It it true that to find yourself you have to love yourself first. Easier said than done, right? You are acutely aware of all your shortcomings, and every one of your failures. But those things do not define you! They are a false image of you. The real you, the one that God made, is easy to love. And the real you is right there, very much alive and waiting to emerge.
No matter what has happened to you in this life, it is never too late to put all that aside and return to the real you. But even right now, with all your burdens, God is a truly good father and he sees you as you really are. For right this moment, forget about your imperfect earthly parents and anyone else who has not treated you right (including yourself), and imagine God as the perfect parent. (He is your parent, you know – he created your eternal soul.)
How would a perfect parent view his child? I know that I see my children as incredibly valuable human beings. I see them as the most important people in my life and my greatest responsibility. If I, a flawed but loving mom, have these beliefs about my children, how much more do you think God loves them, being that he actually hand-formed their souls?
How much do you think God loves you? In eternity, that dimension that exists outside of our “time bubble”, HE IS always thinking of you. Putting that in terms of time so we can grasp it better, he has always been thinking of you, planning for you, dreaming dreams for you, hoping that you will become everything you are capable of becoming.
You are precious to God, and it has nothing to do with performance, appearance, or ability. It has everything to do with that inner you, the real you that has been covered up by the troubles of this world. Those troubles have created the false you that causes you so much pain, frustration, and tears. Look inside, down deep, past all the layers of guilt and shame. There is a little light in there that cannot be extinguished. It may look weak and small right now, but God is waiting to help you fan that flame and make it into a great torch that lights the world. This is what he wants for you. He loves you beyond measure.
He wants you to love and appreciate yourself. Separate from your failures and the things that you have been deceived by. We have all failed, we all have that in common. You are not alone in your failure, no matter how it looks to you on the surface. So look within, to the little light there, and realize that is your uniqueness. Begin to see yourself as God sees you, begin to love yourself even just a fraction of how much He loves. This is the beginning of your journey to finding yourself and living in your significance.