The Common Denominator: Self-Love

I’ve got this really weird habit of being both inspired and terrified at the same time. Yesterday I was feeling kind of in a slump, which has become a weird habit lately (most likely because I’m not sleeping well and I sound like I have a walrus sitting on my nose), and I really dislike being in a negative mindset. Seeing as though I have anxiety and sometimes suffer from depression, I tend to get really, really frustrated with myself when I’m not handling something the way I wish I was.

I was fortunate enough to hear a quote that really stuck with me yesterday, and I really want to keep it in front of me at all times. Someone quoted Hamlet, “For there is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison.” My biggest crutch is allowing myself to believe that I am not in control of my emotions. Okay, so sure, I’m not entirely responsible for my emotions, but I am responsible for the way that I project my emotions and how I cope with them. Which leads me to my next bit. I am horrible about coping with my emotions in a way that is not harmful to myself. I’m not talking in a physically harmful way, I’m talking about self-love. I have very little of it. I’ve always known I was bad at self-control, but it wasn’t until yesterday that I realized that the very core of why I struggle with self-control lies in the fact that I struggle with my self. I struggle with who I am, where I belong, how I’m doing in relation to others, blah blah blah. So honestly, yes, thinking can be a major prison to me. I don’t let things go easily, I don’t just think, “Hey, that was a great experience. Let’s move on.” Instead, I’m over here on struggle-bus lane, wallowing in self-doubt and self-pity, thinking, “Hey, no, you didn’t say this would happen, what, come back, huh?”

I know that I have a lot to work on, but I also know that these kind of life changes–the ones where you attempt to love yourself more–don’t come easily or in a hot second. Which brings me back to the whole, “inspired and terrified” thing. I have plans to cover one of my bedroom walls with quotes and artwork that inspires me, and recently, I keep coming across handfuls of things that are encouraging. I really am moving in a positive direction, except I’m impatient. I keep wanting to see tangible results, but I have to rest easy in the fact that meaningful change takes time and a lot of personal effort.

The fear comes into play when I start thinking of all of the changes I need to make in the form of a never-ending list. I should apologize for the way I handled this. I should tell that person I still adore them. I should, I should, I should. Even though I know that these are things that I should possibly do, I also realize that in order for those words to really mean what I want them to mean, I need to work on myself first. The common denominator in the wreckage of my life comes in the form of one thing and one thing only: me. Sure, there are people who could have treated me better, things that could have been projected onto someone else besides myself, etc., but when it comes down to it, I am the only person who can control how I respond. Which terrifies me, because my track record clearly shows that I respond by beating myself up over things I cannot control. I have learned to take the loss and negativity of the ones I love, and internalize them in a way that makes me sick with self-loathing and self-doubt. I want to fix and change people, when the reality is, I need to fix and work on myself.

So here’s to learning how to love myself more. Here’s to hoping that my hands are big enough to catch my heartbreak and loss, and that my imagination is big enough to give them wings so that they can eventually fly beyond me. Here’s to letting go of the words, I am not enough or I am too much, and replacing them with so many dreams that my head rests easy at night. Most of all, here’s to hoping that one day, I’ll be able to acknowledge the fact that the only Band-Aid for my life’s troubles is already lying in my own hands.

Here’s to you and here’s to me.

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