I grew up with a negative mindset. For my family the glass was always half empty, even when we were the ones pouring it. I learned very late in life, that my world or experience in it was a direct reflection of how I saw myself. I felt rejected because I had never accepted myself. As I said last week, I saw myself through the words of others. I could not fly because I had clipped my own wings.
I was never taught anything about self love and acceptance.Indirectly I learned from my grandmother how to overcompensate and try to prove to others my worth. I remember seeing her do everything for everyone. She gave others her best but neglected to give first to herself. That’s not love the martyrdom. That’s what I thought I had to do in order to experience love. For me love meant to dim my light so that others could shine. Eventually I got lost in my shadow.
I grew up being told I am to love God and others. What’s interesting is, the Bible says to love others as you love Yourself. How crazy is it that, that’s not emphasized? You can’t truly love others if you don’t love yourself, FIRST! I spent years of torment and frustration because I did not love me. All that I was seeking was already within, hidden under lies and self doubt.
Self love, was what I needed. Self love, self love? What did that mean to love myself? What did it look like? One thing I did know, was what it was not. Self love wasn’t allowing myself to weigh 243 pounds, which I did. Self love wasn’t building up others and forgetting me. Self love definitely wasn’t rejecting myself in hopes of being accepted by others. My claim to shame.
Accepting myself was the first step in strengthening my wings. I had to get rid of the pretend me that hid from her truth. I had to accept the real me, the one that was hiding in the shadows. Loving myself meant realizing I was always enough, that I was always enough.
The great Maya Angelou said, ” You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody”. I had nothing to prove to anyone but myself. Hell, I owed it to myself to love and honor me in a way that only I could. My destiny is tied into love that begins with self. Each day as I embrace all that is me, I learn more about all that is within me. Self love is the first step. You can never live a full life if you don’t master this first step.