Do you believe we’re born with the knowledge it takes to hurt ourselves or do you believe it’s thrust upon us and that maybe we can give it all back?
I thought holding myself accountable for everything that was wrong in my world could save me. I thought harsh words could motivate me. I thought setting an alarm for 6AM and tagging a note to it that read, “get up you stupid bitch or you’ll look ugly today” would actually help me wake up in the morning.
I believed the only way for me to reach the day where I fully accepted myself was to completely reject myself until I got there. But now I understand, I wasn’t helping myself at all. I was only hurting myself. I was only destroying myself. I was only exhausting myself from becoming a better version of myself. I was only setting myself up for failure while constantly assuring myself failure could never an option.
But now, at 25 years old, I am finally unlearning all of that and instead, slowly learning that life doesn’t have to be battle verses only myself.
I am slowly learning that self-hatred isn’t motivation. I am learning that calling myself derogatory names doesn’t make me any more likely to become a better person. I am learning to take the word ‘just’ out of my vocabulary when describing myself. I am learning that I am not just a woman or just a friend or just a human struggling to survive.
And mostly, I am slowly learning that I am worthy of a second chance at this lifetime.
I am slowly learning that loving myself isn’t selfish. I am slowly learning to take care of myself as I always try and take care of others. I am slowly learning to forgive myself as easily as I forgive a friend or any loved one that I trust is doing the best they can, just as I am. I am slowly learning that my imperfections are not only ‘not all that I am’ but actually deserving of love and care.
I am learning that while there may always be room for self-improvement, there isn’t always room for the outright change of what lies within me. I am slowly learning that I am not a robot and that changing the way I feel isn’t as simple as giving myself a cold-hearted command to be better.
I am slowly learning that to a certain extent, I am who I am. And it’s probably who I’ve always been. And I am slowly learning that is okay. I am slowly learning that I am the first person I should keep a promise to. I am slowly learning that nobody on this entire planet knows me better than I do and that when I finally take care of myself, it will only be then that I can really take care of others.
I am slowly learning there is never room for self-hatred or unreasonable self-doubt. There is no room for dread or worry over the things that I cannot change. There is no room for the overwhelming regret of my past mistakes. I am learning that I can help myself without hating myself. I am learning that it is possible to learn from my past without dwelling on it for the rest of my life.
I am slowly learning to give myself the love that I so desperately crave from others.
I am slowly learning that I am me. I am learning that the bad thoughts I think about myself don’t always belong to me, but to the people who have once hurt me. I am learning that I can give those negative thoughts back to their original owners. I am learning that I might be more durable than I ever imagined before.
I am learning that the woman I am today is someone to be proud of and cherished and I am slowly learning to accept her completely.
And then all this learning got me thinking…is this what it feels like to be free?