Today's challenge has to do with self love. I have been procrastinating on starting it because I know it will be a difficult one for me. But it is called a challenge for a reason so I must forge ahead.
I have always struggled with self esteem and self love issues. My whole life I've thought myself to be lesser, not good enough, unlovable and a host of other things related to the way I feel about myself. I don't know for sure why or how this started, but it has persisted throughout my life thus far, even though I have tried before to change my mindset. Over the past few years, I have had experiences which have led me to really believe all that I've been saying about myself. From my last post you would have learned that I struggled socially all through university (which was much worse than it actually sounds), and came back home with my confidence utterly bruised. This, plus other personal issues that I struggled (and still struggle with) simply compounded my negative beliefs about myself and made it that much more difficult for me to believe that there was any reason to truly love myself.
"Identify any self hating thoughts you may have."
- I'm a loser who can't do anything right
- I hate myself
- I wish I were someone else
- I fail at everything I try
- I'm awkward and nobody likes me
"Identify the reason behind this self hate."
As I mentioned above, it's something I've struggled with my whole life, and to be completely honest, I'm not sure why. There have been times when berating myself badly for something, that I've had to literally stop and ask, "why do I hate myself so much?" I think it perhaps is one of those things where little moments, circumstances and situations add up to become an avalanche. I believe some of it has to do with not getting external validation from certain people in my life, perhaps at a time when I needed it most. Then cue a series of disappointing events which make you question your self worth, then you've got the whole mountain tumbling down. This all sounds very vague to anyone reading it, but life is made up of a million little moments, all with the opportunity to either build you up or break you down, and personality factors as well as environmental ones have a lot to do with the way a situation is perceived by a person.
So while I have not as yet solved the mystery behind my self hate, this has allowed me to open up a dialogue about it.
"Change your self hating thoughts."
- Although I may fail at things, failing is a normal part of being human. The important thing is that I have the courage to get up and try again.
- My life may not be perfect but nobody's is. Perfection is a lie. The ups and downs are what make life interesting and unique. Disappointments show me how strong I am.
- I have a unique set of talents and abilities with which I can carry out my purpose in a way that nobody else on this earth can.
- I am caring, kind and compassionate; a loyal friend to those who take the time to get to know me.
- I am worthy of my own love, no matter how many mistakes I make.
"Identify your action step to love yourself today."
- I'll spend some time in prayer and reflection, thinking about the things I'm grateful for in my life.
- I will dust off the keys of my keyboard (piano) and spend some time playing, as I've been neglecting it for far too long.
- I will get an early night's rest.
Today's challenge was very difficult for me. Self love is a painful topic for me, since I struggle with it so much. There have been and still are so many things I would like to change about myself, in terms of improving my skills, my habits, the way I spend my time, etc. and for a long time I hated myself for it. But I've realized that you can't hate your way to positive change. Change has to come from a place of love and acceptance. Ironically, we have to love ourselves as we are, accept where we are in life, to be able to make the changes we want to make.
The goal should never be perfection. The goal is to be better than we were yesterday. And that starts with loving who we are today.
"I love myself unconditionally."