Self-love: a journey


Ah, love. It’s such a meaningful and weighted word. A profound word. An action word. To give love is an often selfless choice; a beautiful choice. And, to receive love is also beautiful, profound, comforting, strengthening. But, can I talk about self-love? Let’s talk about the “regard for one’s own well-being and happiness (chiefly considered as a desirable rather than narcissistic characteristic) according to Oxford Languages. What does self-love mean to you? What does it feel like? What does it look like?

Self-love saved my life. Self-care, the first crucial step of self-love, taught me to spend time with myself and learn who I was, what I liked and didn’t, and to set healthy boundaries; it truly saved my life. Self-love saved me from an emotionally, physically. and verbally abusive marriage, it saved me from repeating toxic and unhealthy choices that led to hurt feelings, a broken heart, failed relationships, and ultimately, depression. When you care for something, you nurture it, you do what is necessary in order for that thing to grow, thrive, and blossom into its full potential. And then, that care grows into respect. And that respect, grows into love!

I want to tell you about my self-love journey. It is ongoing and lifelong, and very enjoyable. I’m learning so much about myself and other people and it is very exciting. Picture this: a beautiful young, free spirited black woman, suffering with low self-esteem, low self-wort, and no self-confidence. Picture a woman with a background of abuse, abandonment, rejection, isolation, and misdirection. Imagine the types of choices she would make, going through life unhealed. That woman was me. But, you know what? I had to want more for myself in order to step out of my misery, and into self-confidence. I had to desire a life of internal peace and happiness in order to step out of depression, into healing, and into a thriving and joyous existence. And that is what my self-love journey is about.

I started prioritizing myself. I realized that saying yes to my needs and wants, may seem selfish to some people, may seem as if I was neglecting a social life, and may even seem like I was disinterested in keeping or growing friendships. But, it also meant honoring myself more, loving myself more, and taking care of myself more. I set and enforced healthy boundaries for myself and for others. I stopped being so passive aggressive and started voicing my concerns, sticking up for myself, and walking away from things and people that did not serve me positively. I forgave myself for poor choices and for choices that I would have rather made differently. I forgave other people for hurting me and mistreating me and I also forgave myself for allowing and accepting the mistreatment. I started being nice to myself and showing myself more grace. I used kind words and learned to quickly combat negative thoughts and negative self-talk with affirmations and self-encouragement. It was up to me to figure out what I needed in order to feel validated and valued. I had to decide what it meant to be respected and what it meant to be loved.

And that is where I am today! I am taking steps every moment of every day, being very intentional with my word choices and actions, and loving myself more and more. I am learning myself, growing and developing as a woman, mother, friend, daughter, sister, and entrepreneur. I am learning more and more about what makes me feel hurt or unheard and unseen, and learning what to do about it. I am failing sometimes at managing my emotions in the most healthy way, but I am learning more about what makes me angry or sad, and learning what to do about it. I have good days and I have bad days. But I’m loving the journey.

This journey is beautiful. It is mine and it is unique. It is painful and it is purposeful. It is excellent and it is powerful… And, yes, I am loving every moment of it.

Categories: El-Oh-Vee-Ee, Get Back to YOU Series, Self care EverydayTags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 comments

  1. Self love is so interesting and at times difficult! You’ve made it quite plain with putting yourself first. I totally agree and understand that self love is a life long journey! Thanks for your insight!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are teaching me!!!

    Like

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