In this post I will be discussing an important process of recovery, self-love.
Self-love is something that is invisible when suffering mental illness. With self-love comes belief, respect, worth and everything you can feel for someone else but you find impossible to feel for yourself. It is a hard thing for anyone in today’s society to practice and master; many of us are all learning to love who we are, but it is not impossible.
We should not live in a world where lacking love for yourself is normal.
When I talk about self-love I do not mean arrogance or narcissism, I mean an ability to acknowledge that you deserve genuine happiness.
So… How do you build the courage? Where do you start? How do you start? Why do you start? When do you start?
I believe the answer to these questions vary from person-to-person., because we are all different people, one thing that may make someone feel anxious may not make another person.
Working on your self-esteem and developing love for who you are is somewhat paradoxical; people think you have to believe in yourself at least a little bit for this to work. But if you don’t believe you are worth it then how could you possibly work to love yourself? This is the paradoxical nature of developing self-love.
Sit back. Converse within. Question yourself. Rationalise.
“Why don’t I love myself?”
“If I did things to try and build my self-esteem what is the worst that could happen?”
“Is it really possible to fail?”
“Why am I not worth it? Because I feel that way – isn’t this emotional reasoning? Just because I feel something doesn’t make it true. It doesn’t confirm it as a legitimate fact.”
“Do I not deserve the same compassion I offer my loved ones?”
“I have nothing to lose here, and potentially a lot to gain.”
“Isn’t happiness our human birth right? Am I not human?”
I will always say this: you are going to live with one person for the rest of your life so you may as well learn to love them, who is this person? Yourself.
Developing self-love is about challenging your comfort zone. Doing things that scare you. Starting from the smallest detail and working to the bigger moments, all for your inner love and happiness.
Getting on a bus, walking to the shop, wearing a certain item of clothing, leaving without makeup on, going to the cinema on your own, eating at a restaurant on your own, going to the park alone and reading your favorite novel, instigating conversation, calling a friend, asking for help at work, planning a night out or in with friends, getting on a long distance train, buying coffee in the morning instead of tea, applying for a new job, going for a promotion, moving to a new college or university, moving out of home, taking an exam.
When we say ‘do one thing every day that scares you’ we do not mean go and jump off a cliff in a literal sense but a metaphorical one; we mean all of the above, the smallest things that will influence your self-love positively.
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Take a leap of faith.
Do one small thing differently, your confidence WILL grow.
Then the healing can begin.