You know how people tell you to “love yourself”? I always felt extreme pressure behind that statement. Once you love yourself, you’ll meet the right guy, once you love yourself, you’ll be content no matter what job you’re in, once you love yourself…
As if that was some tangible destination, as if through some miraculous journey through open sea I’d finally walk ashore the Land of Self-Love and everything would magically fall into place–my worries would be gone, I’d find the man of my dreams, I’d be content at my job. The only thing standing in the way of everything was my own lack of self-love.
Now, I do believe there is some truth to this idea. You manifest what you believe and think. But “love” and “self-love” are heavy words. I feel pressure, expectancy, and that a lot is being asked of me. Two years ago, I was a mess. I’d blown up my personal life and was at a job I hated. I hit rock bottom. How could I love myself when I’d put myself in this situation?
My therapist at the time laughed when I told him I felt immense pressure whenever someone said, “well, once you love yourself, blah blah…” He told me love was too abstract of a word to apply to one’s self.
“The better question is,” he said, “do you value yourself?”
He reminded me that to get to the Land of Self-Love, or the Land of Self-Value was to trust myself. Yes, I may be at rock bottom right now. But the next step I take, no matter how small, could be faced with a question: is what I’m about to decide or do bringing value to myself and my life? If I value myself, do I accept what is before me? What do I have to do to change it if I do not?
Two years later, present day 2019, I can honestly say I value myself, and I love myself too. I worked hard to make sure I could live on my own, I surrounded myself with healthy family members and friends, got a new job that paid well, and I remained low-key. I found things that worked for me to bring me peace, and therefore taught myself self-discipline, self-care, and self-value.
But there’s a step I never truly realized I had to take until now. The practice, and learning, of self-trust.
I trust myself with my life. I trust my strengths and even weaknesses. I trust that I can take care of myself and attempt to give myself the best life possible. I thought I had it all figured out. But the catch is, while I trust myself in every aspect of my life, there is one thing I cannot control, and therefore do not trust. It’s obvious. But it drives me nuts.
I can’t control other people.
In my life, I’ve had one or two unhealthy romantic relationships. I tend to see the best in people and believe in their potential rather than repeated patterns disputing my golden vision. In order to stop this, I simply “benched” myself from dating. I just stopped. I stopped looking when I went out with friends, I blew people off when they attempted to get close to me, I wasn’t ignoring text messages or calls because I was playing games but rather–I did not have the time nor energy, nor was I in the right head-space, to offer any time to another individual on that level.
But now? I feel like I am honestly ready and whole again as an individual. I am in a good place. But dating?
The question morphed from do you trust yourself to do you trust yourself to identify unhealthy situations and to walk sooner rather than later?
Self-love/value/trust–I’ve put all those emotional muscles to the test and work over the last two years and succeeded. But in order to see if I fully trust myself to value my time, mental state, physical state, and future in regards to a partner means I need to get back out there. The only way to exercise that muscle is by putting it to work. It shouldn’t be a scary thought, either. If I see a red flag, I should trust my past and my inner strength to walk away instead of run towards it as my unhealthy younger self would. I should trust myself to only choose men who value me as much as I value myself.
Self-trust means I have everything I need in order to do this. Self-trust is power. I am a lighthouse and through any storm I will guide myself back.
I just need to jump in and work that muscle out.