There was a time in my life where I didn’t love me. A time where I questioned my looks, my upbringing, my ability to be loved by another person – basically if you name it, I questioned if it either could happen to me or if it would make me be liked by another person. I didn’t grow up with self-love or even its concept. I didn’t know anything about a person loving themselves until my husband. So imagine going nineteen years of your life without the slightest clue of what loving yourself means. Imagine wondering if you could even begin to love yourself even after all those years of not knowing you could such a thing.
See, I was always taught that J.O.Y. meant: Jesus first, Yourself last and Others in between. But I never felt joy. It’s not that I refused to feel joy or that I went out of my way to avoid it. I sought it. I sought joy through volunteering, through helping others, through overextending myself to give hope, peace, love and ironically joy to others who needed it. But let me tell you, it’s so hard to give others something you don’t have yourself.
It’s clear why now that I’m in my mid-thirties to see why I didn’t feel joy but as a nineteen year old who felt worthless and alone, it seemed like a foreign concept to be able to love and accept yourself as you are and to be okay with yourself in general. I always thought it was narcissism but in reality it’s just celebrating what’s good about yourself and presenting it to a world that would rather make their own judgments about who you are instead. It’s about loving the parts of you that society hates and standing confidently in it. It’s about knowing yourself and feeling comfortable with what you know.
Have you told yourself today how amazing you are? Have you said to yourself, “Self, you’re awesome at …” (you fill in the blanks with your awesomeness). What do you say to yourself when there is something negative said about you? Do you embrace with they said with open arms and refuse to counter them with something positive? Do you think you shake off the negative comments only to find them surfacing at a later time when you least expect it? Something will give eventually and it should never be your sanity or your self-esteem.
Learn to speak greatness to yourself. Learn to encourage yourself. I’m not the best at it but I’m learning how to be better at it. I know firsthand that confidence can be built and established with speaking positively to yourself. That’s loving yourself too! Put your greatness into the Universe. The Universe already knows your awesomeness but is now waiting on you to realize it too. I know you’re great and I know you know you’re great too.
Until next time, speak positive words to yourself and watch how your life changes for the better. If for nothing else, do it because you’re worth it!