“The only way that you can give and share love to others is learning how to love yourself first,” Shaman Durek. I had planned on discussing self-love next month, but given the events the universe has brought my way, I figured this was appropriate. I wrote the other day about realizing that the only people we have in our court are ourselves and maybe a core group for support. I also discussed how I had been trying to appease people around me and to prove that I could still do what I was “supposed” to do in spite of being really sick. Once I read that quote, I realized that I never would have had those feelings if I truly loved myself. How can I get to the next level in my life if I keep falling back to old patterns of external validation?
I realized how lonely that is, feeling like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. Feeling like your worth is tied to what other people think of you. I’m not sure what bothered me more: seeing I hadn’t been true to myself or seeing that, in spite of not being true to myself, people still didn’t give a damn. Not to mention that people will keep moving no matter what is going on in your world. We have lost all sense of what it means to be alive and what it means to be human.
The truth is, I ran myself ragged over the last week. I’ve been dealing with health issues and still wanted someone to tell me it was ok to take a break. I’m talking about mental and physical issues—mainly mental issues as a result of physical issues—and still wanting someone to tell me it was ok to take a break. Had I learned my worth from an early age, I know damn well that I wouldn’t have hesitated for a second to take a beat and do what I needed to do for myself.
I’m constantly learning about boundaries, and I’ve been reminded that self-love is maintaining boundaries. I’ve often slipped with my boundaries. I guess the greatest gift in this situation is the clear demonstration that we are all replaceable to someone—so don’t be replaceable to yourself. I’ve witnessed first hand that people will seek to destroy you on some level no matter what you are going through. I truly believe that says more about who they are than it does about you, but it will always feel personal no matter how you look at it.
In moments of grace, the lesson can also be understanding that the people who seek to ruin you at your lowest have little love for themselves either. So understanding that we have the opportunity to learn love for ourselves needs to be the way we move forward. That is the foundation we all need to operate from. Lastly, that is a practice. It is so difficult to be the person who constantly weathers the storm and keeps an open mind for what everyone else is going through. I have a hard time holding that space for others, especially when they don’t hold that space for me. I guess that is a boundary as well: hold that space for yourself to be human and understand what you’re going through and simply understand that everyone is going through something as well.