My extended period of being sick gave me lots of spare time. I did a lot of thinking, crying, and reflection over the kinds of reactions I’ve had in different circumstances. It gave me a lot of time to battle the inner conflicts that were buzzing around in my head. This was partly because of the effect of SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth), which made me withdraw from everything happening around me and focus solely on myself.
At the beginning of 2014, I set out on a path of physical and mental self-discovery, and the results have been nothing I could ever have imagined when I was started. The journey so far has been quite revealing, and it taught me many fascinating and FRIGHTENING things about myself.
One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned so far is to accept myself for who I am, and the experience made me realize how awesome I am, and believe me, we all are.
Would you believe me if I told you it took over a year of introspection to discover the real me? I mean the amazing me. Over a year of reflection has rekindled me with new hopes and aspirations, and notwithstanding my shortcomings, I am confident in living through my dreams and life plans.
Learning to love yourself can be quite tricky. It’s hard to explain it because the experience is unique to everyone, but I’ll share how I got to where I am today.
Self-love is gradual, just like every good thing in life. I still experience momentary negative thoughts about myself sometimes, but rather than let it take hold of me, I assess the situation and identify the cause behind the feeling, and I banish it from my thoughts.
Self-love takes perseverance. There is this nagging little voice that’s always telling you about your inadequacies; you must CHOOSE to not listen to it. Get a hold of yourself and bring positivity to your consciousness.
The journey is never a smooth ride. It’s bumpy as hell. It’s like when you need someone to love, and you need them like crazy. I had that intense feeling about myself, I just wanted to be at peace with myself, but it wasn’t something I could wish into reality.
You will have to challenge your weaknesses, vulnerabilities and innermost fears. I have this profound sense of guilt. I feel guilty for having fun and speaking my mind, and sometimes I can’t even explain why I’m feeling guilty. But now I’m beginning to crack the code. After many sessions with my hypnotherapists and many private crying sessions, I'm starting to come to terms with my guilt problem. But I have to admit that I have been terrified about confronting it. Discovering the cause behind the effect has been an emotionally gruelling undertaking, and our findings indicate it started when I was still a young child. My guilt has been a serious setback in my life, it makes me insecure and robs me of many happy moments. But as I continue to uncover how my past influenced how I feel, I feel so much relief with the knowledge that I’m not alone.
My experience taught me to start a new day with new hope. No matter how bad yesterday was, don’t let it jeopardize today, just forge ahead with your life. Have a good sleep and let it wash your troubles away.
I ask the people around me the question; “How is today?” Change is gradual, take it step by step, no need to rush.
Though I never anticipated it, my newfound love for myself has rekindled my love for others as well, and I now find my love expanding as I love myself more and more each day. Every passing day brings a greater feeling of happiness, far better than the way I felt not quite long ago.
Having a better understanding of myself as given me more insight about others as well. Today, I'm more empathic with people who are also struggling (and who isn’t?). I have also been able to help my friends cope better with their challenges, helping them live through their most vulnerable and emotional moments. Depression has taught me perseverance, and this has strengthened me so that I can lend others a helping hand. Teaching myself has made me a teacher for others, providing encouragement and lessons for loved ones.
With each person I help, I also gain strength - strength needed to live life the way I want, to be the woman of my dreams, and my own role model. I have made tremendous progress over the past few years, but the journey is never ending. It’s a path I will continue to tread for forever.
“When you know yourself, you are empowered. When you accept yourself, you are invincible.” - Mel