My Journey to Self-Love | FOUNDATIONS OF SELF-LOVE: PART 1

MY JOURNEY TO SELF-LOVE

  1. My Journey to Self-Love (you're reading now)

  2. What is Self-Love?

  3. What's the Difference Between Self-Love and Self-Obsession?

  4. How Do I Start Loving Myself?

  5. What Do the Self-Love Experts Say?

 

Self-love.....? I DON'T GET IT

I couldn’t grasp what exactly my family members and mentors were getting at when they told me to love myself more.  I mean, I wasn’t harming myself or neglecting my life.  I was actually trying to plan a better future for my life by doing well in college.  I was budgeting my very small paychecks so that I could get what I needed.   People liked me, so I thought I must be a good person.  

Despite that, there was a frequent nagging feeling inside of me that I couldn’t break.  The feeling of being used and taken for granted.  An even worse feeling was not knowing I was being used until it had already happened.  Talk about a slap in the face!  I was always eager to be at the service of others, helping them in whatever way I could. However, this was at the expense of my own priorities.  I let them sit and wait while I helped everyone soar passed me.  

 

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THE "HAPPENING"

I thought I was doing a good deed by assisting all that I could.  Every time a request for a favor came at an inconvenient time for me, I bit the bullet and grudgingly restarted the cycle.  It came to a point where it seemed that self-concerned and selfish people seeked me out to help them get what they needed.  When everyone else said no, they knew I would never.  I would literally cancel or push back things that I really needed to do so that I could help these people.  To their rescue I would come, disguising my bad attitude about wanting to help.

I thought I was doing a good deed by assisting all that I could. 

This happened all the time and later I would find that these people had no intentions of repaying me, let alone speaking to me, after that.  It hurt to face to the fact that I was getting played, over and over again.  I was making myself a voluntary victim, leaving myself to wonder,

“Why does this keep happening to me?”

But nothing was “happening” to me.  I was doing it to myself.  I ALLOWED other people to use me for what they needed.

  • I was the one worried what this person would think if I said no.  

  • I was the one nervous if that person would be able to find the help they needed if I didn’t help them.  

  • I was the one distraught, wondering if the person would still want to be my friend if I rejected their request.  

These thoughts would drive me crazy and make me sick as I came up with scenario after scenario of how it would all go down; until I gave in and just did it.  

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THE SEARCH for love WAS ON

I knew I needed a change in my life, badly.  I needed to learn how to do myself a favor and get out of the way of the stampede of favors coming my direction.  

I needed to learn how to do myself a favor and get out of the way of the stampede of favors coming my direction.

 

The first thing I Googled was “how to stop being a people-pleaser”. I’ve been advised to stop doing this too with minimal guidance.  The results lead me to the searches:

  1. “how to stop being a pushover”

  2. “how to be assertive”

  3. “how to say no and mean it”

  4. “how to get what you want”

  5. “how to stop getting played by men”

I was routed to several sources like

These sites and YouTube channels emphasized the importance of self-respect, self-confidence and self-love.  They helped me recognize that my feelings and opinions matter and that I should honor them.  Dishonoring what matters to me equates to dishonoring myself.

Dishonoring what matters to me equates to dishonoring myself.

 

I was reminded that another aspect of myself that matters to me is my body.  I knew this. (Don’t you get mad when you’re reminded of something you already know you should be doing for yourself?)

I was the first person in my family to jump-start the healthy-life kick; healthy eating and regular exercise. I stuck with it all by my lonesome for a while since I knew it was good for me.  My hope was that my actions would influence my family to recognize the need for healthy living as well.  

Well, I fell off my pursuit of a healthy lifestyle due to several life encounters.  Later, I returned and fell off again.  This cycle happened in so many areas in my life which tugged at the determination I had to stick to any of my personal goals.  

What is wrong with me!?

I wondered.  Here I am back at square one.  How did I get here???

I needed that change to come quick!  And since I had acquired more insight about how life works, I felt empowered to make that change happen, For Myself By Myself.  I decided to choose myself to love before anyone else.  If I don’t give myself hard, intentional love, then who will?

I decided to choose myself to love before anyone else.

Up Next:  What Is Self-Love?

Sharing this story was healing in itself and I thank you for experiencing it with me.  I would love for you to continue reading in my 5-part series “The Foundations of Self-Love”.  Click I WANT MORE below and get an email about the next post in this series, plus a biweekly HMJ Love Note from me!