I was conversing with a friend a few months back, stating while things were far from ideal in my life right now, I am happy with my life in general and with myself as a person. I was completely taken aback when she said she didn’t think she has ever been truly happy with herself, ever. I understand it is human to have times when we may not necessarily like ourselves, but to not have been happy – ever? That is deep. It also explained a lot about her, which was kind of why I was having the conversation in the first place, but that’s her story.
Since that conversation, the subject of personal happiness has come up several times since. Again, I’m continually surprised by how many of my friends are secretly, or not so secretly in some cases, unhappy, with their lives, with themselves. Many don’t, refuse to or simply can’t see the self loathing that is the basis of much of their unhappiness.
Whether you realize or not, It is very hard to love life when you don’t love yourself.
I spent years not being miserable, unable to get along with people, until I finally realized my difficulties with other people were really my difficulties with myself. I’ve carried my (un)fair share of self shame, unwarranted guilt, inferiority, rejection, etc., internalized it all into a lack of self-love and acceptance. The infamous They say fake it until you make it. Well, I faked the funk well with those who didn’t know, or didn’t care, enough to look deeper. And then self-flagellated as to why didn’t they care enough to look deeper? Because I wasn’t worth it? Charming little cycle of viciousness ain’t it?
There’s a boat load of things I likely would have handled much better when I was younger, had I asked for help at an earlier stage. I told myself I was being strong, I’ve got it handled. Bullshit. I was too weak to ask for help because I did not feel I was worthy of receiving it. If the first step of solving any dilemma is admitting to yourself you’re in one, then the second step most certainly is voicing your need help and the third is accepting that help and actually helping yourself. It’s a long road, often a tough one, but it is a worthy one. Sometimes you have to put yourself first to get there, and that may mean, reminding others that you are worthy of personal happiness not because of what they allow you to have only after their me. me. me-s, but because YOU give yourself permission to be happy. There’s a difference between selfish and taking time to take care of yourself. And part of taking care of yourself is making sure you’re doing enough to love yourself for yourself. Not when you reach some arbitrary goal, or if something happens to you – love who you are, as you are right this moment.
Only you can do that for you.
As I recently posted on Facebook…
Because goodness, and every one else for that matter, knows I love me some me now!
It’s really an old adage, but to paraphrase Rupaul who has made it popular in all her blunt glorious sass, “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love anybody or anything else?”
Let’s see how others are slicing through life…