Just recently my mind has been taking a great amount of space on how, I, as a living human being, found love, worthiness, acceptance and value in my very own self. Given that there was a great amount of time in my life where I allowed myself to feel otherwise—I can only share with you personal truths that have occurred in my own expedition to finding again what was once robbed from me. I hope my story about my long journey of finding self-respect, self-worth, self-love and value in myself, can in anyway help anyone who has ever been or currently is in the dark place I once was in. A dark place that I had no hopes of finding my way out of. However, it is so very true, we never know how strong we truly are until we have exhausted every other option.
First and foremost, self-respect is something that takes practice. A lot of practice; treating yourself the way you NEED and DESERVE to be treated. I come from a past where I had once tolerated the intolerable. As I look back on the different times in my life where I had once thought that being mentally, physically, sexually and emotionally abused was okay—it was because I never had thought about myself—the “Self” and the importance of what I very much deserved. It took a very long time to discover how significant I was and it took even longer to love myself wholly. But even more than that, it took being abused in all different shapes and forms to finally see my own worthiness. It also took brokenness, anger, severe depression, body-shaming and self-destruction to find the beauty in myself that was once destroyed by other individuals. The hardest part for me in my strenuous journey of finding my very own self-worth, was letting go. Letting go of the people who never served me, or who did not even have the potential to do so.
Humans have an extremely hard time with letting go. The initial stages are always the most difficult; we grieve, mourn the loss, miss the attachment, and when life kicks back into gear, we have to kick back into gear with it—without the people who once were present. But were they ever really there? Attached to us? Did we actually really lose anything that was never beneficial to us in the first place? If anything, when we let go of the people that no longer serve us, we are gaining as much as we are losing, may even more. And what we are actually losing is what HAS to be lost: Individuals who take up too much space being a disservice to us.
When I had finally found the courage to remove the toxic energies out of my life and wash my hands clean of meaningless relationships, I started to find truth in myself. It is a working progress. I am far from being healed; healing is infinite. It is a choice. But when you find the inch of courage in your heart to begin the healing process, grab it, use it, keep it sacred, keep it close to you, because you will need that inch of courage for each and every day that makes you question why you chose to walk away in the first place, because it will be hard, but it will be so damn worth it.
If I can leave you with anything, it is this: self-respect leads to your own self-worth. It is essential to have full ownership of both in order to understand exactly what we deserve, to value ourselves and to unconditionally value and love others. We have to remember that we are deserving of people who treat us the way we deserve to be treated. Please, do not be discouraged when you experience days of anger, resentment, hurt and loneliness, because Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said, “Into each life some rain must fall. Some days must be dark and dreary.”