The Paradox of Self-Love

by Dori Nicole

Self love is an art most people should be practicing everyday.

This weekend I found myself feeling so entirely grateful for the positive mental space I am currently in because I remember in the not so distant past, I was in a place where I simply could not find any reason to be grateful to simply be alive. Life was a horrible job I had to suffer through. The sun was annoying, the darkness was scary, sounds made me cry and anxious. Interacting with people was a buzzing noise I couldn’t hear through because my thoughts are so loud.

The past 2 years or so I discovered ways to combat my own depression in healthy ways and when I catch myself falling, I know exactly what to do and what to repeat to myself so that it all fades away.

One of the things that snapped me out of it was one of many interactions with strangers. I had been speaking to this woman in what I felt was a very normal way and she looked up at me with sad eyes and said,

“well… you have to be kind to yourself.”

And I just stood there speechless for a long second and then said, “I know.” I had been talking down of myself completely not knowing what I was doing. Speaking as if I was stating facts about myself to her instead of what I was actually doing: projecting my own thoughts and scenarios into the moment. My own thoughts that simply weren’t kind towards myself or my surroundings. My own thoughts that trick me into seeing a completely different and incredibly warped version of myself than other people see of me. A version that I always felt I had to hide. A version that doesn’t even exist.

But it was that woman’s words that snapped me into consciously practicing the art of self love within my mind. Recognizing why I am feeling down and acknowledging it. Doing things that I love to do so that I won’t feel trapped in the matrix. Understanding my body and what I have to do and eat to keep it at it’s healthiest. Leaving things, people, and situations I feel that I must, when I must. Simply just being completely self aware, understanding what it is that makes me happy and balanced versus sad, angry and depressed, and taking the necessary steps I must take to be in that happy place. And in taking these necessary steps, I can’t punish myself for it or let myself feel guilty for doing things that were best for me. I can’t think that something is “wrong” with me for trying to be happy. I’m just going through life.

Like all else, making myself, my health and my own happiness the first priority may seem like a long shot because let’s face it, most of us don’t do it. Most of us do punish ourselves more so than we praise ourselves. We can point out every flaw in ourselves that no one else on Earth can see or care about.  And yes, at times it can be the hardest thing to do. Making the necessary decisions we have to make for ourselves to be happy can introduce an entire world of life changes we would have to face.

For example, losing weight, leaving a bad relationships, leaving a miserable job, moving out on your own anything that will completely flip your life around can make it seem that just staying put and doing nothing is the easier route instead of acknowledging that it may indeed be the easier route BUT what you have to do is take an extreme action that may create a positive domino effect and open up a new world for you

When I would acknowledge the change I would have to make, what I would have to go through to reach the place I wanted to be, and what I was scared of,  I would simply sleep on it. Once I woke up, drank water and ate a healthy meal I would be be in the right frame of mind to attack the first step. Once I would take the first step into what I needed to do, it seemed like everything else would fall into place with less of a fight. Like this is what was meant for me in that moment and by the end of the road I would be a new person. Closer toward the best version of myself and often times more prepared, less scared, wiser and stronger than who I was before whatever obstacle I had to gear up for.

But again, it is an extreme act of self-love and it is not easy to do nor does it only take a good nights sleep. I’ve been in a limbo for a long time in one aspect of my life . A limbo I can’t get out of mentally because I’m honestly tired of fighting the good fight sometimes. I feel I have to truly get ready for the steps I would have to take because I needed a breather in between steps (lol). I do feel that doing things when I am not mentally prepared for it will end in disaster.

And that’s why mental preparation is always my very first step. Getting over it before I attack it. Accepting all of my what ifs and negative thoughts and realizing it will all be worth it in the end. Whatever happens on the road to where I want to be will be worth what it will take to leave whatever it is behind. After all, none of this matters anyway. Life is nothing but a grand adventure so I may as well enjoy it. Adventure makes life enjoyable. Releasing this fear and mentally letting go of whatever it is I have to move on from first, makes things easier on me.

The most important aspect of life for me is freedom. Once I do not feel free is the moment I have to make a change.  I crave it now. The first step is a process that may or may not take a long time but it is important to take it to change my entire world.

This year feels like a year of transition for me and I spent forever getting ready for it. I have no idea what will come my way but I know what changes I want to make. I’ve opened myself up to whatever changes are coming and have given myself the time to invest into doing more of what I love. I’ve let go of a lot in order to make room for other things.

I still feel both excitement and fear for it, however I know that I am and I will always be ok.

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