Back in June of this year, I made a commitment to myself I commonly refer to as “self-inflicted healing.” The commitment was to heal my mind and soul and came about after years of emotional self-abuse. Most of the time, I didn’t even realize the self-harm I was causing as a result of bad habits. However, I vividly remember waking up on that June morning, gazing in the mirror, feeling totally dissatisfied with myself. There was nothing about myself I was proud of. I had spiraled into a deep depression almost unconsciously. I was so consumed with school and my relationship that I had forsaken myself and now my self-image was practically deteriorated.
This was not like me.
My entire life (especially during adolescence years) I had developed a remarkable relationship with myself. It was not at all prided on looks or material things, but simply in knowing exactly who I was and exactly where I wanted to go. My relationship with myself started dwindling my freshman year in college and continued throughout my sophomore year after being betrayed by very close friends. Towards the beginning of 2016 I had managed to get some of it back but that June morning, it was very obvious that I had lost that relationship altogether. I constantly judged myself emotionally and physically, as well as my decisions.
I didn’t enjoy the summer or the company of friends and family. I mostly remained in my head, which increased the amount of negative thoughts going on in there. My relationship with my boyfriend was going great, I had a wonderful loving family to support me, I was receiving higher education on a full-ride scholarship, the list of blessings goes on and on. Yet, I was not happy, not because I was ungrateful, but because I did not have a positive relationship with myself. Staring in the mirror, I knew things would only get worse unless I made an intentional decision to make them better. Just like I had self-inflicted pain over the years, it was time to self-inflict healing, which hurts just as much but is a lot harder to do.
I began by watching my thoughts.
Every time (literally every time) I had a negative thought, I would replace it by saying something positive and often out loud to myself. Positive self-talk has been the game changer in this journey. I tell myself positive things whether I believe them to be true that day or not, and I quickly notice a change for the better in my mood, self-image and perception. I spent the year before weeding out all the fake friends, dysfunctional exes, and unhealthy acquaintances and was left with just a few positive people that I knew had my best interest at heart. But I was denying myself the positivity they had to offer; I wasn’t soaking in all those chill vibes. So, I quickly changed this.
I began to feed off of laughs, love, fun times, compliments (for a while, I had a hard time accepting those because of insecurities), funny movies, beautiful evenings, delicious food and soul-warming music. Whenever I would lie next to my boyfriend, instead of going on auto-pilot and falling asleep, I took two minutes to just appreciate a moment from him filled with love and security. I allowed myself to embrace all of the goodness around me. I indulged in self-care. I treated a positive day of self-love with a bath, then cuddled up with a cup of tea and watch my favorite shows, or meticulously pick out an outfit for the next day that I’ll feel confident in. I listen to my spirit and my body and allow them to govern me. When I feel worn out and stressed, I take the time to relax and rewire. When I’m scrolling through social media and start judging myself harshly or comparing myself to the images presented, I log off and spend the rest of the day to myself, reaffirming positive statements and appreciating my own beauty and the beauty of things around me.
Over the past few months, I’ve had some obstacles and down days, but I remember the promise I made to myself back in June and get back on track to loving myself. Re-building my self-confidence hasn’t been automatic or easy and there have been many days when I just wanted to give up and sink into self-pity or fall victim to those negative self-habits that seem to come almost naturally. I feel much better about myself since making a decision to self-heal. I feel more attached to my purpose and the life around me. I’m tapping into my enchantment by not dimming my own light. I know that this is only the beginning, and I look forward to all the great things that are yet to occur on this journey.
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