What Finding “Self-Love” Has Meant For Me – By Marney Reid

Good morning LTTH community.  I hope this day finds all of you well, rested, and happy.  This post took me awhile to get out onto paper, and if you get anything from it I hope it’s that this concept of “self-love” is one of the hardest things you’ll probably struggle with.  However, if you can even start down the road to finding and embracing it, so many of life’s hurts will be viewed with a sense of understanding, acceptance, and even enhanced happiness in the progression of how your life moves after them.

The first time I heard the term “self-love” I didn’t understand what it meant.  I’m sure it means many different things to many people, and that’s also the beauty of it…it can mean whatever it is to you that gives you a light from inside that can never be diminished.

Anyone who has been on this earth for more than 30 years will most likely have gone through their fair share of life changing experiences.  Some good, some painful, and some so confusing as to “why it happened” that it’s all we can do some days to pull ourselves out of bed in the morning, put on a smile, and continue onwards and upwards.  That’s been an on/off journey for me over the past couple years…and only in the past couple weeks have I embraced the concept of what “self-love” means to and for me.

There are things from my past (both that have been done to and by me) that I have only recently started forgiving myself for.  From the need to prove “I am worthy of love” because, as many adopted children will tell you, there is always a subconscious or even conscious feeling of having not been “worthy enough for our biological parents to have kept.”  In our rational minds we can say: “There was a 90% chance our parents loved and wanted us and they made the ultimate sacrifice by giving us up for a better future than they could provide for.”  But that doesn’t stop the demons from lurking in the subconscious parts of our mind that DRIVE us to prove over and over again that we are worth love, both from others as well as ourselves.

What “self-love” has meant, and is continuing to mean to me, is: forgiveness, letting go with love of the people who, for whatever reason needed to leave (either permanently or temporarily) and continue to take with me the lessons they shared and the love they gave while they were part of my life.  Most importantly it has taught me that until I let go of what I cannot go back and change (whether it was my mine or others’ actions) I cannot move forward into a place of serenity and life-long love.

Once I grasped this concept (with help from an amazing friend) I felt things shift in my life.  I no longer look back with pain and regret at loved ones long past, relationships that I couldn’t hang onto, and even friends that have come and gone.  Instead I smile and the love their presence brought my life and I take it with me into the next chapters as I move through them.

So if you are like where I was…searching the universe for meaning behind experiences that have left you hurting, or love that was granted to you but for some reason was taken away, then I hope you can look deep into your heart and find the unconditional love that you’ve searched to give someone else…and instead grant it to the most deserving person in your life…yourself.