the horrifically messy business of loving myself

I just had a really productive, two-hour conversation with my boyfriend.  He’s on the other side of the country right now, participating in a workshop that’s…  Well, all about him.  It’s been good for him, I think.  He seems to really be coming out of it with a sense of self-worth, a desire to pursue real happiness, and a powerful drive to love himself.  In talking, largely about the struggles I’ve been facing these past few days, I’ve really come to realize just how little I let myself love…  myself. 

I have no trouble loving other people–too much, in fact.  I give freely of myself, expecting little in return, and accepting nothing, as if that exchange is okay.  It isn’t.  Furthermore, I’ve let people teach me that feeling good about myself, being excited about my life, and really being passionate about who I am and what I have to offer…  Well, that it’s a symptom of a disease, necessitating medications to stop it in its tracks.  Clearly, it’s irrational and illogical and unhealthy.

WHAT??

I’ve had it all wrong for so very, very long.  I need to embrace those highs.  I need to love myself first so that I can love others in a more healthy and productive way.  I need to be kind to myself so that I can recognize and put an end to it when others are unkind to me.  I need to be okay with emotions and vulnerability and feelings that seem too much to handle…  Because shutting them off doesn’t do any good, and it hasn’t worked for me so far.

So, in an effort to start loving myself, I decided to challenge myself to explore all the reasons I SHOULD love myself.  First, I thought I’d make a list of ten things I love about myself, which seemed too simple.  Next, I considered writing a post every day or every other day about something I love and value about myself, but…  When do I know I’ve accomplished it?  What if I start repeating myself?  Is that a bad thing?  Should it be trying to find something new that I love every post, or should I just focus on whatever I love about me in that moment?  What if the first few posts stretch on for pages upon pages, recounting every trivial thing I love about myself, and I burn out on it?  All of this became far too stressful for me, so I decided I’d just sit down and start writing things that I love about myself, in any format that feels right, for as long as I feel like it, and whenever I feel like it.

This page may start to read as a Tribute To the Glories of Me for a while…  And that’s okay. 

I think we could all stand to celebrate ourselves a little more.

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