This seemed like a good topic for Valentine’s Day, and one that may stir up some feelings about self-love. As someone who spent most of her life hating herself I know the power we have over what we attract into our lives. That’s not to say if we don’t love ourselves that we won’t, can’t, or don’t have love in our lives, because I know we can, I did, even when that self-love wasn’t there, but when we do find or have that love for ourselves it invites more love in, and, we tend to look for the love we already have and want to share our love with others.
Love is contagious, who doesn’t want to feel, receive and give love? It can heal almost anything, and what I may not be able to heal alone, it can certainly help with the process. Finding love for myself came with some work on my part, but I knew I had to find it to get better and to live the life I had dreamed of. To get to the place I am now I had to first find forgiveness in myself, for all the unloving things I did to myself and to those around me. I had to let go of the guilt and shame I carried around that held me back and blocked me from finding self-love. I had to take responsibility for my actions but I also had to accept that I was doing the best I could with the tools I had, and, with untreated mental illness, my best thinking often set me on a course of self-sabotage and self-destruction. I would never criticize someone with cancer, diabetes or Alzheimer’s so why would I criticize myself for the disease I had that had clouded my judgment and stole from me for most of my life. Finding that acceptance and using it as a tool to grow from where I was, to do better and to start living in a positive way was the place I started on my journey to self-love. I made a point, each day, to find gratitude in who I was, where I was and where I wanted to go, and some days that proved more challenging than others, but even just thinking of one thing was enough to change my outlook. I gave back where I could to others struggling like I was, which got me out of my own head and relieved me of the negative thinking that had plagued me my whole life. I made a lot of changes, took direction from others and professionals and I began to feel better. Slowly, by practicing loving acts towards myself and others I was able to say, out loud, that I loved myself, and when I did my life changed, and I began to look for love in each day. I also began to share the love I had with others, even by paying someone a compliment are congratulating them on a job well done. Walking this path with love in my heart ultimately brought me a love I didn’t know I could have and a man who I now share a love with that continues to grow each day.
Finding love for ourselves may seem like an impossible journey, but nothing is impossible if we try and make changes in our lives that support our efforts to find that love. It’s a journey that takes humility and a desire to search for those things that we feel make us lovable and what allows us to share our love with those around us. We all are worthy of love, even if we don’t feel we are, but when we open our heart to the idea of it, the magic of love may just open your heart enough to show you just how lovable you really are. SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you believe you are lovable? If not, why not? Have you always felt that way? If you haven’t, what changed? Are there moments in your life that have been able to find self-love? What were they? Why don’t they stay or why did they go away? What can you do today to show yourself love? How can you share that love with someone else? Today, since this is a day to celebrate love, look for all of the love you have in your life and all of the ways you can show yourself love in return, just being willing to look for it opens the door enough to come in.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you