I was that little kid, arms wide open that wanted to hug everyone. I just wanted to love the world. I had a big open heart and wanted everyone to be happy. I realizes just recently that I learned to love others, before I learned to love myself. Not being aware of this, meant that I looked towards others to fill me up. We all have that love tank inside. When it's full, you can love others fully. When it's really low, you are in love starvation mode. And it doesn't matter how much others love you, it's never enough. Your relationships are jaded. You feel better when people need you, only when you are the one giving, or when you play yourself down to make others feel better. It's co-dependent and dishonoring to all included.
So I would look for other's approval, which felt good for a while. But that feeling can never last. Eventually, someone disapproves of you. When we lack self-love, we look for approval, validation, acceptance, to fit in, for others to like us, so we can feel good. This is like living in a prison. All of the factors, have to do with others and not yourself. When you come from this place, when people ridicule, reject, tease, or don't understand you, it feels like your spirit is crushed. So people tell you, "You need to be tough. You're too sensitive. Don't care what anyone thinks, they're idiots." That doesn't feel right to you. So you search for your own answers.
Even as an adult, I would feel like I was flying high and people would just love to take the wind out of my sails and knock me down. It's nothing personal really, it's an energy thing, they do subconsciously sometimes. When I stepped outside of my comfort zone, putting self-love first, everything really changed. Everyone does not have to understand you. Some live in a life, totally out of obligation, calling others selfish for always putting others first. Well, I lived from a place of not loving myself and it sucked so bad, that I would rather have others not "get" me and call me whatever, than feel that bad ever again. I only know my experience, in learning to love others first. It is not healthy. Even as a teen when I was hospitalized for bulimia, I was trying to help other patients, ignoring my own healing process. I was always hiding from my pain. Until just a few years ago, I didn't love myself and tried everything to either hide from that, make myself good enough in some way, or thought that if circumstances changed that I would feel better. Learning to love and believe in yourself, is not about your accomplishments, looking a certain way, or being a "good" person. You can't conditionally love yourself, you have to decide to love yourself, no matter what you have or haven't done. Regardless of your past, your so-called "issues" or whatever mistakes you made on your journey. It is on a soul level, connecting to that part of yourself and realizing it is our natural state. That if everyone truly loved themselves, there would be no war, or anything of the negative stuff. On a soul level, we are all connected, meaning that to love another is to love yourself, and to love yourself is to love another. Also, really loving yourself makes your relationships authentic and fulfilling for all. There is no competition with your friends or anyone else. Everyone can shine.
Loving myself means that I let myself be free. Free to be me. It took my life experiences to see this. I remember twelve years ago, a yoga teacher told me that I was going to be amazing, when I really believed what I said. I get that now. I am aligned with my soul's joyful nature, where as I was not back then. Another moment that spoke to my soul, was in eighth grade. I was standing outside of metal's shop, which that quarter, unfortunately, was mechanical drawing. I was bored, so I was chit-chatting in class. I got in trouble and sent to the hallway. I was mortified, because I was not one to get in trouble. An administrator was walking by and asked what I was doing out there. She was knew me to be a smiling, good kid. I told her what happened. She said, "One day, that's going to get you somewhere in life." It made my day. I never forgot it. Now, I realize using my voice, be it literally, or in writing, is what I am meant to do. I want to empower, uplift, and inspire with my voice.
I was watching Diane Keaton on the Ellen show the other day, which I adore them both. Diane is one of my faves, also her style totally rocks. She was making fun of herself and saying she hated her body. It made me sad. I thought, what would it be like for someone to get on there and say, "I love my body. I love myself, all of me." Loving yourself, may not be popular, but I'm doing it. I like being a love-yourself-badass! When you love yourself, you give others permission to do the same. And I did not come to Earth, to say the "right" things for everyone. I came to speak my Truth, which some will resonate with, some may not. But I fought hard to get here, to this place within myself and will reach my hand down to pull others up whenever I can. Why what until you get sick or are on your deathbed, to realize how wonderful you are. Let yourself be the butterfly, soaring high. Live with an open heart and open mind. Your spirit will bloom in the process.
P.S. You never have to explain why you love yourself, or why its okay to love yourself. If people don't get it, it's not your problem. Just send them love.