Self-love is not the cure for self-hate, it is the result of a healing process.
You must make your mind up that you will love yourself, but then go through the healing process. Most people just wear a mask of fake self-love or pretend to be selfless, but that’s not what it is.
You can’t fake it till you make it. You have to do the work to get to the other side. There are no shortcuts.
Here’s my 5 step plan. It’s what I did. It worked for me. It may work for you too.
Cry if you have to cry
If you’re in pain just admit it and mourn it properly. Stop trying to deny it. Stop taking it out on other people. Just take some private time and admit you’re pissed about your dad, mom, upbringing, how you feel shorted, spoiled, at whatever disadvantage, feel victimized, abused, unheard, ugly, whatever it is. Cry it out as far as you can. Then, dry your eyes and go do something else that’s comforting and nurturing. Take a bath, a run, a ride on a bike or in your car, put on your favorite music, call a friend, read a book, jump up and down or do a happy dance. You just got real with yourself, mourned it, and let it be. You don’t need to dwell on it all damn day.
Stop Being Selfish
You spend all day long thinking of just yourself. Oh I hate myself, I suck, I’m not worthy, nobody likes me, everybody thinks I’m a loser, I have no friends…and on and on.
Turn off the broken record and go help someone out. Become a volunteer at an organization for people who are way worse off than you. I bet you probably have a home, food, a nice place to sleep, some money in your pocket. Lots of people don’t.
Challenge yourself with something that will prove to yourself what you’re capable of
I took a walk across a country for 500 miles to show myself what I was made of instead of continuing to assume I’m not capable. I just stopped my bitching and got moving. It scared the shit out of me. I did it anyway. Just that move showed me that I was courageous. What can you do to put yourself in that position? Because right now I’m sure you just have a long list of reasons why you suck and things you’re not good at. Why not find something that would test whether that’s true? Something where you’d have to make it work and prove yourself to yourself. I guarantee you will pleasantly surprise yourself.
Do little things that consistently make you feel good and proud of yourself
Some of the things that make me feel content are not in any way exciting sounding. In fact they are pretty mundane and ordinary, but they make me feel good inside. For example, I really like making sure my kitchen is clean. I like when I manage to cook a healthy meal and eat at home even when take out tempts me. I like when my cat eats all her food and is active and healthy. It makes me feel like I’m doing a good job of caring for another being. I feel loved for it in return (in the way only a cat can show:) I like when I have my best friend over and we talk even for a few minutes because I feel connected and enjoy exchanging ideas and humor over life’s adventures. I love bubble baths and when take care of myself and get enough sleep so I am ready for the next day. So you see, it doesn’t have to be some expensive thing or big ta-da – you don’t need surround sound in your living room or a better satellite package, you don’t need stuff. You need to do things that you feel good about. That make you feel proud of yourself. Things you can do everyday.
Maybe you’re right
Maybe people don’t like you. Maybe you’re a genuine pain in the ass. Maybe you don’t take responsibility for your life and your actions. Maybe YOU need to change that instead of asking people to feel sorry for you. Maybe there really are good reasons why you feel these things. Maybe you’re putting your energy into manipulating people and whining instead of healing yourself. Maybe you should get off your ass and make the necessary adjustments to be a better person to the people around you and for the world you live in instead of waiting passively for someone to come along who “gets you” and makes you falsely feel “all better”.
The healing process sucks. I’m not going to lie. But what’s the alternative? — Keep bleeding out all over yourself and others? C’mon. I know you can do better than that. You deserve more than that. Go get it!
–with love from aneternaltraveler 😉