This is How You Love Yourself
Your ability to love yourself dictates the way you feel in your body, in your relationships, and in every other area of your life. It’s not a code you crack and the work is done. In fact, there are moments you might spiral into self-doubt, wake up halfway down the hill, and climb your way back to your heart.
Self-love is a journey that you get to decide to be on or not.
This is how you love yourself:
It starts with choosing to listen. You slow down enough to hear one little whisper from your soul telling you that it’s time for more. Instead of begging for the pain to go away, you choose to hear what your pain is begging of you. You open yourself up just enough to allow in the possibility of a new way of being.
You choose to see the truth. You keep looking until you find even a glimmer of honesty in your bones. You stop giving your allegiance to the parts of you that look for proof that life is against you, that you’re too much, and that it’s for everyone else but not for you. You devote yourself to the crackle of your soul.
Maybe you stop buying things and instead start listening to the ways your heart hurts. You make space in your life to feel your feelings. You listen for the tiny whispers that tell you that you’re worthy, and you keep reminding yourself it’s going to be OK in the face of the voices that inundate you with reminders of your faults.
You decide to take a risk and start being on your own side.
Then you show up for yourself in as many moments as you can, and you realize that loving yourself looks different than you thought it did. You find out that loving yourself isn’t easy or simple. It isn’t something you experience one time and then attain some form of mastery.
When someone you love decides you are no longer for them, you let yourself feel the pain but you don’t entertain beliefs that there is something wrong with you. You wrap your arms around your own heart as you cry, and you commit to becoming the best partner of your life.
When you find your self-esteem deflating, you stop Internet stalking people who you believe have something you don’t. You put down the phone and say to yourself, “It’s OK. I’m alright. I’m beautiful. I’m worthy. I’m here for a reason.”
You say it even if you don’t feel like it’s true. You find the part in your heart that needs that love and you send it right there. You may or may not feel better. That is irrelevant. You’re in the long game of self-love.
You pull yourself away from your Netflix binge and lay down and breathe into your belly and then your heart, and you do that over and over again for thirty minutes or maybe just fifteen minutes or however long it takes for your heart to crack open and the love to flood in.
You stop measuring yourself by how far you have to go and instead look at how far you’ve come.
When your heart aches and you feel unlovable, you walk yourself to the the mirror, look into eyes full of pain, and you say, “I love you.” You say it through the resistance and in spite of a mind that tells you it’s cheesy and pointless. You turn your back to the judgmental parts of you and speak directly to the parts that feels helpless and alone.
When grief takes you to your knees, and you’re face to face with the parts of you that say you won’t make it through, you surrender to the ride and hold yourself tightly along the way. You soothe yourself through the fear and the hurt. And though it might feel like you won’t at times, you will make it.
Instead of fighting yourself you choose to let your own love in. You let it in once, then twice, and then each time you need it. You let it in when it feels hard. And when it feels impossible, you let it in even then.
When you wake up to see that you’ve been beating up and blaming yourself, you decide to stop wasting energy on guilt. Instead you say, “It’s OK. You’ll get it next time.” And one day you realize that that is you loving yourself, too.
When you have flashbacks of your abuses or when you feel the heavy injustice of a society that doesn’t honor your existence, you reach your hand into your throat and pull up the screams that have lay dormant for too long. You let your voice be heard because you’re ready. When you’re not ready you honor your process, and maybe you place a hand on your heart and let out tears for your betrayals.
You let your heart speak what your voice cannot.
You stop trying to get the people around you to validate your truth, and you do it for yourself. As the tears spill or in a fit of rage, you say to yourself, “I believe you. I see you. You matter. You belong.”
And then one day you begin to see yourself through the eyes of someone who thinks you are divinely beautiful (because you are). Instead of seeing features that were once too this or not that, you see your essence shining through. Instead of feeling too much or not enough, you know you are just as you should be.
Somewhere along your self-love journey you realize that loving yourself doesn’t mean you will feel good all the time. Loving yourself means you’re on your own side. You have your own back. You believe in yourself. And when you “fail” you love yourself even harder.
You love yourself through the pain from all of the moments when you didn’t love yourself. You love yourself like you are your own child. You love yourself like your life depends on it—because it just might.
There is a part of you that is desperately waiting for you to choose yourself.
So go do it.
And then do it again and again and again. This is how you love yourself.
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