Learning to Love Yourself
Here we go. Another few months have passed and you haven’t had a ‘feelings and thoughts’ post from me, so I thought I’d lay one out there for you. Well, not really for you. For me.
No pictures, no fancy feature image. Another metacognitive confession that is not really a cry for attention, but more a cathartic purge.
If you don’t like reading about the ever-confusing, deeper, darker, human side of Emma, then I suggest you close the tab now.
I have been feeling a little bit lately like I am under a lot of pressure to please everyone. To have an outward demeanour of my usual, happy self, when all I really feel like doing most days lately is curling up under the blankets and sleeping the day away. And this pressure isn’t coming from those around me, it’s coming from within.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not depressed. I have seen depression, felt it’s numbing hold, and I know the difference between depressed and down. I’m not trying to tell you, either, that I hate my life or that I don’t like my family and friends (the very opposite in fact.) I don’t feel unloved, I don’t feel unappreciated, but what I do feel, at times, is a fluctuation between apathy, and reliance on others to make me feel good about myself.
Every now and then I have real trouble being motivated to do day to day things. To do my work. To tidy my house. To exercise. To take care of myself. I’m stuck in one of those ruts right now. It may partially be due to the weather, and how fucking cold my house is. But I can’t completely blame it on that.
Every now and then I get a brief glimmer of inner peace. It might come when I’m running. When I’m singing. When I’m writing. But always when I’m doing something that reminds me of me as an individual, of my strengths. Suddenly, I get an inner burst of motivation and inspiration. Of course I can plan that English unit, simple! I’m going to head into the kitchen and put care and time into preparing a delicious, healthy meal for dinner tonight. What a beautiful day, perfect for a run! Why not take the dogs too?
At the moment, however, they seem few and far between. I need my mojo back.
It has been a recurring pattern in my life that I put pleasing others over taking care of myself. Sometimes to my detriment, sometimes to the detriment of those around me, but always because I felt like it’s what I needed to do to keep people happy. And the need to keep people happy stems from the belief that if I keep people happy, it will make me happy. If I give everyone around me what they want, if I make them think that I’m an awesome, thoughtful, giving person, then surely that will make me…what? A worthy person? Worthy of what?
I place far too much value on external validation and wanting people to like me. I know I do this. I recognise that it’s been something I’ve done most of my life, and when they don’t like me or validate me I feel terribly low. I know it’s not an attractive quality to have.
I’m really starting to feel a desperate need for self-esteem and self-confidence that I don’t rely on others to give me. So I guess I’m writing this post as a reminder to myself.
For me, it comes down to little reminders. Reminders of the things that I can control, me and me alone, that make me the person I am. So, at the risk of sounding narcissistic, I’m going to write some of these thing here. Because, right now, I need a reminder.
I know that I’m a good person. I have many fantastic qualities, some not so great ones too, but doesn’t everyone?
I am, for the most part, a confident person. I make friends easily, I care for others, for animals, and my environment, all things which are very important to me and the values that I hold about life. I am not quick to conflict, and I prefer to find a solution to an issue that makes everyone happy.
I love my family and take care of them. I try to be there for them when they need me, and to show them that I love them.
I’m not vain, selfish or proud. I try to take care of my appearance, my health and my body simply because I believe that it’s easier to take care of yourself inside when you start by taking care of yourself outside.
I try to give everyone a chance and not judge a person by how they look or their background. I don’t hold grudges.
I may not always think to ask how my friends’ days are, I may talk about myself more than I ask you questions about yourself, but I recognise that and I’m trying to change that.
There’s a lot of ‘trying’ going on here. And that’s ok. No one’s perfect.
I’m learning to love myself purely for myself. To be more independent in my self-worth. I’m getting my mojo back. It may not be a smooth journey, so please, bear with me while I do it. And if you don’t want to, then I guess I’m ok with that too.