Do you love yourself? I can honestly say for the last several years I have not. Even before that as a kid, growing up the way I did, did not help me to love myself. My mother was not exactly a maternal type. Though regardless of where we come from or the hardships we have all faces, we need to learn to love ourselves.
The last two years have really opened up my eyes to how much I really did not like myself. I had become someone else, someone I barely recognized. Looking in the mirror and loving what I saw, was all I wanted. Being someone else was not my plan, but it was what I became. I am not talking about working out or dieting, just loving me, as I am. Having confidence in myself and treating myself with as much respect as I treat others.
Ever notice how you sometimes tend to treat others better than you treat yourself? You say yes to everyone else, but always no to yourself? Even breaking promises to yourself, but you would never do it to others? We sometimes treat ourselves the worst. I have come a long way in the last two years and I am learning to love myself just as I am and treating myself better.
This is what I have learned:
1. Forgive yourself
It does not matter what you did in the past, it matters who you are now. You can carry around that baggage and let it taint everything in your future. Don’t let it. Look in that mirror, or shut your eyes and take a deep breath. Tell yourself you can not change the past, but you will move forward with the knowledge of what not to do.
You need to let go of the past so you can have a brighter future. No matter how hard you want to, you can’t go back and change the past. Though without those mistakes you have made, would you be the person you are today? We tend to forgive others before ourselves. Why are you any less deserving of forgiveness?
2. Forgive others that have hurt you
This is nothing to do with them, and everything to do with you. One of my favorite quotes
Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one that gets burned.Buddha
That anger will only hurt you. It does not matter if they want to be forgiven or even if they think they did something wrong. You may never get an apology, but you don’t deserve to hold that anger. YOU DESERVE BETTER. The pain they caused can never be taken away by a magic wand. Pain has a way of changing people, but you wouldn’t be who you are today without that trial in your life.
Forgive them for you, not for them. Cut them out of your life and if they are already gone… good riddance. You deserve to be surrounded by people that love you the way you are and treat you with respect and kindness. People that do not want something from you, but cherish you for the beautiful person you are!
3. Trust Yourself
I am not telling you to trust the little voice in your head. At least I don’t trust mine, she is crazy. Trust your gut. Your gut knows what is up. You need to be able to trust yourself before you can fully trust anyone else. This is so incredibly important.
You deserve trust in yourself as much as anyone else. Trust is earned, and let yourself earn that trust. That sounds bizarre, I know. Though it stands true. Trust should not be freely given, and this is a step in the direction to love yourself.
4. Keep Promises to Yourself
This could go in along with Trust Yourself, but I felt it needed its own little spot. Simply because I wanted it in a header so those who skim, might see it. This is also a great way for you to build trust with yourself. How many times have you said you would do something, but then didn’t do it? It was something just for you and not anyone else, so you figured you would just skip it. No big deal.
Let me ask you something. Would you stand up a friend? Essentially you are standing yourself up. You are not putting yourself at the same level as someone else. You are beneath them. Why? Do you think you are not deserving to keep your word to yourself?
Let’s say you were wanting to start exercising. You decided that you wanted to start walking 3 blocks a night and build up from there. You get to that time of day you were going to do it, but you are tired. Do you skip it? Or do you keep that promise to yourself? You deserve to do those things. Even if you make a compromise with yourself and only do 2 blocks, at least you got out there and tried. It is better than staying on the couch. Keep your promises even if compromising is involved. Don’t compromise to do it later, just make the goal a little smaller. The action of doing gets you in the habit to keep those promises to yourself.
5. Accept yourself
You are who you are. No one else can be you. No one else has been through the same exact things you have. That is what makes us all unique. Does not matter what we look like on the outside or the inside. What matters is that we love who we are. No one else can fill that void.
You need to learn to love yourself so that someone else can come along and fully love the beautiful person you are. No one will come along and fix you. Perhaps they place a band-aid on for a while, but the band-aid will fall off eventually. It can’t hold forever. If you accept yourself and love yourself. They will too.
Some of us have gone through many things that have left deep wounds. It causes us to not be able to fully love ourselves because we see ourselves as damaged. We may be damaged, but take the time to put the pieces back. They don’t have to go in the same place, and sometimes we become more beautiful because of it.
Just because we have been damaged, does not mean we are damaged goods. I want someone to come along and love me for the beautiful disaster that I am. My PTSD, Depression, and Anxiety… these things will likely be with me always, but I work on them. I want to be better for myself and my children. Just because I have these issues does not mean I am unloveable. I am learning to love myself, and I have not been happier. You can too!