I Started to Love Myself
I cannot stress enough the importance of loving yourself. Because once you love yourself, you can fully give your heart to someone else. No one will ever love you as much as you love yourself and if you want someone to love you 100%, then you must love yourself that much.
It took me a really long time to learn how to love myself. I remember feeling so awful that some days I didn't even want to go out. I hated what I looked like and always felt unattractive. I tried to mask this by constantly changing my hair styles, making sure I had the cutest outfits, constantly getting spray tanned, having my nails done at least every three weeks, and not to mention the numerous crash diets I have tried just to lose a few pounds quickly. It took me up to four hours to get ready when I needed to go out. Whether it were to the grocery store or the club, I needed to look perfect.
I was just not happy with myself and I thought that could all be fixed with what I looked like on the outside. But instead, I wasn't taking care of what was on the inside. If someone said I looked great, it made me happy. If someone said something negative about my appearance, it would ruin my whole day. The way I felt was based on what other people thought of me. I constantly needed reassurance from other people that I looked good and that's what made me feel good.
This all changed when I became a cancer survivor.
I had to shave my head and wear scarves for a few months. I was also wheel chair bound for a while. In the beginning, I was devastated. On top of having to cope with surgery and the symptoms of the the type of cancer I had, I had to deal with my bald head. Yeah, my hair would eventually grow back but at the time hair was what made me feel feminine and pretty. I felt like this awful disease took that away from me. I also gained so much weight due to the medication I was on. I shot up about 10 dress sizes and there was nothing I could do about it. Steroids tend to do that. So here I was bald and bloated. I had to learn how to cope with it instead of letting it consume me. I forced myself not to feel down and fall into a depression.
I realized that there were so many more important things to be thankful for, like life! I was alive! Once I was off the medication and my health started to improve, I started to focus on making myself stronger by eating better and going to the gym. Above all, I was thankful I overcame this sickness and I was grateful for all the supportive people in my life.
I survived. I had to fight something so distressful and tremendously scary. That in itself is amazing! I was so proud of myself. I started to love myself because I beat something that affected my body and life in so many ways. I had to put more effort on getting better than worry about the way that I looked physically. In between all of that, I started loving everything that I once hated about myself. I was affected physically, mentally, emotionally, and psychologically by this disease. In all these areas of myself, I gained unbelievable strength. I learned how to focus on what was important and had to let go of insignificant things. My hair and my clothes were not what defined me. I became a survivor. My struggles and accomplishments made me admire myself in a way I have never before. My strength is one of the most beautiful aspects of me.
This is how I started to love myself. I learned that I don't need validation from other people. I love who I am...my body, my soul, my mind, and my heart. I learned that everything about me is absolutely radiant. I am blessed! I don't dwell on the small things anymore. Your hair, your clothes, your manicure, these things don't make you beautiful, it's who you are on the inside. Yes, I am only human and I am a woman who likes to take care of herself, but I will never again let the way I look take over my life. It won't ruin my day if I don't have my hair perfectly done, if my outfit isn’t matching or if my nails aren’t flawless. I will never base how I feel on what I look like on the outside. And I could care less about what other people think about my appearance. I'm alive and life is amazing. That is what's important!
When did you start to love yourself?