During my earlier years, I put immense pressure on myself to narrow down who I thought I should be as a person.
Knowing what I know now, that pressure I was referring to was from my ego. I was very attached to the idea of who I felt I needed to be, or who I thought others in my life needed me to be. I think to some degree, we all feel this nagging pressure in one way or another. And it’s totally fucked up that we torture ourselves like this.
Although our egos are not completely a bad thing, in my experience, narrowing down who I thought I needed to be while clinging to my ego’s desires became a very restrictive form of self limitation during my early adulthood. The struggle… was real. And although its something everyone goes through, it is an inner battle that is faced completely alone.
Little did I know, I was denying myself a divine opportunity to discover who I was in hopes of avoiding becoming the “wrong” person.
I tried my absolute best to bury the qualities I did not love, accept or approve of within myself. And slowly, the deeper I buried these feelings of unworthiness, the more I did not accept those very qualities in those around me, mostly due to a subconscious resentment towards people who could lead loving happy lives. That’s how I felt at the time. And I’m in no way saying I was right or proud in believing that. But that was my reality and it suffocated not only myself, but those closest to me*
(those close enough to call me on my bullshit*)
The truth is, I used to hate the fact that I was a little bit of everything all rolled into one. And yes, I just shamelessly quoted Meredith Brook’s “Bitch” (great song by the way). I denied the essence of who I was in order to appease who I felt I needed to be, or who I should be: someone who had their shit together. I thought I was doing myself a favour by denying my imperfect parts or the parts of myself who wanted to make mistakes but was too afraid. I felt grey in the projected elite black and white world I had created in my mind.
To me, grey did not stand for anything. This was exactly my worst fear. Being an innately emotionally transparent person who leads with her heart, I admired the people who were so black and white. They seemed to have more control, direction and sense of who they were. They seemed strong willed, determined and did a really great job at selling the whole “I’ve totally got my shit together” vibe. A lie I wanted so badly to sell but something I couldn’t fake if my life depended on it. So here is what I learned:
Admitting my vulnerability was not something I was ready to do because it was not a quality I had learned to accept or love within myself. I wanted to be tough and collected but I later realized and embraced that my real strength was in my softness and fluidity.
The truth is, overall, I really am more of a grey area person. But now, I don’t see it as such a bad thing because grey allows room for possibilities. Grey can be non restrictive, open and subjective. Grey is my favourite color (shade, whatever) and now the name of my cat (ironically enough, an animal I never thought I would own or whole heartedly love in my life).
We can learn a million things in life, we can gain new skills or adopt new habits- which is great. But when it comes to loving the shit out of ourselves, I think we have to unlearn. We have to let go of our expectations and just love the shit out of ourselves, exactly as we are, how we are right this second- imperfections included. So if you’re lost- that’s your starting point: unconditional acceptance.
Questions worth asking yourself might be: what qualities do I dislike in others? Really sit with that one, because we all possess the same qualities. Chances are if you dislike qualities about someone, you really dislike that aspect of them you see reflected in yourself. Another question: what quality about yourself do you have a hard time being accepting of and why? For me it was my vulnerability. And my “why” was partially due to the fact that being vulnerable meant being exposed or having little to no control. And as I explained, control was very much a primary ego need I was feeding. Are any of the qualities you are having trouble accepting about yourself conflicting with your ego’s needs? How can you invite more love into that situation? That is up to you. But recognizing where you can invite more acceptance into your life is a great place to start.
I really encourage anyone who is trying to remember how to love themselves to get quiet and just be with you, as you are, right now. Be gentle with yourself. Grab a pen and paper. See what thoughts come up. Write whatever you want and carefully examine your thoughts and feelings from a non judgemental stand point. Sit with your heartbreaks, your let downs, your successes. Recognize who your teammates are. Recognize that even our enemies can be our greatest teachers. Start consciously observing your life and be appreciative of the events, the people, the patterns and lessons.
I believe that we already have the answers we seek. It’s just a matter of getting quiet enough to listen for them. They aren’t going to arrive in a pretty package. So grab a seat, get comfortable and sit in the shitstorm that is your life and just. listen. love. and accept without judgement.
Nothing that lasts is built from a weak foundation so get serious and dive into your core and get to lovin the shit our of yourself, deep from the inside out ❤
That’s all I’ve got for today.
Love you long time,