"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for the other?'" Martin Luther King Jr.
I could hear her, she was right there. “Who do you think you are? Why do you even bother? With all you have done, all those you have hurt. You do not deserve love. You are not beautiful enough, smart enough. YOU ARE NOT WORTH ittt…”
That girl I knew her, she was not foreign. She was my best friend. Especially on the darkest of days she was all I ever knew. She cradled me in her hands when no one else would. She was a constant. There in the morning and next to me as I lay in my bed at night. She was my worst enemy. She was me after all.
For as long as I can remember I have been dealing with my self worth and self love. I went through times where I truly hated myself, and on good days tolerated myself. For most people I know this is something they struggle with or either have struggled with. Its a never ending battle that for some has been a shield against the world, against having a life and fulfilling their dreams.
For me, it got worse when I moved thousands, I mean thousands of kilometres, from my support system to Australia for university. Initially I thought it would be great, a time for me to reinvent myself, make new friends, and meet some knight in shining armour to finally take all the pain away. But boy was I wrong. I went from minor depression to severe depression, and soon developed an anxiety disorder. I barely got of my room, or talked to anyone for months. I was angry at everyone and angry especially at myself for being so stupid. My relationship with God was non-existent.
I did dabble in getting professional help here and there. I did go searching for that knight🤣 , but was a rather miserable attempt. After a year of living like this I finally decided to take my mental health and self image seriously. The fear had taken all I had. It has not been the world’s most exciting journey, been painful at times, but it’s something I do not regret.
For those also looking to heal from this miserable state, be it from a mental health issue or not, here are somethings I learnt so far.
- Self Love or self worth cannot come from within:
One of the first things I did when I began this journey was try find that love from within myself as we have all heard said. However, the honest truth you cannot find love where there was no love to begin with. I couldn’t tell my brain to dig deep and find something it was never programmed to do. It’s like a wound, the body can heal but without assistance it can get infected. This is true with healing from self-hate. When my head said I was not worthy enough, I needed something else to tell me I am loved and prove it to me. For me this came from redeveloping my relationship with Christ.
As I Christian I decided to define who I am in Christ. In him I found somewhere I can release all my burdens, my pains and all that terrorizes me. For when he died, he died on the cross he took it all away, the shame and the disgust I held for myself. It is because of his selfless love I found the freedom to heal, and I am still healing.
- You should not just put yourself first, but balance loving others and self-care:
In my first therapy session my therapist asked me how do I love others? How do I treat them? This question took me completely by surprise, I honestly thought the whole point of me going to therapy, was me dealing with not being able to love me, not others. This question helped me really understand Mark 12 vs 30 -31.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your heart. The second is this, ‘ Love your neighbour as yourself. There is no greater commandment greater than these.’ “
The love you show your friend, when she is hurt when she messes up, is the same love you should give yourself. This does not mean you should not take care of yourself and deplete all you are on people. It means that you do need be able love and share compassion with those around you but also give and dictate time for yourself. Maybe 30 minutes before you get out of bed or before you sleep give yourself to to feel your emotions, so express them. Remember to keep living even if you are still healing.
- You cannot do it Alone:
During both the dark times and when I started my journey I tried to fight it on my own. Though you may feel like this is the best, and you do not want to be a burden on others, this is not true. They only understand and support when you allow them to. No one can understand you if you do not let them in. On my darkest days, my friends and my family pulled me out of the dark trance more than I dare to admit. You need people who you are accountable to be. I personally believe your support system needs to be more than one person, as no human can provide you with all you need.
For those who have experienced traumatic experiences or deal with mental health illness please seek help. You cannot fight alone, and this goes for everyone.
I will post soon, a list of all the music, verses and Youtubers that have helped me with my struggle with self-love.
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