If I asked you to list all of the things that you love, how long would it take for you to list yourself?
Self-love; it’s something that many of us struggle to achieve while others simply cannot even begin to fathom the existence of such a thing. How do we begin to love ourselves? How do we overcome years of self-hatred and self-destruction and wrap out minds around such an elusive concept?
For me, I have good days and bad days with this. Sometimes I have days –although few and far between—when I value my own worth and I believe that I have a lot to offer the world and a tremendously bright future. But then there are other days when my anxiety takes over. I know that I have been successful in the past but I fear that I won’t be able to continue having success in the future. These are the days when it becomes difficult to keep fighting to make my dreams and aspirations come true.
If I was to ask myself the question entitled above, I’m not sure when I would list myself, if at all. I mean, surely I must love myself on some level because I force myself to put food in my body, I get myself out of bed every morning, and I continue living my life. These are all signs that I care on some level; I know that I do. But “love” seems like such a strong word. Such a foreign concept when applied to myself.
When I think of love, I think of my family, my best friend, and my dog who was –and still is, despite his passing—like a brother to me. I think of love when I see my eldest brother holding hands with his beautiful fiancé. I think of love when I think back on the times when I was younger and my Dad would cuddle with me until I fell asleep after a rough day. I think of love often when I think of the actions of others, but not when I think of my own actions toward myself.
To me, love should be automatic, not forced. And by that definition, I have a difficult time ever applying the concept of love to myself. My automatic reactions are self-loathing. My actions are self-destructive. My thoughts are self-deprecating. These things are just as automatic as the love that I see in others, but none of them demonstrate a love for myself.
The image above perfectly demonstrates how I feel about self-love. It’s like there is a huge bolder blocking the path and even if I try to go around, there are still boulders and hurdles to overcome. There is no smooth path to self love…at least not yet. My hope is that once I achieve recovery I will also be better able to attain self-love.
Thoughts? Leave them in the comments below!