Everyone talks about the importance of self-care, self-love, and self-respect.
Wherever you look, someone is preaching about how we are all too hard on ourselves and we should all love ourselves, but as soon as I try to put those theories into practice, I get criticized for it.
When I used to date below my league, everyone would tell me that I deserved better, that I should not settle for someone who is unable to give me their all.
But now that I have raised my standards and call people out when they treat me with disrespect, everyone acts like I am being too picky. Like my standards are unrealistic. Like I think I’m some sort of perfect princess.
When I used to surround myself with toxic friends and family members, people would tell me that it wasn’t fair, that I shouldn’t have to deal with repeated arguments and pointless drama.
But now that I have decided to cut those toxic people out of my world, everyone acts like I am being the bad guy. Like I am holding a grudge. Like I should just get over it already and take the high road.
When I used to shake my head at compliments and criticize every flaw on my face, people would say they wished I realized how beautiful I really was. They would tell me to love myself. They would tell me to act more confident.
But now that I have grown to accept myself, people call me shallow whenever I post an attractive picture online. People call me stuck up when I agree with their compliments. They act like not hating myself anymore is a crime, even though they have spent years telling me to love myself, flaws and all.
I am being punished for doing the things I was told to do. I am being looked at like a self-centered bitch because I am choosing to place myself first for a change after a lifetime of bowing down to others.
Putting myself first is not selfish. Looking in the mirror and recognizing my beauty is not shallow. Cutting people out of my world who don’t deserve a second of my time is not bitchy.
I am allowed to take care of myself, even though it might be an inconvenience for you. Even though it means you’re going to have to start treating me with respect, otherwise I am going to walk away. Even though it means my expectations for everyone around me are going to rise.
I am not going to apologize for changing my outlook, because I don’t want to go back to being the person with no self-worth. The person who deletes every selfie because I look ugly. The person who gets walked over because I have no backbone. The person who has no idea how much I matter.
Learning to love myself after decades of doing the opposite isn’t easy. It has been one of the hardest things I have ever done, so don’t call me selfish for finally putting myself first after years of telling me that’s exactly what I should be doing. Don’t be a hypocrite. Don’t fault me for doing what you wish you had the guts to do yourself.