According to the author, one way to determine if I am giving in to feelings of guilt is to stop myself when I start self-talking with a series of "I should ...." statements. As soon as I read this I realized that I do have a huge mental list of "I shoulds" I always have had such a list.
When I think about it, I have created that list on my own. The majority of the "shoulds" in my life, possibly all of them, are desires and goals that I have created myself. All are based on my own perceived inadequacies. I think there is something wrong with me and that there is something I should do differently.
Every mental "should" I have created has an underlying feeling of failure. I believe there is something wrong with me and I need some change.
However, I know that God loves me AS IS. God loves me, even if I never change. I love my children exactly as they are. Of course they both have skills they have to learn. I do not want them to be stagnant; I want them to continuously improve themselves - to learn and to grow. However, I adore each of them right now, AS IS.
Someday I want Catherine to learn multiplication and division. But even if she never does, I will love her anyway. I know that God wants me to grow spiritually, but He loves me even if I don't.
So why can't I love myself AS IS? Why do I focus on my inadequacies so much? Why do I always feel like I do not measure up? Is this spiritual warfare? Is Satan trying to convince me that I am not good enough?
What would happen if I believed I was good enough? If I loved myself AS IS? Would that further God's agenda? Would loving myself permeate my spirit so much that it would expand to loving others?