I had self-diagnosed depression, so I thought in my thirties at the peak of life when I struggled to built a career and at the same time raising 2 small kids. I drifted through more than a decade of my lifetime studying, working , ferrying kids around … Days went by without I really realising it. Looking back now, I had lived life without really living. After each busy day, I would lay down in bed cry myself to sleep most of the nights without really knowing why… My then husband would not know what to do and kept himself busy away from me. Every day felt like yet another obstacle to overcome, another day to endure. Sometimes, I felt pain just to exist. Sometimes, I felt numb and just ‘lived’ by. When my husband said to me he was leaving to let me find my happiness or something to that effect, I was devastated. I thought my life shattered. The man who was once my lover had suddenly became cold and I could only look at him like a stranger. The only thing that kept me going was my 2 sons. I once had a silly thought that once they had grown up and independent of me I would just disappear … feelings of betrayal and failure was overwhelming.
The breakup of the marriage had brought me back in touch with deep self-enquiry. Months of painful emotions had brought the focus back to me. It was painful to acknowledge that in the years of marriage, I was so out of touch with myself. Not only I had ignored my own heart and needs, I had neglected my health and gained a lot of weight over the years. I had so abandoned myself. I had so much to be grateful for but yet I chose to feel miserable, I was so unkind to myself.
I was looking for happiness and thought hard what to change in my life to feel happier. I swear affirmations daily : I am healthy, happy and beautiful. I exercise regularly. I do yoga and Pilates. I eat healthily. I have lost weight. I feel good . I practice gratitude. I am more appreciative and kinder to myself. I meditate regularly and gradually rebuild myself. Yes, I LOVE ME!
Self-love is not only a feeling towards myself . It is a practice. Self-love grows from actions of putting myself first , making myself important, and being kind and compassionate with myself as a human being struggling to find personal meaning. I forgive myself for past mistakes. No one is perfect. Everyone feels pains. I learn from the mistakes and move forward. It is okay if I feel low sometimes. I am human afterall .
I always have a choice. My wants and needs are important. I am my priority. Self-love is about choosing consciously things or people that are good for me, make me feel right, and serve me right. I have stopped trying to please people. I am not worried about how much others like or approve of me. I am what I am. I am more authentic. I accept myself, my weaknesses and my strengths, my beautiful and not-so-cool qualities. I only want to surround myself with good people who support and love me.
Loving myself, I deepen my connection with my true self and the ability to listen to my inner wisdom. How I see, feel and treat my inner self is reflected on my physical body and my appearance. I feel more confident and carry myself around well.
Loving myself, I make decisions that honour me rather than harm me. I do more things: yoga, writing, reading, watching movies, meditating, facials. Spending time in my own company is not scary anymore. I have stopped being afraid of being alone. I enjoy my own company. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the company of few genuine friends too. But I know I am my best friend. I reduce my working time so I could spend more quality time with my children and be present in their lives and to have more ‘me’ time.
What I have realised from the broken marriage is that, there is just no way you can love another person if you don’t love yourself. On the other hand, it will be very emotionally painful for the other person to love you too. The quality of your relationship with yourself influences the quality of your relationship with the people around you. You can only give love if you have love inside you. The love you create for yourself will naturally positively touch all the relationships around you in your life.
I am responsible for my own happiness. Happiness dwells in me. I don’t have to look far. Just look inside me. When I love myself more and feel inner peace. That is happiness. Self love is the greatest love of all.