Learning to Love Yourself
Rose Quartz; stone of unconditional love, inner peace, inner healing and self love, releases unexpressed emotions and heartache, self worth, awakens imagination, enhances creativity, aids in the acceptance of necessary change, restores trust and harmony in existing relationships, gently draws off negative energies and replaces them with loving vibes.
I remember first reading the term, "loving yourself" on a bottle of Philosophy shower gel (duh, because I'm a beauty blogger), but it hasn't been until this past year that I've truly understood what that meant.
This time last year, I was a completely different person to the one I have tried really hard to become. I had all these hopes, dreams and aspirations for my life, but wasn't doing anything to make that happen. I was scared, shy, lazy and didn't believe in myself. I was in a relationship without love and I was trying so hard to make something work with someone who only brought sadness and tears into my life. I knew he was going to break up with me and because of it, every day brought me anxiety, but I never trusted my own instincts. The relationship itself didn't last long, but the emotional pain sure did. When someone says to you, "You have to think of us as not being together in the future" and when you tell them they weren't like this when you first met and they respond by saying, "I was drunk a lot of the time", it's something that scars you and stays with you a really long time. I don't think it's fully left me and probably never will, but I'm not sad or feel hurt by it anymore. I've accepted it as a reminder that I deserve better and despite his lame attempts to get in touch, why I will never ever allow this person to enter my life again. If anyone treats you with anything but love, you run. As fast as you can. And never look back.
The eventual breakup completely tore apart at my self-esteem and the only way to rebuild that was to start loving myself. No boyfriend, no friend and no family member can do that for you - it has to come from within. It takes work, time and commitment, just like any relationship does, but the relationship with yourself is the most important kind. At the end of the day, you've only got yourself and if you don't have your own back, who else will? The love you give yourself is probably the most important kind of love because it's the hardest to receive, I think. When you have it though, you remove the toxic people from your life and anything else that brings you down because you realise that you are worth everything that you dream your life to be and deserve nothing but happiness.
So I updated my résumé, began looking for internships, learning French, reading those books I'd always wanted to read, but never did, exercising, eating healthier and began having honest conversations with myself. I'm by no means fluent in French (I wish!), a book worm or a health/fitness junkie now, but the point is that I made small changes in my life that have all had a significant impact on becoming a better person. A few months in, I found myself jet setting off across the country to a city I'd never been to, to do a three month internship for a digital marketing agency. I had the best experience of my life and I felt the happiest I'd felt in a long time, and all it took was loving myself.
When I look back and remember asking myself, "How the hell did I attract this person in my life and what on earth did I do to deserve this pain?", I remember that who you attract is a direct reflection of yourself and that the pain was needed in order for me to grow. Sometimes the best life lessons can only be learnt the hard way and while I've had friends in similar situations, sometimes you need to go through it on your own. I think once you learn and the experience changes you, you don't go back to the person you were before. I guess for some people, it's easy to fall into another relationship and take the easy way out, but that never felt right to me. The love my former relationship couldn't give to me, I started giving to myself and while it hasn't always been easy, it's always been worth it. I've grown up, I've matured and I've changed. I'm still an introverted person and I always have been, but I don't let that hold me back anymore. I believe in myself and have confidence in myself, which not even the most extroverted of people have in themselves. I like to think that because of it, it'll eventually lead me into a happy and healthy relationship one day. I'm single and probably will be for some time while I chase my dreams and make new friends in the different city I want to move to, let alone meet anyone worthy of dating, but that's okay. I have enough going on in my life to be happy and fulfilled on my own.
Of course, I'd love to meet someone, but it's true when they say that it happens when you least expect it and I've now learnt that true love begins by loving yourself first. I know I have a lot of love to give, but for now, I will continue to grow, learn and change to become the best version of myself that I can possibly be, so that I can welcome the best people into my life. As I currently look for jobs, apartments, a housemate and save up my money to move to Melbourne, I focus that love on myself in the meantime, to live my life for me and no one else. Moving over east permanently has been a dream of mine for the longest time and in 2014, I plan on making that happen. Instead of being scared of change, I now embrace it, chase it, and I look forward to what the future brings instead of running away from it. If you're going through a hard time, understand that it's only temporary, but the only person who can fix it and heal that pain is you. Love yourself to get what you want out of life - do those things you keep putting off, stop making excuses and stop being scared.
2013 was a really hard year, but it was also one of the best and I have high hopes for next year to be the same. It's going to take a lot of work, a lot of bravery and a lot of loving myself, but as I've seen the results of it so far, it encourages me to keep pushing myself towards my goals and dreams.
Have a Happy New Year, beautiful people, and here's to 2014!
"And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." - Anaïs Nin