“If you are not the hero of your own story, then you’re missing the whole point of your humanity.” – Steve Maraboli
If you’re wondering what your purpose is here on earth, I can give you the answer. You are here to find yourself. To embrace yourself. To be yourself. And in order to do all of that, you must love yourself.
You see, at some point, we all experience a pivotal moment in our lives that has such a devastating effect that we lose a sense of our own worth.
For me it happened quite early. When I look back now, I can see that I lacked self-love from around the age of ten. The years that followed were tumultuous as I stripped away my true self and became less and less ‘me’ until I reached my mid-twenties and there wasn’t much left of me.
Prior to starting the process of self-love, I had no idea that I was sabotaging myself so badly. If you would have asked me back then if I loved myself, I would have answered yes, but the truth was that I was battering myself from head-to-toe every day of my life.
I wasn’t physically beating myself up, but in my mind, I was tormenting myself.
“I can’t do it.” “I’m not good enough.” “Why is my life so bad?” “I wish I could be different.” “I wish I was better.” “I’m stupid.” They were regular phrases I’d feed into my mind. Phrases that had a massive impact on the very way in which I ran my life. Phrases that limited my life and made me believe that I was less than others and I didn’t deserve as much as others.
Does any of this sound familiar?
As an artist and writer, I saw that I felt and wrote too much about self-loathing. It was as I finished the first draft on my fictional account of a mentally ill mother and her daughter that I realized my well being depended on loving myself. That was around 2013….. Reading Mary Oliver’s poem The Journey nailed it for me: Determined to save the only life you could save.
I realized the importance of self-love while trying to stay positive in my worst days. I am the kind of person who overthinks even the smallest issues. I have so many ideas and thoughts inside my head that, by the end of the day, I get nothing done. After years of living alone, experiencing wins and setbacks at work, finding love, losing love, and eventually meeting ‘the one,’ I’ve realized something profound about self-love:
I’ve accepted that no matter how good or bad things around me are going, the most important factor influencing how I feel is me.
My confidence, my energy, my perception of my health and physical attractiveness is all a product of my inner voice, and the version of the story I narrate. Yes people can say or do things that influence how you perceive yourself, but ultimately, my relationship with myself, my acceptance of my gifts and faults, is what drives my perception of self-worth. The nicer I am to myself, the more I surround myself with thoughts, people, and beliefs that promote a positive self and the better I feel.
Like all relationships, the one I’m in with myself requires patience, kindness, and faithfulness in order to flourish.”
Self-love has helped me like the person I am today, on the inside and out. I’m now comfortable in my own skin and I no longer look at other people and feel that I’m less.But loving myself hasn’t just been good for my self-esteem. I have also learnt to believe in my own ability.
But without self-love, it wouldn’t exist. Learning to love myself has enabled me to use all of my negative experiences as fuel for making my life better. I’ve switched my whole life from negative to positive through believing in myself, and you can too!
The aim is to get to a place where you like being you, where you embrace yourself in your truest form. Once you know and are comfortable with who you are, you won’t look at others and feel less than them and you won’t want to put yourself down at every given moment.
When you love who you are, you will begin to learn that what you have to offer the world is so significant, and you’ll see potential in what the world has to offer you. You’ll also notice that your dreams start becoming a reality as your belief and vision for yourself continues to grow.
Loving yourself means taking all of the suffering you’ve ever endured and turning it into something good. It means becoming the hero of your own story.
In “The Secret”, the author and many philosophers explain the Law of Attraction. In a nutshell, we basically receive what we give out. If we send out negative vibes (I know its so cliché!), we will receive negativity.
So this is for you the girl stuck in a dead-end relationship, the girl stuck in a dead-end job, even for the girl who just has no idea what to do with her life spend this time focusing on YOU. Focus on YOUR happiness, focus on what you DO have, and believe me, change will happen.
“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
I didn’t get what I wanted, but I got exactly what I needed. I am brave, I am strong, and I am happy again. This is my (self) love story and I am proud of it.