It may have taken me another few days, but I’m feeling better now than I was last week. Thankfully! It was nice to get in some baking time over the weekend, along with a walk outside for some fresh air, alone time, writing, and sleep. Oh, and I crushed a killer workout yesterday – and on Sunday too! Typically that’d be my rest day, but I needed the workout, so I got up and went for it. Ahh-mazing! So, slowly by surely, I’m crawling back to myself. Hey, I’m human – it happens!
So, on to the next lesson in this series from my 10 Beautiful Lessons Learned post. We are just rolling right along here, aren’t we? You can catch the other lessons here first – Lesson 1, Lesson 2, Lesson 3. Okay, now onward!
Lesson #4: Learning how to truly love myself.
This has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to learn. Speaking from my own experience, allowing grace and positive self-talk are two of the most important concepts when it comes to learning how to love yourself. Having support and someone who believes in you is also extremely helpful.
Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have. -Robert Holden
Back when I was going through the thick of things, I obviously didn’t really know anything that I know today – in terms of self-love. I didn’t know what it meant to allow myself grace. I didn’t know how to speak kindly to myself. It became second nature to tear myself down. My life unraveled, my marriage crumbled, I moved out on my own, I went through a divorce. I was a mess and every day was an emotional roller coaster.
For so long, I had what felt like bad day, after bad day, after bad day. There were days I could pick myself up and do well, and then there were days that took every ounce of effort to just crawl out of bed. I tried really hard every day to just put one foot in front of the other. I made myself get out of bed, I made myself eat something even when I had absolutely no appetite, I made myself go grocery shopping, I made myself get out for a walk. I kept reminding myself that all of these things would make me feel better. And they did. But everything I felt still followed me around – simply because I was still learning how to process everything I was going through.
Even when her heart is shot full of holes, she keeps a bulletproof smile. -Joseph Colombrita
Now don’t get me wrong, not every day was a hard day. I looked forward to going to work because it was a break for me – I got to interact with others, I got to laugh A LOT – I felt lighter. So, for 5 days out of the week, I felt mostly good for 8 or so hours while I was at work. I used to actually dread weekends sometimes because it meant a lot of alone time to be with my thoughts. And I would also shut myself in and sink further. So, I really had to learn how to lift myself up. The struggle was real, my friends.
I mentioned before that I saw a therapist for talk therapy for about 9 months. I remember writing a lot during that time, but I haven’t gone back to re-read my writings – something about it feels very painful because I know how much self-hate is in the words I wrote. And that’s just not who I am anymore. Anyway, seeing the therapist – I remember telling her, with massive tears in my eyes, that I didn’t want to have any kids because I felt like I had nothing to offer them. I don’t remember how it came up or why we were talking about kids. But, honestly, this memory makes me so sad. And it’s so telling of where my mind was then. And just how little I loved myself.
Talk to yourself like you would talk to someone you love. -Brene Brown
When I think about having kids today, I feel confident that I will be able to teach him or her what it means to love, not only themselves, but those around them too. I feel entirely capable of giving love to a child and teaching them how to be kind to others and how to spread love in this world. I know wholeheartedly what it means to love myself and be kind to myself – and to give myself grace. I know now that I have the absolute world and more to offer.
Do you see the stark comparison here? The difference between where I was then and where I am today? Just over 2 years ago, I simply wouldn’t allow myself to acknowledge the love I had inside of me. But today, I feel like the most qualified person on earth to teach others how to love themselves. This, my friends, is how far I’ve come. From sitting with a therapist, verbalizing that I have nothing to offer anyone – to now, bursting as the seams with love for myself. And with ALL THE LOVE IN THE WORLD to give to my future person and children. And let me tell you, I can’t wait!
The best is yet to come. ♥
I see my value now – I KNOW my value because of all that I’ve endured. I paid dearly for every ounce of my self-love and self-worth. And again, I would do some things differently, but overall – I am so entirely thankful for every second of my journey. Because it has all brought me to where I am today. And to WHO I am today.
I mentioned up top there that it was so incredibly beneficial for me to have someone in my life who supported me and believed in me. He kind of recognized where I was at and helped to lift me up. He not only challenged me to listen to the 30-days of Christian music and gave me the book on positive self-talk – but, he also gave me his bible to help me build a relationship with God. When I said something negative about myself, he called me out on it. And he challenged me to go outside my comfort zone. God kind of dropped him at my door and tasked him with saving me. I’m not sure he knows that, but I undoubtedly do. And I am supremely thankful every day. It’s amazing how someone can come into your life and make an immediate positive impact. I don’t know how or why, except by the grace of God.
As I always say, love yourself first – the rest will follow.
YOU deserve the love you give to others.
Side note – If you’re looking for a therapist in the DC ‘burbs, I highly recommend Dr. Emily Cook from Emily Cook Therapy. Her office is in a fabulous location, her rooms are super comforting and cozy, and she’s amazing. Just saying. We all need a little help sometimes, so don’t be afraid to ask for it.