Loving yourself through the Darkness

It’s simple to say to love yourself. Have confidence, be strong, but in all actuality, it requires great effort to practice those values. I’ve heard many people say “Love yourself”, “Be confident” but never go into detail on how to achieve those values and how the journey might be long, dark, lonely and quite scary. For those whom are tired of questioning whether they are valuable, capable of love or being loved, and finally want to look themselves in the mirror, smile and say “I’m worth it”, this blog post is just for you.

My journey to self -love started at the age of 32. For the first 18 years of my life, I’ve had many traumatic experiences that required me to grow up fast. Due to these circumstances, I became a very cold and guarded person.  Not because I wanted to be, it was just the only way I knew how to survive. And as I aged, I didn’t know myself, I didn’t try. I accepted a lot; toxic behavior, mental , emotional and physical abuse, all because I thought that’s what I deserved.  And after experiencing one of the worst betrayals of my life, the dark path that was dimly lit became pitch black. For almost a year, I lost hope. Lost hope in myself and what my life could be. My mind and soul was so overwhelmed with grief, that I even wrote of poem about my ending my life. I know it’s selfish, but at the time it seemed more appealing to leave everyone and everything behind. And it’s not because I don’t appreciate my beautiful family and amazing friends, I just wanted the suffering to end. When you spend the majority of your life fighting for basic needs, you tend to break down, waving the white flag in the air, no longer seeing a clear view to fight. At least that’s how I felt at the time.

It wasn’t until I turned 33, that I had a breakthrough. I asked myself “With all you have endured, do you really want to live the rest of your life being unhappy? Never knowing peace, never knowing what your life could be if you tried?”. When I answered no, a clear thought came to me. It was the solution to the most substantial issue I’ve struggled with for a long time; I need to learn to love myself.

The most effective method I’ve used is changing the way I think. Although most close to me did not know I am a negative thinker, my mind was consumed with it. I’ve always had a habit of thinking the worst because it was my defense mechanism. If I pictured the worst in a situation and it happened, the disappointment would not be as severe. I rationalized this toxic trait without realizing how much damaged I caused myself internally. Once I realized that my negative thoughts are a hindrance to my growth as person, I began to practice gratitude and positivity. I envisioned myself in some of the most amazing situations and when those negative thoughts start to creep in, I would immediately banish them.

In addition, I began to practice motivational affirmations. There was an Instagram post I came across and the gentlemen in the video said “I now release everyone and everything that is stopping me from creating the life that I want. And attracting the love and abundance that I need now”. These were the exact words I needed to hear. Now every morning , I say them out loud while looking in the mirror. I compliment, list out my accomplishments, whether big or small and remind myself it’s okay to make mistakes; just remember to learn from them.  I also sing my praises to God. I show gratitude for everything. No matter how big, small, positive or negative. When you practice saying what you are grateful for, doors that were previously closed, open up and more blessings come your way.

These valuable methods have helped me tremendously. I am now transformed mentally, emotionally and spiritually. For those who are looking for a change and want to truly admire your beautiful self, loving yourself is the key.

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