This post originally appeared here on Illumination.

Why The Hell Won't I Love Myself?

Why the hell won’t I love myself?

I’ve heard it said that the world will kick you down, spit on you and declare you worthless. Heck, but aren’t we supposed to stand up and fight for ourselves because if we don’t stand up for ourselves, who the hell will?

The thing is, no matter how much of a smart-alec I think I am and being a tad too optimistic, when it comes to walking the talk, it’s just not the same. Advice is cheap, whether it’s offered to others or myself. Sure, I’ll take my own advice, but only with nods from the back of my mind — not all the way into action — because at the back of all the super positive, can-do mindset, I have to deal with the real world.

As of today, enough is enough and I will shape my real world and trust that I will survive the selfish disappointment of those I have served instead of growing into myself.

Most times they chose to stay not because they learned how to accommodate and adapt to the insecurity, self-centeredness, dominance, and control in that environment. They sacrificed for the goods of others.



Photo by Asad Photo Maldives from Pexels


Walking out of a toxic relationship is a piece of cake, right? I can even lick the whipped cream frosting off it on my way out. Who wants to put themselves through unnecessary heartbreak?

Ask any victim and you’ll find out that most times they chose to stay not because they learned how to accommodate and adapt to the insecurity, self-centeredness, dominance, and control in that environment. They sacrificed, nobly they thought, for the goods of others.

Maybe their kids — the separation is going to tear them apart; or their parents, who always get the help they needed from their handy partner; or maybe the dependent brother or sister who has that one “real adult” to look up to, or that sweet aunt Mary who just adores this ‘beautiful couple’ and it would break her heart if something ever happens.

Well, something has happened. Many times in fact over far too many years. My question is why won’t I quit looking outside for answers? I need to stop looking to others to tell me how to live my life or hand me temporary solutions to problems that only came about because I do not trust myself.

And that’s me! Enough is enough I now scream from the proverbial mountaintop. Time to stop asking and admit to myself how I feel, how can I take this, and how much longer I’m willing to live a lie, deriving satisfaction from the smiles on other’s faces except my own.

While all of us have lessons to learn in order to grow and have parts to play to make the world a better place, I realize first I have to guard my space, my world, my heart.



Photo by Asad Photo Maldives from Pexels


I’m always told to be a good person, and the definition of good is to put others’ needs before oneself. After all, they say Jesus went to the cross for others so I too should live sacrificially, for the reward is great in heaven. Seriously? The trouble with this story is that after a while it becomes stale. I just can’t live up to that expectation anymore. Why does the flight attendant hold up the oxygen mask and remind you to put your mask on first? Why do people say you can’t pour from an empty cup?

It took me years to realize that I can’t be a good friend, sister, parent, partner, daughter if I don’t first learn to love myself. It requires me to prioritize self-care, perceiving it as a necessity rather than as an indulgence.

What a hypocrite I am if I go around telling others I love them but am incapable to care for and attend to my own needs? Where do I get the energy to be a support system if my system is breaking down? Who am I kidding? Maybe it’s time for me to come clean about this. I’m the strong and the smart one, or so I thought. There are many times I’ve convinced myself that this is normal, that this is not a uniquely ‘me’ story, and that everyone goes through it to some extent. Those who are strong are capable to endure to the end. Just don’t rock the boat.

And so I buried myself in tears, gently nursed my wounds, building more resilience over time so that when the next storm struck, I would be tougher, more able to cope than before, yet still tolerating and enduring. I see now, still running in place.

Original Photo by Meruyert Gonullu from Pexels

Time heals everything, they say. Yeah, just give it time. The old me would have quietly nodded her head and walk away, but today I’ll call that a big old B.S. Time is a salve. Healing comes from the inner courage to face risks and solve problems.

Time does not heal, time just intensifies the pain because what’s not dealt with will fester. All the more so if I continually expose the wound to the same toxic environment!

Enough is enough. At some point in my life I have to wake up to the reality that no, I’ll not take this anymore! I didn’t incarnate to be the soft cushy pillow to absorb blows. I’m here to be me and until I do that by discovering my own uniqueness, my own beauty, my own worth, I’ll be no good for anyone else, not even for myself.

While all of us have lessons to learn in order to grow and have parts to play to make the world a better place, I realize first I have to guard my space, my world, my heart. This is where it all begins. I’ll admit that most of the opinions and advice I’ve received were dead wrong for me — pointing me in directions that either would fail miserably or from which continued or even more unhappiness would result.

I have to heal myself because no one can heal or restore me. The only person who fully knows me is Me. It’s pointless casting blame all over the place and missing out on the one place that really matters. Me.

Who started it, who perpetuated it, who allowed it?

Seriously, I am no longer interested in this debate. I may be the one who has put this on myself and if so, so be it. I accept my role so I can put all that in the past. Now I have only one concern. Me. My health. My growth. My expansion. If others don’t understand my decision, then it’s boo-hoo, too bad for them. Their loss. My gain. I can’t be going on this way. It’s downright unhealthy, and it’s bad for my soul. I need a reboot, an upgrade, an overhaul to live again. Whatever is going to happen henceforth, I will take responsibility for it.

And yeah, I’m doing all this for love. Because in order to love others fully and be physically and emotionally available for them, I have to be available for myself first.

So if you don’t see me anymore or if you noticed I’ve changed and no longer who you thought I should be, that’s because I love enough to learn to walk away from what hurts.

I refuse to let past hurts mold me into someone I’m not. From today onwards, I’m loving myself.

And maybe if I can go from hurt to healed, I might just be able to love you a little better.

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