Learning about Self-Love

Happy Self-Love Sunday!

Two days ago, I shared a lot in my “Free-Thinking Friday” post. I shared things that I never would’ve when I first started blogging. But almost a year after I started blogging, twenty months into my Self-Love Journey I decided that it was finally time. My Self-Love Journey has been filled with intentional decisions to better myself, my habits and my life overall. When I first began my ‘Self-Love Journey’ in September of 2017, it was during a time when I knew I had to step away from the way I had been practicing love. I had put myself on the back burner for years and it was finally catching up to me.

I was crying myself to sleep on a regular basis, having anxiety attacks at least 4 days a week, and engaging in relationships that only drained me emotionally, physically and spiritually. I was angry, depressed, and broken from things I thought only time could heal. I wasn’t invested in myself and my attitude revealed that. I had unhealthy relationships with habits and people that had already hurt me. I kept going back to the things I thought I could never release myself from. If I reread poems from that time in my life I see phrases that told of a deep and intense longing to do the very things I should’ve been running from. I wanted to be loved by those who constantly revealed that they had no desire or ability to love me the way I needed to be loved. I hadn’t spent the time to even learn and apply Self-Love, I was caught up in allowing the love of others to replace the love I should’ve been giving myself.

From the outside, I don’t think the average person could see the things I was battling with but those closest to me encouraged me to step back and access my actions. I knew exactly what I was doing, and that was always my excuse. I found myself constantly saying, “I know what I’m doing, don’t worry about me”. Around 1pm on a sunny mid-September afternoon in 2017, I was fed up. I had had enough. I had suppressed enough. I had put off healing for long enough. I decided that day to begin my Self-Love Journey.

At that point, I didn’t have a blog. At that point, I didn’t have a good relationship with a lot of the people in my life. At that point, I didn’t have a boyfriend. A lot has changed since then but this change wasn’t necessarily planned. I just knew that my heart couldn’t take much more. I wasn’t giving myself the things that I needed to grow and feel loved. I was neglecting myself in the most unfair way. I was putting the desires of others before my own and apologizing every time I began to take care of myself. I was running on fumes and when I realized how far I had shifted from who I wanted to be I began this journey. In all honesty, in September of 2017, I had no idea that this would be a journey at all. I didn’t decide, “Hey, I think I’ll start a Self-Love Journey today”, I just decided to stop hurting myself.
I identified a few areas in my life that needed change, and once these areas were identified, I got to work. Of course, I didn’t expect things to change overnight and now as I look back, I may not have handled every situation the right way. I didn’t write out a plan for this healing process. I just knew I had a lot of healing to do. I needed to learn how to love myself all over again. I had an unhealthy relationship with myself and that’s where most of the hurt was coming from. I spent the following six months praying about the things I needed to change, making conscious decisions to better myself and intentionally removing myself from all romantic engagements. I had to begin choosing myself on a consistent basis and that meant devoting my free-time to myself. I didn’t want to spend anytime cultivating a relationship with anyone but myself.

Once the seeds of gratitude and self-worth were planted I had to move on to pulling up the weeds that had made my heart and mind their home. The weeds of self-destruction, insecurity and fear had no place in my life so I spent just as much time planting new seeds as I did removing those weeds that could potentially strangle the new seeds I planted.

This post is to highlight the importance of growth and holding yourself accountable. Self-Love is a journey that only you can mark the milestones for. I’ve come a long way but I’m nowhere near where I need to be. I’m constantly learning new ways to understand the unhealthy habits that I’ve allowed to creep their way into my character. For years I’ve had the negative habit or coping mechanism of suppressing every issue I’m afraid of dealing with. For years I didn’t allow myself to cry or experience intense emotions for more than a few minutes at a time. I’m learning about fears I never knew I had and childhood trauma I still haven’t healed from.

In a later post, I’ll go into detail about the specific things that have shaped and are still shaping this journey. I’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way but even those are lessons I am grateful for. Last Friday’s post was a big step for me. For years I didn’t share poems from my past because I wasn’t in a place mentally where I felt safe sharing that much of myself. But I’m realizing that sharing the experiences that made me realize I needed a Self-Love Journey may be just as important as sharing the journey itself.

Happy Self-Love Sunday everyone!! I hope you can resonate with my experience to some extent.

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