It’s 11:18 p.m. as I begin to write this. I have just returned home from seeing American Sniper with my best friend. I was (and still am) trying to process my emotions after seeing that movie. That is a world I have never experienced or even seen. I don’t play war video games and I cringe at the smallest injury. I can’t image having a parent or spouse leave and not know if I will ever see them again. I came home in hopes to bawl my eyes out before I crawl into bed, but instead I found myself crying tears of joy as I meditate. I can’t stop smiling. I keep thinking about what an amazing life I have: amazing family and friends, a cool apartment, a wonderful education, ambitious goals, jobs I love…….I could go on and on. I think the best and most important thing is that I LOVE MYSELF. Not in the narcissistic way but in the I am human and make mistakes but I’m smart and outgoing and enjoy life kind of way.
I have been thinking a lot about self love lately. Even before tonight.
I recently began a book called You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. My aunt gave me this book for Christmas; she always knows the best books to read. I’m only on page 33 but it has a lot of information to take in and self reflection to do, so I am taking it slow. This book helps you deal with some very intense and deep-seated issues, which made me realize for the hundredth time that I am really lucky to not have crazy parents that screwed me up (THANK YOU MARK AND ROBIN). When I read the first page of Hay’s philosophy on life, I knew this book was going to be great because it reiterated thoughts I have been having for a while.
“We are each responsible for all of our experiences. Every thought we think is creating our future.
….Resentment, criticism, and guilt are the most damaging patterns.
….Self-approval and self-acceptance in the now are the keys to positive changes. When we really love ourselves, everything in our life works.”
This is not something I have really grasped until my senior year of college. I am very open about my life so some of you may know that I suffered from depression while I was in middle school. These were some very tough years for me, but I masked it well. Now that I have taken multiple psychology classes, I’m not sure if I really had true clinical depression but it was still a tough time nonetheless. I held a lot of guilt for my actions during this time. I have made amends with my mother and taken a lot of time to think about who I was back then. Middle school is a very hard transition time for most people, but I really created a terrible experience for myself. I have decided that I don’t regret any of it because it has made me who I am today, and I like who I am. Everyone has those moments when you might have said the completely wrong thing or done something you shouldn’t have. We are human. We make mistakes. BUT, now is the time to forgive yourself and forgive others because the only way to move forward is to let it go and move on. Think about what you want your life to be like and figure out how you can get there. Learn to love yourself.
Hay talks about “mental housecleaning” and I think it is a brilliant concept. We all need a “spring cleaning,” but for the mind. It can be a painful process, but it is necessary. Why are you keeping those magazines from 2012 in your apartment? Why are you keeping those limiting beliefs in your mind? We can’t move on or keep a clear mind with the past garbage holding us back. Think about why you believe you aren’t good enough or why you “need” a boyfriend or male attention. What brought you to that place in your life? Was it a parent that repeatedly told you that you were stupid? Was it an event that made you feel abandoned or ignored? It’s important to identify the root of the problem so we can examine how it has changed our beliefs, and allow us to move on. This is the path to discover self-love.
Many people ask me, “Do you like living by yourself?” Each time I answer with a, “YES I LOVE IT, IT’S SO AMAZING.” I get a lot of responses like, “I couldn’t do that, I’d get too lonely,” or “Wow, I hate being alone.” Not that everyone needs to be like me, but it does make me wonder why more people don’t live alone or why they hate being alone. Do they not like themselves? Living alone was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I love coming home and reading a book in silence or dancing around my apartment while I get ready in the morning; I need that time by myself. I couldn’t even tell you the last time I felt lonely. I don’t really even know what lonely feels like.
I like my thoughts. I like giggling by myself in my apartment. I like who I am. I like being alone.
I once read a quote that said, “You never get lonely if you like who you are alone with.” This has really stuck with me throughout my journey in college. I hope that you can take my midnight thoughts and think critically about your life and who you want to be. Make goals. Work towards them. Spend time with yourself. SMILE. You are an amazing person; the world is waiting for you to discover you.