I woke up this Sunday morning with a pit in my stomach.
Bleary eyed, groggy, and frankly, just disappointed in myself.
Not for anything you’re thinking right now. Come onnnn people, get your minds out of the gutter. 🙂 You already know I’m saving myself until marriage.
I think there’s a grave misconception about something:
I give a lot of lip service to those two, seemingly “okay-okay, enough already“-esq words.
We think…it’s something that you would tell a teenage girl, going through puberty with acne and a retainer.
Or, we think about someone looking in the mirror, unhappy with their appearance, pondering the Dove commercials. “Love yourself.” And, yes, those are two things that “loving yourself” encompasses. However, when I talk about loving yourself, I’m talking about waaaaay more than just a mirror.
It dictates your behavior.
During the depths of my anorexia, self love was non-existant. The very essence of the disease seeks to destroy oneself. Whether you’re conscious of it or not, you’re slowing killing yourself. Blunt. But true.
There is no “self love” there. In fact, the exact opposite.
So, the biggest aspect of my recovery has been to learn how to reverse that mindset – which had been engrained in my head, conditioned as the norm, and was my “autopilot” — and learn to love myself.
And what I’ve learned is that this extends far beyond a mirror.
But this was a new manifestation, if you will. And it revealed a gaping hole in my progress.
Self love also means not letting people treat you poorly.
To make a very long and complicated story short-ish, basically, a boy did not treat me with emotional respect. This boy I have a complicated history with, invited me to his party…where his new girlfriend was in attendance. But here’s the thing: I willing put myself in that situation where I knew my heart was going to be broken. I went and put on the the brave “we’re just friends” face, even though that’s not how my heart felt.
“Gurrrrl, you stand up for yourself, honey! Don’t you take that crap! Boy’s a player, ain’t got time for those games.”
Believe me. I’ve heard it. From my mom. From my friends. From my rational mind after the fact.
BUT. I still subjected myself to a situation where my finally “healed-and-moved-on” -heart would be reopened.
And I’m angry at myself, because I allowed it to happen. I allowed my heart to “go there” again, and let myself be disrespected emotionally.
It’s disappointing more than anything. Because here’s the thing: my actions communicated to myself that that’s what I think I’m worth. My behavior — going and seeing this guy that I still had feelings for, now with another girl — it communicated to myself, “You know what BBB? You’re really not worthy of being someone’s first choice.”
Acting with love for myself, I would have not gone. I would have not submitted my heart to being hurt like that. But I did, and it shows just how far I still have to go on my journey to true self love.
But there are far “weightier” implications that those two little words have.
And that is, to demand to be treated with the respect you deserve. To only surround yourself with people who see you for the incredible person you are, and treat you as such.
It means saying no to things that aren’t good for you.
This looks different for everybody. Everybody has that one thing that they just can’t quit, try as they might. Be it, compulsive shopping, smoking, excessive partying or drinking, overeating, under eating, gambling, you name it. I found yet another “thing” this weekend: emotional irresponsibility.
Who knows, maybe I’m just being too sensitive. Making a mountain out of a mole hill.
But actions speak louder than words, and if I really reflect on my decision to submit myself to that emotionally hurtful situation, it communicates a lot.
At the end of the day, self love dictates everything we do. It’s the foundation we build our lives on. And if that foundation is grounded in fleeting things like money, or success, other people’s opinions, beauty, the latest fashions…we’re going to be in a world of hurt. It’s like building a house on sand.
But, if our lives are grounded in love – self love that comes from claiming God’s immense love for each one of us – we’re going to be able to withstand whatever comes our way.
So, no. Self love is not just about a mirror. That’s part – but only a very small part.