MY JOURNEY TO SELF-LOVE
My Journey to Self-Love (you're reading now)
What's the Difference Between Self-Love and Self-Obsession?
How Do I Start Loving Myself?
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.
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.
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.
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:
“how to stop being a pushover”
“how to be assertive”
“how to say no and mean it”
“how to get what you want”
“how to stop getting played by men”
I was routed to several sources like
- Psychology Today
- Psych Central
- The Grown Zone
- TEDx Talks
- Tiny Buddha
- Sexy Confidence
- and more.
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.
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?
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!