioning the healing light of God’s grace flowing in and through you — all of you — and asking God to hold, heal and bless you. Paul
It feels good.
I imagine it feels like my grandparents looking at me. They don’t see the flaws, they saw only the good.
I love the visual of my grandparents looking at me – thank you for sharing that image.
It feels wonderful to feel god looking at me with adoring love… Because there are areas in my body when I scan myself that I don’t feel adoring love.. The key areas are my abdominal area where I feel bloated from overrating and my parts of my brain and heart where I feel anger toward k and s for how they have hurt Jack and impacted my life. I long to adore my body as God does… Help me to love adore and accept myself with all my weaknesses…
I am happy the way God has made me: my physical features and my senses. I have taken good care of myself and except for the wear and tear of life (63 years old) in pretty good shape and able to take care of family, work and paint, knit, draw , garden , drive , and thank God for this. My gift of. sight enables ne to see things clearly and enjoy this wonderful world. I pray that I remain in sound mind and always hopeful. I do not think God would be ashamed of me but I do need to work on the internal aspects- more kindness, forgiving, and not dwelling in the past!