My Recent Battle with Self Love

I always knew the day would come that I would write this post, I just didn’t know that day would be today. Recently a lot has been going on for me, both in reality and also in my head. As a result the love I have had for myself has been at an all time low. Originally I wrote this post as a personal blog, to put my own feelings and thoughts to paper for only my eyes to see. However having finished writing it and re-reading it many times I started to feel much better about myself and my situation. I decided to share this to show people who are going through a similar time that there are ways to pick yourself back up. I want to help people and guide them to happiness. I know this is a topic many struggle with so I felt there was no better time to describe what it means to be in this wretched state then when I’m smack bang in the middle of it.

Although I have edited the piece a little, removing anything too personal, it is still very raw and vulnerable so I would appreciate respect from those who take the time to read it.

This is honesty hour aka the scariest hour of my life. This post is undoubtedly the most vulnerable I have presented myself on the internet to date.

I am an extremely compassionate person. I live by the mantra that you should never judge a book by it’s cover. Nobody is perfect, everyone has their own demons in which they’re battling with. The thing is many of us are masters of disguise- we’re good at hiding the ugly truth behind a pretty smile. There’s a fine line between appearances and reality; a picture may speak a thousand words but it’s important to remember the words they’re speaking are the ones the photographer wants you to hear. Nothing is as it seems. This is exactly why when interacting with others I always try to be the best version of myself and give the most kindness I can give because realistically I have no idea what’s going on in their lives. For all I know they could be on the brink and I don’t want to be the person to send them over.

The other side to compassion is what I like to call the “in your shoes syndrome”. This is both a blessing and a curse. Essentially what compassion refers to is the ability to empathise with and understand other’s feelings. This is something I’m a sucker for. Even when people do me wrong I still attempt to and usually succeed to see their perspective. My logic behind this is that there’s more than one way to react to certain situations. Probably the most relatable example of this is love. Many people have their own personal understanding of what it means to show love and fear that when those receiving this love don’t reciprocate it in the same way, it simply doesn’t exist. Let’s say you’re in a relationship and your way of showing love is by sending mushy messages so when your partner isn’t responding in the same way this may lead you to jump to the conclusion they simply don’t share this love. Realistically the issue isn’t a lack of love but rather a difference in communicating it- perhaps your partner rathers communication in person rather than text. The point is people express things and react to situations in different ways. No one way is right and no two ways are wrong, they’re all right. A lot of people, struggle to accept this concept however for me, it has always been something that has come quite naturally.

I value my compassionate trait and hold it with pride.

Here comes catch 22- the downside side to this characteristic of mine is that not only do I feel too much of others emotions but I also feel too much of my own. Living by the mantra of being kind to everyone is all well and good until that kindness isn’t being returned. It’s not even necessarily that it’s not being returned because truthfully I don’t do it for gain, I simply be kind because it’s what I feel is right. The problem is when people take advantage of this kindness and more importantly take advantage of me, this brings out a rage in me that is often so overwhelming I cannot find the strength to contain it. My emotions overpower my mind until I reach a point where I’m no longer being lead by sensible sober thoughts but instead controlled by the grip of anger and resentment. Beneath the veil of anger, at the root of my rage is simply pain- the pain of having someone who I gave so much to, use it to hurt me. I can’t verbalise how much that hurts to know that someones seemingly good intentions were just a front for another agenda. This overbearing pain is converted into an overbearing anger and when anger comes in, sense goes out.

In the aftermath of a blind rage, when the damage is done and I’m left to reflect on my actions is when I struggle most to love myself. My aim in life is to be kind to everyone so when my own actions contradict that it causes my anger to shift from others to myself. I’m left feeling a large amount of guilt and shame because I know what I have done is wrong. I know that the outburst I have just had, whether it be a screaming match or nasty heat of the moment messages, are unacceptable. It makes me question my whole persona- I preach so much about kindness and yet here I am contradicting myself. I feel disappointment because I have failed myself. The easy solution in all of this would be to pin it all on those who did you wrong, to bum your wrong doings off as a product of theirs but I know two wrongs don’t make a right. The thing is we can never truly control other’s actions, we can influence them and inspire them but we never have control. The only person we have full control over is ourselves. We are responsible for our own actions. It’s easy to lash out in response to other’s, it takes much greater strength not to internalise their doings and let them effect your own. The thing is, even in my worst states I’m aware of this. I know it’s best not to react but I ignore my conscience and do it anyway because it’s a quick release for my anger.

It’s hard to love yourself when you’re not proud of yourself. And ultimately to be proud of yourself you must be proud of the elements that make you you, including your actions which I often struggle with. The thing about actions is once they’re done, they’re done. There’s no rewind button, you can’t take away what’s happened you just have to live with it which can often be difficult to accept.

On a separate topic, another reason I’ve been feeling particularly low lately is the feeling of not being good enough. I think many girls will relate to this feeling of unworthiness. The notion that someone else is always in someway better- whether it’s she has more likes then me, he’s more attracted to her then me, she’s skinnier, she’s more creative- there’s always something, someone’s always one step ahead. The process usually goes a little something like this- you see someone who has/is something you want, you obsess over this fact critiquing yourself trying to figure out what it is that you’re doing wrong until you reach a point where you’re more wrapped up in their lives than your own. As crazy and sad as it sounds this is extremely common, particularly amongst girls. Unfortunately despite my great efforts I often fall victim to this trap of comparison. I get sucked in by the haunting thoughts that someone else is better version of me. It’s as if she stole a list of my future goals and as she ticks down along the list, so too does my confidence and drive move further down. I stare at myself in the mirror wondering why my teeth aren’t as perfect as hers or why my stomach isn’t that flat. Why cant my clothes be as nice as that? Why cant he like me more? Comparison is like a black hole, once you get sucked in it’s almost impossible to break the cycle and get back out. I have my good days, I can go weeks without comparing myself but then I have bad spells when it feels like anything I do will never amount to her. Then comes the intrusive thoughts where I not only worry about my own opinion of myself but I also worry about others. I fear that those dearest to me will also favour her above me. Although on paper it may seem like an irrational, petty fear to compare yourself to others but in reality it’s terrifying to think someone is a better version of yourself. It’s soul crushing.

What I’ve come to realise through this process is that much of these problems don’t deserve the weight I give them. Don’t confuse what I’m saying with the phrase “there’s much bigger problems in the world than..”,  I hate that phrase it’s belittling to you and the world you live in which is essentially the most important world in your life. What I mean is if you take a moment to really step back from your worries and view them as an outsider it becomes clearer to see what matters and what doesn’t. The life of another girl is in no way relevant to me or my life. That may seem blunt but it’s the truth, there’s no two ways about it: your life is about YOU. Some random girl you follow on the internet, his new bitch or the girl next door- whoever it is your obsessing over- are in no way relevant. They’re just background noise. Realistically there are billions of other people out there right now living your dream so why aren’t you obsessing about them? Because that would be ridiculous to obsess over billions of people wouldn’t it? So then why are you focusing so much attention on one specific person doing it when so many others are too? She is just one person who your imagination inflated into something bigger. She is no more or no less than you. She is simply irrelevant to you and your life. She is living in her own world living her life and you’re in yours. We are all given a life to live, the universe doesn’t favour people at random, nothing is mistaken everything is what you make of it. If you believe that this girl is better than you than the universe is gonna keep giving you reasons to believe that. Your mind will believe whatever you tell it. Realistically there is simply no comparison between our physicality’s because we are entirely different people. I have a nice body, I’m healthy, I’m growing mentally and spiritually. I do not need to be anyone else, I am perfect the way I am and the right people will see that. The saying goes “you’ll always be harder on yourself than anyone else ever will be”. I think this is true, the likeliness is nobody is choosing between you and any other girl. You’re seen as individual people, comparison doesn’t come into the equation. And if it does, if there are people who do compare you then that’s a sign they shouldn’t be in your life. The truth is no matter how much you want someone to value you, if they make you feel like you’re competing for a place in their life then chances are they shouldn’t have a place in yours. Let them people go and let your obsessions go. Life is abundant, there’s enough room for both you and everyone else to achieve their ambitions and aspirations. There’s no need to compare, you will all have your time. Focus your attention on yourself, on your goals and your aspirations. Make yourself the central figure in YOUR life.

When it comes to actions it’s important to remember they do not define you. They define a single moment in your life, not it’s entirety. Leave the past in the past. That’s all there is to it. No matter how ashamed or guilty you feel there’s no point in dwelling on it, no amount of wishing and hoping will erase what has happened. All you’re doing by remembering the past is wasting valuable time you could be making up for mistakes in the present. You cant change the past- remember that. Dedicating time to the past is useless. Just learn from it. Keep on trying and if you fail then try again until you succeed. We are human, we make mistakes it’s inevitable. None of us are perfect. It doesn’t matter how disciplined or wise you are you will always be faced with mistakes and hurdles. Nothing will ever run smoothly, you can’t plan every second of your life.

Making mistakes is an important part of life. If we didn’t make mistakes we would never learn and grow. Mistakes are going to happen anyway so you may as well accept that and use them to your advantage.

Most of all remember everything happens for a reason- the good, the bad, all of it. What seems like needless pain and suffering now will lead to greater things in the future. You are the one steering your own life. You have the power to make your dreams happen through the voices you make. So choose, do you wanna be a victim of circumstance or do you want to be the master of your own destiny? You can either lie down and accept defeat or you can get up and get on with it. You are beautiful Enya inside and out. Be grateful for all you’ve achieved and all you are going to achieve. You are enough. You have so much potential and you will go far. Don’t give into the temptations of comparison. Focus entirely on yourself. Love yourself and watch yourself grow. Remember life is a constant case of glass half empty- half full. It’s how you see it that matters so make your vision count. What’s meant to be will be. I love you dearly and am so very proud. Keep on going.

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