I love me.
There. I said it.
I can’t remember anything that has ever been more difficult than self love. Saying I love myself is uncomfortable for me. It’s an extremely difficult task. I’ve had low self esteem for as long as I can remember. I blame no one for it. I’m not sure where it stems from. I didn’t have an abusive up bringing. My parents were never cruel and they’ve never made me feel unloved or unworthy of anything. I’m unsure of when it began or why. I just know that one day I woke up and I hated everything about myself. I never believed anything good anyone has ever said about me. I make jokes at my own expense and I’ve always shied away from compliments. As far as outward appearances go, I’ve never felt beautiful. As far as inner beauty goes, well, I didn’t have much of that for a really long time and it showed. My past choices and decisions proved my lack of self confidence and love for myself.
I had a habit of making relationships with people that made bad decisions and poor life choices. To me these were just people that needed to be loved. I could “fix” them. Maybe by “fixing” them, I could find my own self worth.
I always ended up more wounded and hurt and I allowed those situations to validate who I was. In every failed relationship my self esteem would plummet further and I would blame myself for every single thing that had gone wrong. It was a vicious cycle that went on longer than I care to admit. These weren’t just relationships with a significant other, it was the same with friendships I had acquired as well.
I didn’t understand why I wasn’t loveable or why things just couldn’t work out. Obviously there was something wrong with me.
It turns out that there was something wrong with me. There was a lot wrong with me. I knew nothing about myself. I didn’t know how to make my own decisions or how to be my own person. I waited until others made a decision for me but I claimed to be this strong independent woman because I worked hard and tried to be a good mom. I’ve been a mom since I was seventeen years old and I wanted to believe that I was doing the best that I could, but if I’m being honest I most definitely was not. I could have done better. I could have been better. Had I realized my true strength and seen how much more I deserved, we could have gone so much further. I drug my poor daughter through the ringer right along with me due to my lack of self love and self appreciation through the years. I was too blind to see that my own daughters would need to see self love come from their own mother in order to practice it for themselves. That is one of my biggest regrets and I’m doing everything I can to make up for it now.
After many years of poor judgment and self hate, something in me woke up. I can’t fix anyone. It’s not my job, it’s theirs. What business do I have trying to make someone else a better person when deep down I know I’m my own biggest disaster. It’s my job to fix me and that’s it. Until I got to the root of my self hatred I could never grow or find any happiness. When I realized that I held the key to my own heart that’s when I could really see the big picture. I validate myself. I was made with a purpose and I was not a mistake. I am beautiful and I am strong and every flaw I thought I had are really the very things that set me apart from everyone else. It sounds so cliche’ doesn’t it? Just like a motivational poster but it’s the truth.
When I let go of all the mud I had allowed myself to trudge through I became weightless and free from the senseless burdens I had no need to carry. Everything changed in that moment. The drive to be better for myself and for my children was all I cared about. I learned how to say no to others and not feel guilty or second guess myself. I made my own decisions and my own choices. I worked desperately hard to become a leader and not a follower. When I finally learned to let go I found my freedom.
Big things began happening in my life after that. I found true happiness and love. Love for myself and love for another. Real love. Not the kind that I had convinced myself was real in years past. I found self respect and in that I found others that could actually respect me too. My children see a mother that is happy. A woman that sees her worth and demands that they see their own as well. Not just my daughters but my sons too. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made and we all deserve to know about it and actually feel that kind of love for one another and for ourselves.
I still have days of doubt and I still have battles with self esteem and bouts of depression. I am still human after all. The only difference now is in how I handle it. This time around I don’t believe the lies that my mind tries to tell me. I find my support system and they help me through it as well, but ultimately it’s up to me to really see the truth. I am broken but I am beautiful. I am working hard to become the best of me.
I find things to do everyday that help me build on my self preservation and self love and one of the main things is self care. That means physical and mental self care. I have basically unplugged from social media. I check things out from time to time but for the most part I’ve let it go. I try to wake up earlier than everyone else before the daily routines begin and enjoy the quiet before the day begins. It may only be for ten minutes but that ten minutes of uninterrupted silence has been my saving grace on many mornings. It’s my time to “get right” before I do anything else. My morning devotionals have become a normal staple for me and if I miss one I can definitely tell.
I try to take “me time” everyday. Nothing serious. Maybe it’s painting my toes or using a facial mask. Maybe it’s just taking a walk around my back yard. Maybe it’s going through my cabinets and finding a bunch of random ingredients and throwing together a new recipe. The point is it’s something I want to do. It’s something that makes me smile. It’s something that makes me happy. I find my peace in opening my heart to any form of joy that I can find in even the smallest moment. Some days when I’m feeling especially low or down on myself I make myself write out every single thing I like or love about myself. As ridiculous as it seems it’s helped.
If you’re reading this today and you’re feeling unloveable or ugly or if you’re convinced you’re unworthy of anything good.
Please don’t believe the lies.
You are spectacular.