You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection
What is the first thing you do the moment you wake up?
Do you chug down a glass of lukewarm water? Do you immediately scroll the latest notifications on your phone? Do you toss and turn under the sheets and promised yourself 5 more minutes?
These are habits you have learned to incorporate into your day to day life. Whether you yourself have acknowledged it to be a good thing or a bad thing, it has become a way of life.
But have you ever stopped and looked at yourself in the mirror the first thing you wake up?
Have you appreciated the day that has greeted you back?
Have you ever told yourself that today will be a good day?
Have you ever looked at yourself with pride at how far you’ve come?
During one of my darkest days, depression often clouded over my thoughts. Days seemed to be longer and the idea of tomorrow seemed so bleak.
I glanced at the mirror and failed to recognize the person staring back at me. I saw a stranger looking too gaunt and wearing an unrecognizable expression.
It was a face that neither showed happiness nor sadness. It was blank and I had become an empty shell.
I just continue on with my day to day life with the purpose of existing. I ate because I had to eat. I worked because I had a job. I slept because I was so worn out.
Yes, I existed, but I wasn’t living.
I blamed circumstance for being too harsh. I criticized reality for being too cruel. When I had nothing left to blame, I ultimately turned to myself and berated me for failing.
Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
I don’t remember the exact circumstance but one day I woke up and got tired of being tired.
I hated the person I was looking at and I missed the old me.
Many concerns came flooding in, but as time passed by it was slowly dying out. Everyone had their own lives to live and my friends and family were no exception.
I understood that they did more than enough. Despite throwing a lifesaver to save my drowning soul, they couldn’t pull me back up. How could they when I myself didn’t choose to hang on.
The present became a rude awakening and I had to finally save myself from drowning. I painfully kicked and treaded. Despite my exhausted limbs that grew weary pulling a heavy heart back up, I succeeded and resurfaced.
My first breath of air was lifesaving. My second breath of air was of gratitude. I was grateful to be alive again.
With my head above water, I learned the hard way that the answer to my problems was in me all along.
The rocks that weighed me down were that of self-loathing. Insecurities of being not enough slowly crept in. And the idea of being mediocre swallowed me whole.
I did not love myself enough to know my worth.
Tell me it’s okay. Don’t be afraid. Nobody can take away, take away. Love is the way.
We all have our own struggles. We all feel down when life becomes too hard. We feel all that because we are human.
It is but natural for one to yearn for reassurance, support, and love.
However, the concept of love varies between cultures and people. There are various interpretations and expressions of it.
But the bottom line is before you could give love away, you must bask in it yourself. It is easier to cling onto the idea of love rather than live in it.
Did you know that knowing your worth is one expression of self-love?
Take a step back and stop comparing yourself to others. Recall your many strengths and achievements.
What makes me stand out?
Why am I unique?
When you begin to ask those questions, you are finally in the right track.
Knowing your worth is not selling yourself short.
Don’t be guilty to charge more for your art for fear of losing a client. If you feel that your talent is worth that much then mark your price. You are responsible for your worth.
Knowing your worth is leaving when love is lost.
Cry because it’s over but smile because it happened. Don’t rot in a dying relationship. If your partner doesn’t see your worth, you yourself should. You are responsible for your happiness.
Knowing your worth is embracing every flaw and making it a strength.
You may not be good at everything but you are excellent at something. Weakness should not be seen as a liability but an asset. Yes, I am flawed but that’s what makes me beautiful. You are responsible for you.
Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.
— Louise L. Hay
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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Photo credit: Nick Fewings on Unsplash