For as long as I can remember, I have struggled with loving myself. It started at a young age when I stopped loving parts of myself 'til one day I didn’t just not love parts of me anymore; I just didn’t love me. I punished myself for who I was and who I wasn’t. I was ashamed of the mistakes and choices I made. There was not a part of me I did not want to change. This consumed me. I was convinced that that kind of self-loathing does not just simply go away. I did not want to invest the time and pain into trying to change what I didn’t like; it was too big of a battle. So, I continued to choose to be unhappy.
I don’t really remember why or what convinced me, but I decided that I was going to be happy.
I have spent the past months learning to love myself again. It hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be. Once I decided I wanted to love myself, it was pretty simple.
I convinced myself of these four simple truths, and they have brought me more self-love and happiness than I thought was possible:
Although it would be nice, you cannot make people forgive you. Forgive yourself.
There is nothing you can do to change the past. Stop harping on it.
You are not the sum of your mistakes. Learn from your mistakes and be better because of them; not in spite of them.
No amount of outside affirmation will make you feel loved until you love yourself.
Today I have learned that love: how wild my hair looks after a drive with the windows down, singing “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses in the shower, and the freckle in my belly button. It's like a new relationship, loving myself again, everything is new and exciting.
I am happy and I love myself again and that is pretty cool.