Learning To Love Myself.

25 Feb

I’m visiting one of my best friends, Kayley, in Virginia this weekend, and we’ve spent the last few hours talking about our lives. We talked about my book, and Kayley said “Amelia, not many people can do what you’re doing. And hardly anyone can do it at 19.” And though I understand that, her next question caught me off guard. We started talking about happiness and love, and Kayley asked me if I loved myself. Through my tears, I told her that I didn’t know. I didn’t know how to love myself

People tell me all the time that I’m a happy person, and I am. However, there’s a difference in being happy and loving myself. I mean, I like to think that I love myself, but when asked the simple question of whether I loved myself, I couldn’t even choke out a simple yes. Since August, I’ve done a lot of soul-searching. I’ve begun to try to find myself. Being in Asheville has really helped that. I’ve found restorative yoga. I’ve discovered how much meditation helps me feel grounded in the moment, in the now. But one thing Kayley pointed out tonight was that learning to love yourself isn’t immediate. It’s a process, and it takes time. Waiting is hard. And so I’m not exactly a fan of the fact that it could take me a while to learn to love myself.

We talked about my book for a while, and Kayley actually read what I’ve written so far because I’ve wanted her feedback since she knows me really well. The advice she gave was to include more personal experiences. Even though I’ve included a lot, at this point the majority of my book is also explaining to others that they can come to enjoy their lives. Anyway, Kayley did point out that when she read it last night, she had to hold back tears. Some of the memories that I’ve included so far she didn’t even know about, so it impacted her. That made me feel good though. I mean, isn’t that what we as writers want? To touch people. To impact them. To reach them. To connect, even for a minute.

Another thing Kayley pointed out as we were talking about my book was this: “I can’t imagine the pain you went through…and I can’t imagine what you’re feeling all over again, but you can do this. It’ll probably be one of the hardest things you’ve ever faced, but I believe that once you finish it, you’ll know what it means to love yourself.”

I met Kayley during my freshman year in college (when I was still at Wofford), and she’s one of the most incredible best friends I’ve had. She supports me through everything, and I know that I can always count on her to help me realize what’s important. Though we are very different people, we’re also a lot alike. Through our talk, I’ve realized that since I faced so much physical and emotional pain when I was younger, I’m scared to allow people to love me since I don’t want to feel anymore pain. I feel like the majority of the issue is that I need to learn to love myself. Yes, I’ve already said this, and it seems really easy to say. But it’s not quite as easy to do. I mean, I said that being happy is different from loving yourself. Happiness is being cheerful and enjoying little things and trying to find the joy. But loving yourself…..that’s remembering all the crap that’s happened in your life, but still being able to say that you’ve loved all of it too, not because it’s been easy, but because it’s taught you something. And that’s what I need to work on. There are things that happened in my past that I still haven’t quite come to terms with, but I’m trying. I’m beginning to learn that once I love myself, it’ll allow others to love me just as much.

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14 Responses to “Learning To Love Myself.”

  1. celticsoulgirl February 25, 2012 at 11:02 pm #

    Hi Amelia,
    By far, I am no authority on the subject of loving ones self, but I do know that it requires self-acceptance, for who you are, and who you are becoming. It requires understanding and most of all forgiveness. If you can find it in your heart to forgive, whoever hurt you or caused all the bad things that happened to you, then that is a step in the right direction. Once we love ourselves, then we are capable of loving others. Each one of us have incredible gifts to offer, if we just open up our hearts and see all the beauty inside of us, others will see it too.
    Keep writing! Good luck with the book, and hang on to that friend of yours. She sounds like a keeper. πŸ™‚

    Caroline “Celticsoulgirl”

  2. jilllurie February 26, 2012 at 12:26 am #

    This is beautiful. You are so there, so close, you just can’t see it. Yes, this book will mirror it back to you. What a gift!

  3. Laura February 26, 2012 at 12:40 am #

    I think everyone has felt this way at one time or another, and you will get there πŸ™‚

  4. valtastic February 26, 2012 at 12:58 am #

    This touched me! It’s very tough to fully love yourself. I was in the same spot a couple of years ago. It doesn’t come right away took me I believe almost 2 years to fully love myself. Once you start forgiving and letting go of all the pain you will find it! Goodluck on your book!(:

  5. scrivenspost February 26, 2012 at 2:55 am #

    I can really recommed a book called Homecoming by John Bradshaw. This book helped me more than any other self-help book I’ve read – and I’ve read a lot of them.

    Good luck πŸ™‚

  6. Gina Marie Cannistraro February 26, 2012 at 9:50 am #

    I believe your friend is right; learning to love yourself is a process. However, once you reach that place, it becomes an in-the-moment thing. For example, after several years of spiritual work, I’m finally able to say I love myself. But there are still times when my insecurities read their ugly little heads and I feel horrible about myself. You just have to keep on keeping on. You’re in the right way, Amelia. And at 19, you are spectacular!

  7. meditationsfromthehive February 26, 2012 at 10:44 am #

    Thank you for sharing, a quote I live by, “Life is not a result of the circumstances you find yourself in, but the choices you make within these circumstances. You choose to live or choose to die, fight and win or crumble and fall, move ahead, or stay where you are, in every possible way, you are constantly in the process of making choices and experiencing them. And these choices define you and bring about a set of experiences that influences every aspect of your personality, being and life.”

  8. Katrina February 26, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

    I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award, go to my recent post for the guidelines on how to accept the award.
    Have fun!

  9. Lisa W. Rosenberg February 26, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    I know you’ve had to be brave a lot before this. I have a feeling this book is going to use all that courage and more. I agree with your friend: you can do it!
    I stand in awe, too, that you’re doing this at 19!

    L

  10. wookecixx February 27, 2012 at 12:59 am #

    “Life ain’t always beautiful, but it’s a beautiful ride.” I’m also learning to love myself after years of negativity I’m finally breaking free. Good luck on your book. At only 19, you have your whole life ahead of you.

  11. lukescott313 February 27, 2012 at 11:42 am #

    i would ask, “what is your-self?” To truly love your “self” you first have to know who you are and why you are alive. We can all acknowledge that we did not create ourselves. We can reason that SOMETHING created us. Why? Why is it that you have been born and are now alive? What is your purpose? For me, it is all about doing positive things with pure intentions in order to create a positive impact. The bigger the impact the better. i have found that living in a state of purity is necessary in order to truly awaken to the ultimate reality beyond the life of this world.

  12. belasbrightideas February 29, 2012 at 9:56 pm #

    Smart gal. Only nineteen! Oh my. It took me YEARS to learn to love myself. And for me it largely came from self respect. Which largely came from being a mother (which oddly I never wanted and got anyway, despite trying to prevent it!). Perhaps birthing your story will give you the same kind of impetus toward self discovery – a peeling away of the layers until you discover your own precious beating heart beneath it all. We are survivors. Survivors have stories to tell. And helping others through those stories feels redemptive somehow, at least for me.

    • ameliaclaire92 February 29, 2012 at 11:09 pm #

      Yes, I feel like helping others through my story is another goal. Possibly the main one, other than helping myself.

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