This topic has weighed heavily on me for a long time because, in full transparency, I haven’t loved myself very well. How can someone profess the need for self-love when they don’t love who they are? How can they love who they are when they’ve never been taught how? I’ve never been neglected or abused, but I didn’t have an easy childhood. I witnessed things no child should have witnessed and I’m reading a book by Tara Schuster that expressed it perfectly. She said that we often feel like we aren’t allowed to feel a certain way about a feeling if we are privileged. The truth is we ARE allowed to feel what we feel.
I was feeling incredibly off on Saturday and much of Sunday…I felt horrible. I couldn’t get it together. I hated my life and I forgot where the magic really is. I loathed everything about myself, and quite frankly, I didn’t see a reason to stay alive. Not that I was suicidal, but I definitely didn’t see the point. I needed to get in touch with myself again. To be quite frank, I’ve been feeling this overall blah-ness sinking in again for weeks now. I’m on the precipice of doing something great (well, what I hope is great) so I know my attention has been divided unfairly. I’m human and can’t do it all.
But this goes deeper than that. Self-love is about being honest and I still feel like I’m hiding something from myself. I’ve never really sat with any of my emotions—I ate them away, yelled them away, hid myself away, or cut them away. I never felt like I knew where I was going but I had a strong sense of where I wanted to go.
I never learned to focus on any one thing–and I need to focus on one thing at a time. I felt a lot of pressure to be wildly successful and to always look like I could do it all. I still have a habit of taking on a bunch of things and I used to think that I wanted to do them because I could, to prove I could and then it kind of became who I was. People relied on me to finish whatever they started in addition to my own things. I ended up getting nowhere because no one can make real progress doing five things at a time. At least not good progress. Now I’m starting to get the feeling that I take on more than I can accomplish because I don’t want to feel something. It feels like I’m keeping myself from succeeding.
I look at all of this as a big step toward self-love because you have to know yourself well enough to know what isn’t working. You have to know what is really you and what is your ego or what you were told to do. We are often so hard on ourselves and we aren’t taught to extend ourselves compassion or love—we have to hold ourselves to a different level otherwise we are weak. How well is that working for us? Chances are you, like me, are an overwhelmed, overstressed, unsure, frazzled, often insecure, confused person. Extend the first hand up to yourself and acknowledge that your imperfections are simply a part of you—they don’t define you. And if you’re really honest—are they imperfections at all?
We are powerful, magical, beings who have gotten caught up in the human experience. Be generous with yourself—and patient. And for everything that you are, really listen. Try to understand and be forgiving and open to the idea that you’re just trying to get to the root of what this crazy ride is about. THAT is self-love. That is the greatest gift you can give yourself and anyone in the world. When you open up to who you are, you shine your light on a gift that needs to be shared.