Self Love: How I learned to love myself

The only lifetime relationship you have is the one you have with your self. That is why it is important to keep a good and healthy relationship with yourself. As a young woman I have been struggling with this ”Self Love” for years now. Not only because of my experiences in life, but also because as an empath I am so sensitive to what others need me to be or do, that I have lost myself a couple of times along the road. There were times where I was so caught up in pleasures from outside of me that I did not feel unworthy, guilt or shame. But then there were also times where this emptiness inside me almost ate me whole. At the lowest point I came to the conclusion that the only way to peace and content was to start loving myself. This journey has  shaped my character and even fueled most of the inspiration for this blog, and so I am truly thankful for all of these experiences. As of today I can honestly say that I am practicing Self Love and so I wrote down the things I had to do before getting here. Notice how I call it practicing ? That is because to me it still is a process I yet have to master. Here are the key points that helped me get where I am today:

I stopped talking down on myself
For a long time I was caught in a cycle of repetitive behavior I was not really proud of. There was a lot of hurt, and feelings of unworthiness and fear, that drove my decision making when it comes down to how I was living my life. I was playing certain roles for friends and family, but when I was alone most of the time I felt lost and empty. Those feeling led to secretive behaviors to numb the pain I was feeling. It helped at that moment, the void was filled for a little while, but when that rush was over and I was right back where I started, I was overwhelmed with emotions as guilt and shame. I was not proud of who I was, and sometimes I did not even want to be me. So, what that made me do is talk negative about myself to others, but also to myself. I would say things like ”I’m stupid” ”That will never happen for me” and ”I will end up alone”. These things I also believed about myself and given the fact that I repeated it over and over again, it became a reality. The one thing I stopped when I started to learn how to practice Self Love was talking down on myself. Instead, I started to say only positive things about myself to others and myself. There have been so many scientific experiments, one I can recall was with rice, where the researchers talked positively to one bowl and negatively to the other one. The results were, as expected, that the positive reinforced bowl thrived while the other one died. (See the image on the left. From Positive Thinking Power) So if words have that effect on rice, what do you think is happening when you do that to yourself constantly? You die inside, and quite literally too. So, if you want to be happy and healthy STOP talking down on yourself right now!

I started eating healthy
As I started this journey I also could not ignore my eating habits any longer. I have always eaten fruits and veggies, but when I felt like it. There were days where I didn’t even eat at all. Just because I was on the couch smoking weed and too lazy to get my behind up to fix myself a plate. That is exactly what I meant with ”certain behaviors”! But, in loving myself I needed to start taking care of myself as I would take care of someone else that I loved. So I started juicing, became a vegetarian and just really tried and eat as natural and healthy as possible. I must say that this is still a part of the struggle today. I have my cravings and moments where I just viciously attack things that are sugary or fat. (Especially during my time of the month) This is still not all the way under control but I know that is plays a huge roll in psychical  health and emotional stability. But even though my ways are not perfect, I am eating healthy and I feel a lot better.

I started nurturing my body and soul
Nurture doesn’t end with food alone, so I needed to take care of all of my body and my soul too. I started exercising to get more energy, feel more vibrant and be healthier. Also I started a new daily routine where I get up early and go to bed early. This gives me more time to rest and I personally need structure in my life because of my emotional turbulence sometimes. My mind is very chaotic and sometimes it overwhelms me, so going to bed on time helps to silence the mind. I feel relaxed and well rested every morning when I wake up. The nurturing of my soul is not so obvious as the body aspect of course. It is based on a gut feeling of love you feel inside your stomach when something just feels right. When I started this journey last year I made a vow to myself to only allow the things that make me feel good inside into my life, whether it’s a job, a relationship, a house, a place or you name it. I feed my soul things that I love like flowers inside my home, burning candles and in scent that smell nice, singing and dancing inside my home and keeping my home clean and tidy. The last one is also very important to help ease my mind and relax myself after a long day. I need a clean and tidy surrounding, otherwise it’s too chaotic inside of me AND around me! What I also do to feed my soul is read books! Books! Books! Books! I just can not get enough of them, and so I spoil myself with knowledge. The last but certainly not least part is music; reggae, soul or old school blues or r&b always soothes my soul. These vibrations are so filled with joy and love that by listening to them, my soul opens up naturally.

I eliminated all negative things around me
This was a challenge because there is a big difference between your comfort zone and what’s good for you. I had to come a long way before I finally saw this. I was so stuck in my patterns that I thought they made me feel good, when in reality I was not happy at all. Since I saw this I started eliminating all negativity that surrounded me. I deleted phone numbers, cigarettes, habits and ideas I had about myself. In the place thereof I poured love, joy, positivy and humbleness.  Focusing on these last few things really helped me block out all negativity, whether it came from me or my surroundings. I used to feel very vulnerable to the feelings and vibes of other people, but as I slowly started to learn how to focus on my own energy, I saw that I no longer fell victim to their influence. This really helped me a lot, also in my job where I work with people the whole day long.

I followed my heart
I think this last one is the most important one because love really is all about your heart. So why not start listening to it? How many times have you come to a point in your life where you were torn between your mind and your heart? And how many of those times your heart won? With me I always was the type to just follow my intuition, but really listen to what my heart wanted, instead of acting out of guilt, shame, or fear was something that was new to me! I finally let go of all fears and just went after my dreams. I always wanted to have a husband, a family and live somewhere where the Sun always shines, and even though I am not there as of today, I am slowly but surely getting there. I started writing again and this time with passion AND purpose, and I just do what I feel like doing in general every day. My life may not be as ”exciting” as it used be, and I might not have a big circle of friends and acquaintances anymore, but I am happy and more important than that I am balanced and content. Because that is what I have been missing all of these years of searching for bliss and running for suffering. I was really just trying to find my peace and balance. I am not so spectacular, I’m really kind of boring, but I am me! And I accept myself completely the way I am, and give myself enough space to create even more of the woman I am trying to become. All that it took was some heartbreak, a little self hate and a black hole; and now that I finally learned how to love this unique spirit of mine, I will never let myself down like that ever again!

 

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Surya Tanya