By: Jasmine Bledsoe
We have all been through it, not knowing how to properly love ourselves. We go around telling the world “I love myself!”, all the while we secretly do not accept who we really are. But ladies, I get it. When you live in a world that does not truly appreciate the black woman, how are you to feel worth anything? We are almost always used to merely benefit others. So, how do we learn to love ourselves? I will tell you here shortly! First, I would like to tell you all why I struggled with loving myself.
Growing up I was always TOLD to love myself but I was rarely ever shown what self love was. To be quite honest, I was rarely shown what love, proper love, even looked like. So, trying to eliminate all of the toxins that I had learned became very hard and seemed almost impossible. There I was, seventeen, not knowing my old self or current self. I was trying to figure out how I could love someone that I didn’t even know.
I legitimately hated everything about me. The way I looked, my personality, my gifts and talents. All because I had been brainwashed to believe that I wasn’t enough. I even went through a phase of questioning my existence. I became totally ok with never waking up again and I didn’t care who it would hurt.
I suffered with depression and anxiety all because I let life trick me into believing I wasn’t strong enough.
This went on for years, about four or five. Until one day I got tired of feeling like I was worthless. I took a step back and looked at my life. Seeing how unhappy I was because of people and situations made me wake up. Seeing that my unhappiness did not affect others was the only reassurance that I needed. If they could still live their lives and sleep well at night knowing I’m unhappy. Why would I spend my life unhappy and hating myself when they don’t even care? I also had to learn to forgive myself for mistakes that I had made. That was one of my biggest burdens but you can’t do redo’s. Why would I let the past burden me?
After this I did what I like to call a “self evaluation”. This helped me to examine myself totally; mind, body, and soul. Why was I so unhappy? What was really the root of the problem? I went through and figured out what I struggled with and then developed my “plan of change.” This step helped me to be reactive to the past and present self hate and also proactive for the obstacles I would encounter in the future. It was the only way that I would ever make the step towards changing how I felt about myself. The next thing I did was “execute” my plans. I took it upon
myself to show me love! I had to learn that if no one else loved me, I have to love me. Right now I am in the “maintenance” stage of my plan. Everyday I speak words of affirmation to myself or do something nice for me.
Today, I love me some me! Not because the world doesn’t love me, I could care less if they do. But because it is important for each of us to love who we were created to be. See, when you love yourself you are limitless. You believe in yourself, you walk with pride, you are more successful, and you are fearless. Most importantly, when you love yourself you can properly love others. Loving yourself gives you the ability to help someone else who may be struggling with loving who they are.
You become selfless when you love yourself properly. You have the power to change things when you are pure. If I had known the impact of me loving me, I would have made the transition from self hate to self love so many years ago. It is never ok to live unhappily, ladies. No matter what life has thrown at you, who doesn’t love you, who has hurt you, or how many mistakes you have made; you must let go and forgive so that you can live in love.
As promised here is how we can all learn to love ourselves:
1. Self Evaluate
The Self Evaluation should consist of you writing out a list of things that you can honestly say you do not love about yourself. Things you want to change or learn to love; mind, body, and soul.
2. Create A Plan of Change
Develop a step by step plan that is strictly about your personal growth. Use the things you wrote down in your self evaluation to build from. Make sure you make copies of your Plan of Change to put in different places as a reminder.
3. Execute Your Plan
Make it your business to consciously act on your plan DAILY! If you make it a part of your daily routine, you will get the results that you seek.
Periodically go through your Self Evaluation to make sure that you are growing in love with things you may have once hated. If you keep change on your mind, you will change!