Because what else is the point, really?
Do you honestly think that you exist on this earth to live in misery and self-hatred? To go through your days bitter, resentful, unhappy, and discouraged? That doesn’t make much sense, does it?
I understand that it’s hard to climb out of the depression when you’re deep down in it. I’ve spent most of my life in that trench, and it’s work to keep myself out of it. The darkness is always there, threatening to creep back in. That’s just life, and our healing process involves staring that old pattern straight on when it arises, accepting and embracing our shadow sides, and then moving through them into something new. Something brighter. Something hopeful.
Self-love is probably the hardest thing any of us will ever do, but it’s also the most important. If we are able to work on this mindfully and continually, to the point where we can find some modicum of self-acceptance and trust, it makes a world of difference. The amount of change I’ve felt over the past year, simply from deciding to lean in and commit to the work (finally), is beyond what I could’ve ever imagined. Less than twelve months ago, I hated myself so deeply that I looked in the mirror and wished there was nothing there staring back at me. I’d felt that disgust towards myself for as long as I could remember. I was trapped, confused, angry at the world. I thought that life was unfair and that I was simply a victim to whatever circumstance befell me.
As I’ve worked through my healing, a few realizations have changed my perspective radically. For example, I noticed that I was wasting a good deal of energy on all this negativity, and that the toxicity of the way I felt about myself kept leaking out onto everyone around me. I desperately craved connection and affection, but ironically I could not find the very thing that I wanted. The only people you attract when stuck so deeply in negativity are those in the same headspace … and there is no real future in that.
Learning to embrace, accept, even sometimes celebrate myself does not feel natural to me. Maybe you, like me, were never taught to feel good about yourself growing up. But as I heal, learn, and evolve, I’m realizing that it’s worth the effort. That it is, in fact, all that matters. That once we can develop radical self-acceptance, nothing stands in our way. We won’t care what anyone else thinks, or let anything keep us from our truth. And that is where our true peace and contentment lies.
I don’t have all the answers – I’m not even close. I will venture to say that in my opinion, learning to love yourself should be your top priority. It feels pretty impossible to live a happy and fulfilled life if you are stuck in a cycle of self-hatred and contempt. That’s no foundation to build upon. So what if you instead threw all your efforts into healing, into doing the work to love yourself as fully as possible? Even if that feels like an impossibility? Even if you have no idea where to start? You don’t need to know. You just need to do it.
You’ve got this, my sweet soul. You can learn to love yourself unconditionally. You can grow to accept and even embrace all sides of yourself, light, dark, and everything in between. I believe in you and I love you.