I Am Slowly Learning That I Don’t Have To Hate Myself

A girl who hates herself
Unsplash / Samuel Lopez

I am slowly learning that I don’t have to replay my awkward moments and bad decisions in my head over and over again. I don’t have to dwell on all of the things that I have done wrong in the past. Instead of focusing on all of the ways that I screwed up yesterday, I can focus on all of the ways I am going to avoid making the same mistakes tomorrow. I can worry about what is ahead of me instead of what is stuck behind me.

I am slowly learning that I am not the only broken one. I am not the only one with baggage. I am not the only one who cries behind closed doors and wears a smile out in the open. I am going to stop acting like I am so alone, like no one else could possibly understand what I am going through. I am going to accept the fact that I am imperfect — but so is everyone else. I am not the only one dealing with this.

I am slowly learning that shitty things happen in this world and they aren’t always my fault. I can’t blame myself when someone walks away from me. I can’t reprimand myself for being too soft or too hard, for being too loud or too quiet, every time that I lose a friendship or a relationship. Sometimes people fade away. Sometimes people lose interest. Sometimes people are just assholes. I can’t blame myself for their behavior.

I am slowly learning that being imperfect is okay. It is human. I don’t have to love the way that my thighs and my stomach look, but I don’t have to constantly criticize them either. I don’t have to let my insecurities take ahold of my thoughts. I don’t have to stare at the pieces of myself that I hate every time I look in the mirror when I could be admiring the qualities I actually find attractive instead.

I am slowly learning that putting myself first doesn’t make me selfish. I am allowed to turn down invitations out when I would rather stay in bed. I am allowed to cut toxic people out of my life, even though I might feel guilty for a while. I am allowed to do what is best for myself, because I am supposed to look out for myself. No one else is going to do that, except me.

I am slowly learning that hating myself is only hurting myself. I need to start treating myself with kindness. I need to start being a friend to myself. I need to start changing the way I look at myself, because I deserve more than this cruel treatment. I deserve to be treated with respect, especially by the girl looking at me in the mirror.

I am slowly learning that I am being too hard on myself. That I am expecting too much. That I am not as useless as I have led myself to believe. I am doing my best. And my best is good enough. TC mark


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