In a World that Hates Everything, Learn to Love yourself
Life has changed so much in the past six months
I know I like to talk a lot about how to learn to love yourself, but here’s the deal, for many of us over the past few months life has drastically changed. Most of America was forced out of a steady routine, left to coexist in isolation. For some it was a dream come true, others felt left out of place and not quite comfortable with what their life looked like at the moment. I seemed to land somewhere in the middle. Yet as time seemed to drag on, I watched the world kind of unravel. Everyone was upset, bored, restless, and scared. I was in desperate need of some kind of outlet from it all.
I remember being afraid when this all started happening. Not so much of the pandemic itself, but of all the time alone I now had. Imagine being trapped in a room with a person that you can’t stand. Got that mental image? Good, now imagine you’ve been told there is no end in sight to how long you will be trapped together. Sounds unbearable right? Now imagine that person is you!
I know, plot twist! Scary thought, right? That’s what it was like for me at the beginning of the past 6 months. Locked in a room with myself. A version of who I was that I detested with every fiber of my being.
Spending that much “quality” time with myself led me to realize I had to make a change. It was time to make the best of a bad situation. I needed to get to know who I really am. More importantly, it was time to learn how to love me. I felt like God was telling me, in a world that hates everything, learn to love yourself. What a challenge!
Having a conversation with yourself
How does one do that you may ask yourself? Truth is, It’s not easy. You have to start by facing some hard truths about who you are, and what you don’t like about yourself. Also, accountability takes up a lot of room when it comes to reconciling with self.
There I was, at the start of an unprecedented time in our lives, with the time off I always said I needed to get anything done for real. You know those half baked daydreams about getting to goal weight if only you didn’t have that pesky thing called work soaking up all your time!
After the maniac cleaning phase was over, you know the phase where we took all the junk we had accumulated over our life and made room for new stuff, so it went with my mental and emotional mindsets. It was time to declutter the junk and make room for better things! Look out HGTV we are renovating minds and hearts around here! The ultimate DYI project; Learn to love yourself!
What having a conversation with yourself looks like
Honestly, this is a tough one to describe. Mostly because it’s going to be different for every person. For me, it wasn’t so much messy and emotional. Though God knows that’s usually my M.O.
I started by asking myself why I was unhappy. I wrote a list. Not just of things that made me unhappy but the WHY behind that feeling. For example, I wrote about being unhappy with my body. Simple enough, and not really all that uncommon. It was when I got into the WHY my body made me unhappy that things got messy, and well, a little emotional. The obvious was at the top of the list; felt too fat, clothes didn’t feel right on me, my body hurt from carrying the weight around. It was the reasons that weren’t so obvious that led me to have one of the biggest “Aha!” moments I think I’ve ever experienced. I felt trapped. I was unhappy with my body because I felt trapped in it.
The floodgates opened up and one self-truth after another came pouring out. Let me warn you, if you aren’t ready to hold yourself accountable for some things, this can really hurt. The first instinct is to say “wait, I’m this way because…” fill in the blank with all the things that have caused you to hurt, or make choices in life that led you to this place.
Yes, you can lay blame where blame is due, but when you accept that circumstances happened that may have started you down an unhappy path, you have to face the fact that you had a hand on staying on that path.
The good news
The good news about starting a personal renovation like this is that you end up with a friend for life. Someone you trust, a person that you value, respect, and most importantly love. Figure it out yet? Yep, that person is you silly!
I’m not really sure exactly where the turning point for me came, somewhere between figuring out I felt trapped in my unhappiness and the present day. It did happen though. Having hauled out all my ghosts and facing each one had a cleansing effect. I suddenly found myself with an open heart, soul, and eager mindset to fill up with healthy things.
It was in this time period that I found what I believe is my calling. A desire to help others like me who feel stuck and lost. Men and women who only know self-hatred, hurting every day, sometimes causing others to hurt. It’s true that hurt people hurt others, but that’s another post for another day.
I’ve learned that I don’t have to be my own enemy, I can enjoy life. I mean really enjoy life. I don’t have to be afraid to be passionate anymore. I don’t have to hate my body. For the record, you can want to change your body and still love yourself. The two aren’t mutually exclusive. When you learn to love yourself, you can unlock all of that.
Expectation Vs Reality
It’s important to temper your expectations as you move through this transition period. Learning to love yourself is growth, growth is change, and change takes time. Change takes patience. You will sometimes take two steps forward, and three steps back. Other days you would pole vault mountains! Take the highs, and expect the lows. Just know its progress. All of it.
Habits, cognitive patterns, and years of self-abuse take time to reverse. There is no such thing as a magic pill that makes all that stop immediately. Stick with it though, and be gentle with yourself. Somedays I had to take one thing I COULD focus on and set the rest aside. Other days I was able to conquer old demons by the dozens.
In the beginning, you may feel like you have more battles than you have the energy for. That’s okay too. Take the one that’s most important and focus on that. Eventually, as you break more habits and flip the negative script in your head, that you will have more energy than battles. Those days my friends, those days are pure gold!
Personal growth is a tricky thing, creating room to love yourself by eradicating hatred can leave you in a funky place sometimes. I am nowhere near the end of my development, I would think it would be a shame if I was.
We were not meant to be unhappy, or stagnant in life. As humans, we have been gifted with the ability to have cognitive brain functions. We learn, develop, and create. It’s in our nature. So when we live a life that isn’t fertile to that nature it creates unbalance. That’s where all the crap in life starts to overwhelm us and distract us from our true purpose.
What does that look like for you? Does it mean stepping away from toxic people in your life, or working on trusting yourself? It should always involve some sort of daily self-care routine. Those precious minutes you spend for yourself is where we start to achieve true balance in our lives.
The Bottom Line
Right now, everywhere you go, any place that you look, you are bombarded by the ugly things in the world. Politics, social media, the Main Stream Media all of it is there in your face telling you what a terrible place it is out there. Friends, family, and heck even people you don’t know are constantly telling you how to think, act, and feel. They tell you in which direction your moral compass should be pointed.
None of this matters. This is all white noise in the background. Let it fade out, and focus on what you CAN control. Yourself. Loving the person you see in the mirror. We all want to live in a world that is in harmony, full of love and peace. Well, that world starts with you. It starts with finding balance inside your heart and mind. When you love yourself you become FILLED with positive energy. It’s that energy that you are then able to give back into the world.
Focus more on becoming a loving and caring individual towards yourself, and we will end up healing the world one person at a time. Right now those are the people this world needs. Ones that bring light and love to others! In a world that hates everything, learn to love yourself!
Until next time my friends, stay safe and remember you are never alone.
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