falling in love; with you
Ahhhh. It is the day of love *pretend french music is playing softly in the background*. We are talking about V DAY baby. Valentines. So its high time I think we talk about the most important relationship you will ever have. And that is your relationship with yourself. I don't remember a time when I actually loved myself. My dealings with low self esteem, hatred for myself and feelings of inadequacy have been long running. I've made it my mission this year to learn to love myself. Because I figure that all great things start within you, and if I come from a place of love it will be better for all those involved in my life.
Despite this new found motivation it seems as though my inner self is fighting hard on the loving yourself concept. I talked a lot about it in my previous counselling sesh with Jo. And although on a logical level I'm all for it, it seems my subconscious is totally against it. In truth, deep down I think love, vulnerability and authenticity ends in pain. And it seems my subconscious will do just about anything to save me from that hurt.
I have so many of these memories. Moments from my childhood where I just didn't feel good enough. I felt forgotten. Unimportant. Broken. I remember a time when I physically couldn't look myself in the mirror because I hated what was reflected back to me. I remember pushing myself to be thinner to be liked, to be better or more skilled to be loved. I remember desperately wanting people to like me so I morphed into being something I'm not (#peoplepleaser). And all these moments have carried themselves into my adulthood. Where the belief that I am simply not enough is confirmed, solidified and validated. So that now when someone wants to hang out with me I question it. Now when Luke tells me he loves me I wonder why, how could someone ever love me. And when someone throws me a compliment I turn into a constipated stunned deer in headlights.
Its been (practically) 25 years of me believing that I'm not good enough. So replacing that old belief is going to take some work. But I have a theory that loving yourself (and believing I'm good enough) first starts with forgiveness. I was listening to the podcast Self Service recently and Jerico said that 'only by looking directly at our wounds can we begin cleansing and healing ourselves. so don't be afraid to look'. For me it was the gentle reminder I needed to delve deep into those past memories and work through the pain that is there. Totally surrender and give myself the space to heal. No doubt it will take a long time. But the motions are already in place. I have a lot of unlearning to do. And shedding all these old beliefs is scary and confusing. But totally worth it.
After forgiveness I think you move into a space of acceptance and self care. In another episode of Self Service Dr Lauren was talking about how she started treating herself the way she treated her daughter Ava. There was this boundary between Ava and all her other responsibilities. If it was Ava's time she wouldn't pick up the phone. Meeting Ava's needs was most important because Ava mattered. She loved Ava (a mini version of her) so much but didn't even like herself. So she started treating herself how she treated Ava. Because then maybe she would start feeling about herself the way she felt about Ava. She started saying no to things when it was 'her time', she set boundaries, feed herself nourishing foods and truly started looking after Lauren. So when she started treating herself that way, she started sending a sort of unconscious message that she had value. That Lauren mattered. And she started feeling about herself the way she felt about Ava. She was sending herself the message that she was enough just as she was. Nourishing yourself. And nurturing yourself across all aspects of your life. Because you do matter. Self care is like the key to acceptance and loving yourself.
I think after that moving into liking and loving myself will be more natural and less of a giant leap.
Baby steps first.