I recently had lunch with a young lady that I’ve taken under my wing so to speak. We discussed her relationship and how she’s often left feeling neglected. The young man’s interest in her isn’t consistent and she’s blaming herself. “I’m the one who calls and texts”, she explained to me. As I listened I could see the sadness in her eyes, I knew that sadness. Its when you’re giving the love you’re really supposed to giving yourself. I know that feeling all too well. For so many women, we’re indirectly taught to be sacrificial lambs by neglecting ourselves to prove our worthiness.
Self-neglect is one, if not the worst thing one can do to one’s self. Our self-esteem and confidence is tied into how we treat ourselves. No matter how hard we dress up our exterior, if the inside is faulty it will show up. It shows in every aspect of our lives. That’s why we see people who seem to have it all, harm or kill themselves. I don’t think I can stress enough the importance of self love. You must work at it daily!
I’ve learned that almost everything we do is practiced. We learn to walk and talk through practice. All that we are to master must be practiced daily. This is also true for self love. Once you realize the absolute importance of self love, next is how to go about it. There’s no magic pill to make you love your self nor is there one to do it. You must practice it daily! Some days it will require minute to minute practice. Non the less it must be done.
I started my journey to self love by having a heart to heart with myself during my pregnancy. I admitted openly that I had never loved myself and had in fact hated me. Here I was married and carrying my daughter when I realized this lack in my heart. I had lost four pregnancies before finally having my daughter; the realization that I would be a mother shifted something in my spirit. I began examining and reexamining every aspect of my life.
Writing down my pain and taking honest assessments of my past choices was the beginning. I allowed the uncomfortable truth guide me onto the road to recovery. In order to love myself, I had to first forgive myself. I literally apologized to myself for all the pain that I had inflicted upon myself as well as all that was caused by others. Forgiving myself was definitely the hardest! Forgiving others was so much easier.
I was to be a mother and how I lived would directly and indirectly affect my daughter. I was determined to be the best mother I could be and that first started with me becoming a better woman. And so…the journey of practicing self love began.