The Journey to Self-Love
How do we learn to love ourselves again? I say again, because we don’t start life with negative feelings about ourselves. In the beginning we are happy and filled with love for everyone, and everything; especially ourselves. The feelings of acrimony are learned over time. A lot of unpleasant things happen throughout our lives that create insecurity and self-doubt. Sometimes terrible things happen to us in our childhood that have the potential to completely derail our lives. Children are very resilient, and capable of moving forward despite trauma. It isn’t until we are older that we truly grasp the effect that childhood events have on us. Even though we had no control over the situation; we still feel shame, guilt, and embarrassment. In young adulthood, we are not prepared to deal with the damage. We engage in self-destructive behaviors in an attempt to numb ourselves from the overwhelming emotions, that we are not equipped to handle. We blast the music, experiment with drugs, and drown ourselves in alcohol because it’s “fun” right? Sometimes. Sometimes it’s just an escape from reality. It’s a temporary solution to a problem that isn’t going to go away on its own. We ultimately just make everything worse. People with unhealed wounds attract unhealthy relationships. We lose ourselves somewhere along the way. If you’re strong, you’ll claw your way back up out of the hole you’ve put yourself in, and fight for your life. Unfortunately, we often have to hit rock bottom before we are willing to do the difficult work of facing our issues, and begin the healing process.
So, How do you heal? First, you let yourself feel everything you’ve been avoiding for the majority of your life. Let all of those emotions wash over you. Feel all of the anger; the pain, and the sadness. It’s scary, but a necessary step to heal all the damage. Give yourself time. Allow it to knock you down if you must, but don’t pack up and live there. You have to get back up. Remind yourself that you’re a fucking survivor; not a victim. Forgive the people that tried to shatter you. Not for them, but for you. Forgive yourself for everything you put yourself through. Own your part in the decisions that you made while you were broken. All of it wasn’t your fault, but some of it was. Admit that you made some bad choices. Forgive yourself for being toxic to other people. Maybe even reach out and apologize to some that you may have hurt along the way. Hopefully, they’ll forgive you too. Then, you let it all go. You move on. Release all the shit that’s been weighing you down, and let yourself become the person you were always meant to be. Learn from it all, and grow. Put your energy into something that brings you happiness. Change your mindset. Remember that everything that happens in life is a lesson. Bad things happen in order to teach us something; to strengthen us, and prepare us for the next level of this life. As you heal and grow, try to find a way to help others. Transform your suffering into something good. Realize that the healing process never really ends, and it’s okay to be a work in progress. Things will trigger you; you may take a few steps back. Just don’t ever give up. Trust the process, and fall in love with the journey.
I’ve always believed that love is the key to life. It’s what makes the world go ‘round, and it’s all we really need. My heart was always too big, and filled with so much love for other people, and not enough for myself. A lot of heartache and tragedy could have been avoided if I’d simply loved myself a little more. It sounds easy, but it’s an exremely difficult thing for most people. It took me 28 years to actually fall in love with myself. Before that, I was completely destroyed, and had to rebuild myself from the ground up. It wasn’t until I did, that I found someone else who could love me just as much. I found a strong man that could handle my chaos, my neediness, and all the fire inside me. Someone I could share my naked soul with; who didn’t run from the scars of my traumatic past. For the longest time I waited; thinking that Prince Charming was going to come rescue me. But life isn’t a fairy tale, and I was not a damsel in distress. I rescued myself and it wasn’t until then, that I was ready to meet a man who treated me like the queen I always was. A warrior who stood beside me, and supported me while I continued to heal and grow of my own accord. True intimacy is having someone who knows every little thing about us, and accepts us exactly as we are. Someone who loves us in spite of all our imperfections, and allows us to be unapologeticly ourselves. When we have a safe space where we can be completely open and honest about who we are, and what we want, the most amazing things happen.
Falling in love with him was unbelievably easy. It felt like finally coming home after a long, and difficult journey. The Buddhists say that when we meet our ‘soul mate’ we will feel calm, no anxiety, no agitation. The night we met was pure magic. We bonded over Tom Petty songs and more laughter than I’ve ever known. His presence calmed my soul, and I realized I could finally stop holding my breath. I’ve never had to fight another battle alone.
We are far from perfect, but the perfect marriage doesn’t exist. He’s Type A and a little OCD, and I’m a free spirit who just likes to have fun. He’s very logical, and I lead with my heart. Sometimes we balance each other very well, and other times things blow up. However, we always communicate, compromise, and resolve our issues right away. I’m not afraid to speak my truth. We may not always agree, but we always respect each other’s thoughts and feelings and find our way through to the other side. We often get so caught up in our hectic, day-to-day lives, that we forget how incredible it is that we found each other in this world. We lose sight of how amazing it is that after all these years, we still like hanging out with each other, every damn day. There honestly isn’t anyone else on the planet that I could spend this much time with!
We all had big dreams as children. So full of life with stars in our eyes and chaos in our hearts; ready to change the world. Some of us have chased after those dreams and achieved amazing things; while some of us have put those dreams on the back burner for over half of our lives. Why? Why do we give up our dreams? What’s holding us back? I’ve analyzed this quite a bit, and the only conclusion I’ve come to is Fear. Fear of Failure. Fear of rejection. Fear that we aren’t actually good at the things we love to do. There has always been a little voice in the back of my mind whispering that I wasn’t good enough. I finally started to tell that voice to sit down and shut up. I’ve Learned to tune it out, because it’s wrong. I am enough, more than enough. So are you.
I’ve heard that whatever you did as a child that made the hours pass like seconds, is the work you should be doing for the rest of your life. Some of my favorite childhood memories are all the adventures I had in my mind; my imagination was endless. As I got a little older, I started to write. I loved it. I Lived for it. I had the confidence that I was going to be successful and I wasn’t afraid to tell the world. Somewhere along the way, something happened to that self-assurance and that dream got set aside. But my dream never died. It has always been there, collecting dust in the corner of my heart, waiting for the right time. The truth is, the “right” time doesn’t exist. There is only now, and the fire in my soul can no longer be contained. I’m setting out on this journey knowing that I may fail, many times. I’m prepared to face rejection over and over; knowing that it’s all going to be worth it in the end. If I don’t take a swing, I’ll regret it for the rest of my life. Bravery is not the absence of fear, but continuing in spite of it.
There’s something wondrous that occurs when I’m writing. After awhile, it’s almost as if conscious thought has stopped. The pen in my hand has a life of it’s own, as it dances across the page. It feels like the entire universe is flowing through my fingertips. I’ve come alive, and my soul is connected to the divine. The stars are aligned, and time ceases to exist. It’s in that moment that I know. This is it. My purpose. This is the reason I’m here. I’m addicted to that magical feeling. If you have anything in your life that makes you feel that way, you need to do more of it. If there is a dream in your heart that invades your mind every day, then you need to go after it with every fiber of your being. Forget fear and focus on your FIRE. Let’s light up the world together. 💫