Updated: Aug 19, 2021
Happy Sunday! On my social media outlets (Lana The Influencer, LLC) I post a different topic each week and I go into further detail with My Monday Story. A few weeks ago, I touched on the topic Self Love. You see the little girl pictured below. Isn't she a cutie? Sadly to say, I honestly felt the opposite while growing up. In this blog, I will be discussing my journey and how I can FINALLY say, "I love me" AND also can actually believe it. Once again, WELCOME to my blog, and let's get right into it.
Why Was It Hard To LOVE Me?
I used to ask myself this question every single day! Have you ever wondered the same thing? I cannot remember where my self-doubt or insecurities started BUT I do believe my childhood was definitely a factor. I know each person's story is different and we all have not had to deal with the same trauma or no trauma at all. So for me, my trauma at one point destroyed me. Childhood trauma is real and it can be a lifelong struggle to overcome. Here is a great article that can help you understand the effects of childhood trauma: Treating the Effects of Childhood Trauma.
I grew up in a home where I rarely saw love, motivation, and the feeling of being safe. I can truly say I was terrified for most of my younger life due to the abuse in my home. My mother had a way of giving harsh physical punishments and she was verbally abusive as well. I can remember several situations where she told me I would never amount to anything (EX: you're not smart enough, you're going to be on the street and be a hoe just like your mother) and that she never should have adopted me. The words, "I Love You" were never used in my home. I also remember rarely receiving hugs as a child. You all know the saying, "Hurt people, hurt people". I can remember my mother saying that her mother never gave her hugs either.
On a positive note, my mother was a great cook and she used to make the BEST pancakes. Funny thing is, pancakes are my favorite food to this day. Nobody can make pancakes like her and I love her regardless of what happened in my childhood.
The trauma that I experienced as a child had certain and specific effects on me. I could never trust anyone fully, I thought I was not worthy of love and I could not love myself. I allowed so many people (who were good to me) to leave my life and I held on to the people (who did not care for me) that I shouldn't have. I learned a few hard lessons along the way to figure out I was the problem too. I would be pushy, verbally abusive, and insecure all the time. I can say I was a bit TOO much. Do you remember when I said, "Hurt people, hurt people"? I had become my mother in relationships. That was the moment I had to fall on my knees and ask God to help me!
I had to learn to how to let the hurt go so I could finally learn how to LOVE myself and others.
The Techniques I Used To Establish Self Love.
Let's touch on the techniques I put into place to FINALLY love me some me LOL. You all know that I have my LMSW, and earning that has increased my knowledge of this entire topic. This is how I found my own way (which did not happen overnight).
You have to realize that you have a problem. I myself was guilty of this and felt like everyone else was the problem. I would use my childhood trauma as a clutch. I know this will be hard to do BUT if you cannot recognize you're the problem, you won't progress. Please know you have to realize your own issues. If you cannot, you will not be ready to move forward.
Let the hurt go and FORGIVE. I know this is hard for A LOT of people but if you do not move forward and forgive those who wronged you, you will never see happiness evolve in your life. Trust me! When you truly forgive...you walk different, you see different ... you're finally free.
Counseling consistently. I've had several different counselors throughout my life. When I finally realized I was a problem and grew tired of going through the same situations and not progressing...I became serious. I consistently met with my counselor and performed the techniques she offered. I put in the work and that will be something you have to do too. You have to want change, as much as your counselor wants it for you.
Self Talk/Affirmations Daily. Try telling yourself "Good morning, and I love you daily". Talking to yourself in a positive and consistent manner can trigger your mind to believe exactly what you're saying. If you say it and believe it then you will walk with it. Affirmations are just a way to remind you of who you are!!! My favorite one is, "I have the right to say no to others and YES to myself"! Affirmations are power. If don't believe what I'm saying, just try it.
Join a Community. I started a growth group with Venture Church while on my self-love journey. One day a member spoke about the Enneagram and this book THE ROAD BACK TO YOU. I found out that I'm a 4W5 and I have issues with abandonment and feeling like I’m never enough!!!! Amazingly, the book spoke about God and a way to heal from your childhood wound. Definitely check out this book because it changed my life and just like that, it can change yours!!!! Authors: Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile.
Family & Friend Support. During tough times we need support. Who can do that for you better than your family and friends? While I was on this journey of self-love, I needed them the most. I'm glad I realized it because I almost lost a good friend. If you have good people, please hold on to them. We all need someone to lean on.
Never Give Up! You all already know you better not give up! Its hard work and dedication are key, BUT the end result is always worth it. Read my post from last week to discover my personal journey with that.
Still Progressing Everyday...
How am I doing today with my SELF LOVE journey? Do you want me to be honest? I still do my affirmations and self-talk daily because I still need it. Trust me, once you learn how to love yourself, it does not mean your struggle is over. I can honestly say I am not who I used to be BUT I still am not where I want to be. Do you want to know something else? It's okay to still not be where you want to be. That's what makes it all beautiful. I never want to stop growing and evolving... I want to continue to strive to be the WONDERFUL and LOVING person I am meant to be.
Question: Do you love yourself enough to start the journey now?