What makes me an expert?

Honestly, I will never call myself an expert in anything, I strongly believe that there is always more to learn about everything in life. What I do call myself is a person with a heck of a lot of experience. I like to think of myself as Yoda, getting my words mixed up in every third sentence helps with that.

For privacy reasons, I am going to change the names of people in certain events mentioned, as this is not intended to “out” people, this is about information, learning and connecting. I ask that you do not ask me for anyone's real names, or go into detective mode here, I am trusting you to take my story, my real and raw story and use it as a learning experience.

Self love vs Self Loathing

The two opposite ends, both very strong emotions, starting this story at one end and making our way to the other end. As a child, I never much liked who I was, events occurred daily (at school) in my childhood that lead me to some pretty destructive views of myself, to the point of not wanting to look at myself in the mirror. Let me be real with you, I have done many edits to this part of my story, however I don't think getting into the nitty gritty will serve any good here when I have forgiven all that happened all that time ago.

But as I often say, forgive and don't forget. I have forgiven everyone from my schooling years, however it has all taught me the valuable lesson of once something is said, it cannot be taken back. And let me tell you, this piece of self advice has made sure I don't regret what I say to someone, because I never say something that I wouldn't want my mum to hear.

So how did you go from loathing to loving?

Without the journey of my childhood, I never would've known that I needed to change my outlook for myself. One day, I read an article about playing the victim, and whilst it was a kick in the gut, I realised that is exactly what I was doing. I would always tell people my “woe is me” story within the first ten minutes of meeting them. No wonder I couldn't make any friends.

This is how school life felt for me.

I made a decision there and then, that I would start to not play the victim anymore. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, I just had to catch myself before blurting out that people should feel bad for me, and do you know what I noticed? I was part of a friendly, deep conversation and the person i was talking to didn't have the scared rabbit look.

It was about a year after that, that I discovered that friends of mine were able to actually think they were pretty and loveable. Now this was such a strange self thought to me, so I spent many hours talking with them about it. There was one friend in particular, lets call her Jane, who told me that there was such a thing called self love. Jane gave me a few resources to go through and learn about self love, and I got hooked. Who wouldn't want to learn to love themselves just the way they are?

Friendships aren't always forever

Something I learnt rather early on, is that friendships don't always last. Fights happen, people grow apart emotionally and physically. But I also learnt that everyone comes into our life for a reason. People don't need to stay, in fact, it is better if some don't stay. But I learnt that lesson much later in life, there were many days I would question why someone no longer wanted to be my friend. Little did I know at that point, that all those events happened so I could be here today, loving myself the way I am.

Credit rawpixel

Rocky road

As I saw in almost every post, self love is a journey. There will be ups, there will be downs, but it's important to focus on all the ups when the downs happen. If you're someone like me who tends to self sabotage when bad things happen, trying to stay positive or getting back to being positive is imperative.

I personally have been through many downs in my life, some lasted only short bursts, one recent one lasted several months and unfortunately, everyday that I woke up, I was unable to find the good. But still, I entered my routine, didn't stray from the usual, and I found my way back, because I instilled these habits to do to be able to see the good in the world.

But I have a best friend, why do I need self love?

Well that's a good question. Let me give you a few examples of some friends I currently have, and have had in my life.

Simone would go quiet for days on end when she was with other friends.

Violet would go quiet for weeks until she decided we should hang out

Kim would go quiet when she had a boyfriend, and then come back into the picture when she was single

Poppy would go quiet when she was stressed with work or studying

Lucy would go quiet whenever she felt like she needed some alone time.

And you know what, I go quiet when I am very busy at work. Everyone goes quiet for some reason or another to everyone around them, whether other people notice or not is another topic for another day.

The point that I'm making here is that you cannot rely on anyone else to make you happy. Poppy is the closest thing I have to a best friend, probably ever had, and I still only talk to her once every few days because of the tolls of her study and work. Yet, never once have I ever leant on her to feed me my own happiness. I may have asked for her validation once or twice, but as someone who is self aware of the impact of relationships purely for validation, I ensure she is in the right mental capacity for me to ask such a thing of her.

Friends come at all moments of your life. Credit rawpixel

But what about a partner? They are meant to give me unconditional love

Now this is something I have heard many times, some from teenagers and some from adults. I personally think this is too much pressure to put on someone, could you imagine always having to walk around validating, cheering up and showing your in love with someone? Maybe it's because I've never been in such a consuming relationship that I've felt the need to do this, so if this is you and your relationship, again, I am NO EXPERT, just Yoda…

I will however tell you what I've learnt from my experience and everyone around me. I am someone who likes to be whole before dragging someone into my life, I like to make sure that I am my own independent person always. So when I broke it off with my ex, it took me a whole year to claim I was truly ready for another relationship. I made sure I worked through every emotion, and that I didn't have any underlying emotions, that if I saw my ex on the street, I wouldn't run over and slap him, because anger means you still care. And as I say, forgive but never forget, forgive your ex for whatever it was that happened (doesn't need to be to them, but to yourself) and move on, but don't get caught up in that game with them again.

Self love in relationship is important. Credit rawpixel

I have watched multiple friends jump from relationship to relationship without working through their emotions fully and let's just say, it shows. Arguments happen from what my friend is expecting the partner to do because of past hurt. I strongly believe that it is not fair on your partner if you haven't worked through your past relationships.

Get to the point Amy

Alright alright, I've bored you enough with my story. So here is a little summary for you. Self love comes from within, from your soul. You need to find true happiness being you, and if you look in the mirror or at your life and realise you aren't happy with you, why not make a few tweaks here and there to see if you can improve on some aspects of your life. I constantly do this, to make sure that the person I am today, tomorrow and everyday is the person I am truly happy being.

I'm on the long and never ending road of self love. Credit rawpixel

Authors Note

Thanks for reading! I hope these tips help you to build confidence and love yourself. If you have any other tips that have helped you, please share them in the comments below

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