Self: Love and Compassion
“Accept Yourself, Love Yourself”
The Self-Love tagline has been buzzing around social media for awhile now. Some run with it to justify why they must only think of themselves. A handful believe self-love is parallel to hedonism. I know a few who wrongfully play with it to continue negative habits. Other people understand the importance of self-love and its power to love others and motivate themselves. There are also a few people who just slap a negative connotation to it based on hearing or reading “self”. I used to be apart of the latter group.
I grew up with a belief that honored placing oneself last. I made sure everyone was good before I was. I gave pieces of my heart to others while it was cracking at the corners. I tried to soothe the past aches of others so much that I barely had enough energy to heal my own. When I was a Christian, I’d say to myself, “Serve others and God will cover me.” But, what would he be covering if there was nothing left? He already gave me the tools, support, community, outlets and assistance to heal properly. Towards the end of my Christian journey, I realized that I could not properly love, accept or give compassion to anyone else unless I gave it to myself first. So, I began searching within myself. I faced attributes I didn’t love and began to love them. The characteristics that many minimized or belittled, I adored. The parts of my quintessence that I refused to accept, I began to accept them. I meditated on my strengths and weakness and embraced them equally. I gave myself compassion sparingly. I can be hard on myself, so self-compassion was a toughy for me. There were loved ones that were hyper critical of me 75% of my upbringing. I eventually adapted that unhealthy habit and went to town on myself. I’m still learning to give more compassion to myself. I FINALLY understood the power of speaking affirmations to myself. I had to. After realizing how critical I am with myself yet accepting of others- utilizing affirmations was imperative.
In 2015, I began this journey of self-love (still on it. I believe it’s a lifetime thing) thinking that it would just be full of acceptance, bubble baths and weeding out messy relationships.
Self-love is a messy, beautiful, ego-shrinking- higher-self-seeking- pride killing, dignity intactin’, self- accountability process that I don’t regret beginning. By 2016, I chose courage over fear of losing relationships. I chose boldness when standing firm about my boundaries. I chose love over hating parts of myself that others disapproved of.
When you love yourself (including self-care, acceptance and compassion), I believe the desire to find your passion and purpose will begin to bubble at the base of your tummy. You’ll feel more solid with the way you move in this world when you love yourself. Authenticity will tap your essence until you answer it when you love on you. Taking it easy on yourself (with self-accountability in the mix too) through compassion will help you move on from your mistakes smoother. There is a plethora of evidence that has shown that a low self esteem, self worth and etc, can interfere with relationships. You can be engulfed in self-doubt you may not even trust the beauty of your own intuition. In shattered worth, you may feel unworthy to be with a good person and attempt to sabotage it. You can be with a healthy individual who accepts you for who are you, but because you don’t accept you- you’ll be blinded to see your partner’s open arms and compassion.
Towards the end of 2016, I was surrounded by people who fed my archaic hyper critical ways. Feeding such a bad habit created an opening for compassion of self to disappear. I was in a relationship that discouraged my growth of self-discovery and self-love. My boundaries were disrespected and my worth became a 99cent store teddy bear. I was empty, but still expected to pour into them. It’s hard to see a mess for what it really is when you’re comfy in it I got distracted and lost myself. I allowed myself roll off the pathway of self-discovery. Thankfully, I returned to the pathway of self-discovery and moved forward. As I was recovering (with the help of my loved ones, a grief journal, a therapist and coloring in a coloring book) I realized that even THEN I needed to give myself compassion. The relationship I’m in now doesn’t threaten the relationship I have with myself- she encourages it (even during the times I’m pouty and would rather not practice self-care). This allows room for me to be my best self and continue to evolve.
We are worthy enough to love and accept ourselves FIRST. We are worthy enough to give compassion to ourselves FIRST. Once we have our foundation right, we’ll be able to pour into others without cracking at the corners of our hearts.