How often do we hear about self love from our friends, or family?
Speaking for myself on this… I can admit that at one time I have made the statement to others and myself, “you have to love yourself first” …as if those individuals didn’t already know that.. or .. as if they or myself hadn’t already been working on doing just that.
I have realized.. in hearing.. or reading about self love.. my mind always wanders in a few different directions. My mind starts thinking of different questions..to ask others and/or myself. Questions that have the ability to start conversations that get your mind going.. those natural, real, raw conversations.. that allows you to be vulnerable.. to think openly and speak freely. The conversations that can break down your walls when it comes to discussing yourself and your journey.
When you hear the words “Self Love” where does your mind go?
What are your thoughts?
What has your Journey with Self Love been like?
The moments? The minutes? The hours? The days? The years?
Everyone’s Journey when it comes to self love is going to be different..
..and you will have your own idea of what it is or even your own experience with it.
My journey with self love I’d say has been .. and continues to be beautiful, yet painful or unsteady at times.
When it comes to “Self love” .. my wandering mind goes somewhere like..
I have written down and journaled about each of these words..without any specific structure or reasoning as I like to see where my mind goes.. ..does it go to the past or does it stay in the present.. and what feelings and emotions surface.
Wildly beautiful .. yet painful and unsteady.. the dark moments.. the highs.. the lows.. the in-betweens. I am not sure how the saying goes but I think its something along the lines of, “look back only to see how far you’ve come.”
So… What does it feel like to sit with yourself.. and look back?
What does it look like now from this point of view… do you have an understanding on how you were feeling? or on what you were “living” through?
Over the last few years.. I can say I have had moments where I have finally sat with myself and took a look back… and in this look back .. I see a person who was unsure, confused,.. riding the highs, and the lows..who had a lot of anxiety, who thought she needed the perfect body, and was trying to hide her feelings.
I see those couple of hours every few weeks I spent in therapy trying to understand everything that was going on internally. I see the moments sitting on that bathroom floor, that laundry room floor, hiding in that closet or even another room…remembering all those panic attacks.. or breakdowns I went through (All summed up from over the last few years). I see the moments I felt like I had no control over myself.. my body, my emotions and my reactions. I remember feeling like I was always constantly gasping for air.. and realizing that I was living in an environment that I was drowning myself in.. one that I took a part in creating for myself.. one where I didn’t know if there was a way out.
Along my journey I have found it is important for me to be honest, to understand my choices.. good or bad and to hold myself accountable. It started with the understanding that I had a heavy hand in creating that environment for myself, just as much as someone else might have.
How many of us can say we are givers?
We have given so much of us to others.. selflessly .. or even selfishly.
Do you ever have any available space for yourself (mentally, emotionally)?
Did you keep any room inside your mind and your heart for you??
Think about holding space for yourself? .. and Now think about holding space for others?
(Honestly I hadn’t even known what holding space really meant. Or was … until I had a conversation with one of my childhood friends. He talked to me about it in a way, that I instantly understood the gravity and weight of the words “hold space”.. it helped me open my eyes and mind to a new way of handling everything I had going on)
Now think about a moment where you finally stand up and say to yourself enough is enough…
what’s that moment look like to you?
Well I can tell you, my moment wasn’t glorious.. or pretty.. it was ugly.. I finally told myself.. “I can’t live like this anymore.” I had to stop worrying about what the outcome would be like, and if everyone in my life would hate me .. I had to stop thinking about the hurt I was going to cause/caused others around me.
In those present moments, I did not push the blame on anyone else for my actions.. or my choices..I simply owned them. I did not change the narrative every time someone confronted me about the situation. I broke that relationship and its trust and it was very out of character for me (as I hadn’t ever done anything like that to someone before).
To think that I found a moment to speak the truth of my actions ..just so that I could end this relationship…(which believe me was 100% selfish.. and in my eyes was well overdue)... just to fall into a “dark hole”. I hid for awhile in that dark hole and allowed whatever was going to happen next to just happen (even in future relationships) to me and for me.
Imagine being told after a situation like that you have no right to be hurt.. or to be upset.
It was as if I should just forget all the moments where I felt I was invisible, the ones that I was left untouched, unloved, unwanted… constantly feeling like I was being painted as the bad guy, the crazy person, the “controller.” There were moments in the aftermath.. where I hated myself.. where I felt so alone.. and was embarrassed. There were moments I couldn’t even look at myself or stand to be in my own presence.
Moments I wanted to run away.. or disappear.. I wanted to make it all go away ..for the pain to stop… so I hid.. ..until eventually I got tired of hiding. The thing is even though I “hid” away.. I didn’t run away, I stayed and I learned slowly how to deal with it constantly swirling around in my mind on repeat every moment .. of every day and night.
My mind when looking back also goes to the positive moments..which I am forever grateful for. The in-between moments from then to now where I have been lucky enough to experience what it is like to have people come and go in my life. I personally look at that as a positive thing, as I have learned so much about myself in the process.
But it can’t be said enough.. that the individuals who stay by your side and support you through the lowest of lows and the highest of highs.. are truly remarkable. I have also been lucky enough to have gained new friendships along the way that have helped me feel comfortable in my own skin again.
I am forever grateful to have been able to live presently in a moment where I was able to just jump into the unknown and understand that I would come up for air… and that I could stop holding my breath..
It has taken me years to finally realize how to forgive myself and stop punishing myself for my past. To me, thats the beautiful thing with self love.. it is that you are able to have dark moments, (the ones that you don’t recognize yourself or your actions), and then you can have moments that are X’s and O’s.. high after high.
Our journey’s with self love will be different and I hope you are able to find the strength you need along the way. I hope you can sit and ask your self what: Self... love, respect, worth, realization, and understanding mean to you in your journey.
Trust your gut, trust the feet underneath you, trust your heart, and stay true to yourself.