Learning to Love … Myself

I have this friend… actually this person is one of my best friends… and they said something to me that stuck, and this idea has been rolling around in my mind as I worked on formulating a way to put it into words. Not sure if I will succeed, but I think I am ready to write about it now.

They told me that no one can ever truly love ME… until I love myself.

I have to tell you, at first this ticked me off… of COURSE I love myself, I’ve been working on it for years.. D’Uh.. But of course, the thought niggled at my brain for ages… DO I love myself? What does it mean to love yourself? How can I be sure? GAH WHAT IS LOVE!

Basically, in typical Shannon fashion, I over-analyzed this one sentence for weeks… So here is what my wonky doodle brain has come up with.

I am officially a work in progress!

When it comes right down to it, if you compare how I treat myself now, to how I treated myself in the past… I definitely love myself. In the past, I truly hated almost every aspect of myself… and I’m talking as far back as I can remember. I hated myself as a child, and as a teenager this morphed into a deeper hatred and a lack of confidence… I was sure that I deserved every shitty thing that had happened, or was happening to me… I got REALLY good at faking a smile and convincing everyone around me I was OK.

This act lasted…. well for years. I’m not saying my whole life was an act… but the Shannon  you saw around people, was the me who shoved all the pain into a tight ball deep inside so that I could get through the day… I would ignore the pain, pretend it wasn’t there, that it wasn’t a part of me… until I got home and cried. I wished for years that I would just not wake up. I didn’t want to kill myself, because that would let so many people down…. but if only I could just not wake up…. Well then, the pain would stop, and it wouldn’t even be my fault right?

ANYWAY you know all this, so I shall skip ahead to NOW.

Do I love myself? If I’m being overly harsh and blunt.. the answer is, most days I truly do… but there are still the odd days here or there where the depression takes over and my view get’s dark and hazy and I just want to crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head and pretend the world isn’t there.

With that said though, those days are getting fewer and further between. *Insert ALL the happy dances here*

I have begun to make myself a priority, and I now do things, simply because it’s what I want to do in that moment. I have stopped giving so much of myself away to other people, and building up the reserve in my heart. Don’t get me wrong, I still shower my nearest and dearest with all the love in the world because they are amazing and deserve it… but let’s just say, I’m more reserved on who falls into the nearest and dearest category now LOL.

I’m getting better at saying NO… though I still feel a twinge of sadness when I have to say it, but it’s something I’ve been working on.

Also, even though it costs me 50$ a month, I joined a gym… I haven’t been a member of a gym in about 5 years because quiet frankly, I didn’t think I was worth spending the money on. I’ve missed the gym this whole time… but money is money, and there is never enough… so Money always went towards other things, other people, anything but myself…. Well eff that shizz.. I’m back at the gym and loving it more than ever before. I find I miss the gym on the days that I can’t work out.. it’s only 30 mins at curves, so it doesn’t even take a big chunk of time… but it pumps me up, makes me feel alive, and like I am doing something just for myself. For me, a trip to the gym is akin to going to a spa (which I still haven’t done yet… but it’s on my list of things to do!)… It benefits no one but myself… it is a purely selfish thing that I do… and I LOVE it!

Also, the gym is right next to the ceramics and glass work workshop… and I have twice now gone into create art because you know what… I really love art, and making beautiful things… so I did it!

And not only that… but I actually find I look pretty in pictures now! .. ME… the girl who used to cringe at the mere mention of photo… thinks that the pics of herself that have gone up on Facebook recently look pretty. How vain is that? LOL.

I even bought myself new makeup… and earrings… Not that I wear makeup every single day…. I like the au natural look… but when I want to dress it up a bit, I do! And I don’t hide myself away anymore.

So there you go… I’m a work in progress, and probably always will be. I firmly believe that as humans we constantly evolve, and if we don’t put time and effort into working on ourselves, that we just grow stagnant and boring. I will forever be a work in progress…. but I am OK with that.

And for the record… I love love, and I love all the people who I love with my whole heart <3 So if you’re in that special group…. I am sending you super attack hugs, because you are freaking awesome, and you better not forget it!  Thanks for everything.

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