One day, a person dear to my heart told me “I don’t love you!”.
I am sure everyone knows how bad it feels to be told you are not loved. Needless to say, I was hurt and felt depressed for a while.
After that incident, as I was having a shower, those words started ringing in my head again. However, the feelings I had that were associated with them were very strange. They felt very familiar somehow! As if I heard them many, many times before. “I don’t love you!” or to be more precise “I hate you!”. I shivered as I realized suddenly that these were not another person’s words to me. I was telling those words to myself over and over again throughout the years.
I felt the pain squeezing my heart as I was standing face-to-face with my hatred towards myself. I knelt under the shower while weeping loudly and apologizing to myself for blaming her over things whether they were her fault or not. I blamed her before anyone else did to avoid others’ blame. I blamed her after anyone else did for not meeting the expectations. I blamed her for being born a woman in Saudi Arabia. For being surrounded by a family that hurt her. For being different. For having an opinion. For wanting to be free. For wanting to be happy. For wanting to live. I hated myself for being me! All the while, myself was the only real friend I had when everyone else was busy. She was my only ally when I had no one else to trust. She felt my pain when I was hurt physically and psychologically. She believed in me and kept me strong and moving when others pushed me down and chained me with social rules and regulations.
Had I seen anyone treating someone else in a bad way, I would not accept it and I would stand up to them. Yet, here I am treating myself so badly instead of thanking her for supporting me all the time. Instead of appreciating her for being the kind and loving person she is. For having resilience and perseverance. For being intelligent and achieving many things despite the opposition and lack of support from the family. For learning from her mistakes and growing to become a better person. For wanting to have a better life. For wanting to help others and make a positive change in this world.
It is sad yet funny when I look back at my feelings. The sad part is how much I was craving someone else’s love and approval. How much I was thirsty to be accepted and to belong to someone and somewhere. The funny part is what I realized after “the shower revelations”. I realized that it doesn’t matter how other people feel about me as long as I don’t love myself. Even if someone swears their life to love me, I would still doubt their feelings because deep down I don’t love myself and so I would always think I am not worthy of love. All this time I was running after a mirage in a desert to quench my thirst and I ignored the oasis that has been inside of me all along and will always be.
I wonder how many of us have similar feelings towards themselves. We seek the love and acceptance of others and forget to love and accept ourselves. We measure ourselves by how much fleeting appreciation we get from others but we neglect to truly appreciate ourselves. We take pride in being similar to someone else whom we think is the gold standard and fail to pride ourselves for being different and unique in our own way. How many of us realize that looking for fulfillment in the outside will only amplify the feelings of lack within. How many of us are willing to love and accept themselves despite the shortcomings they think they have.
To love and accept ourselves doesn’t mean we don’t recognize our faults, neither it means we stop trying to learn from our mistakes. But it means to recognize that we are born beautiful from within and to reach for that beauty. To recognize that we are worth loving despite our differences from “the social norms”. Just like a diamond that can be born from a charcoal, we all have a diamond inside of us that is worth finding. If we keep true to that beautiful diamond inside of us, if we keep strong in front of life challenges and learn from them, if we keep loving and accepting our charcoal and other peoples’ charcoals, if we refrain from hurting ourselves and others and if we stay hopeful and thankful, then one day our diamond will shine strong and beautiful and we will not need to seek anything from others anymore. Because the treasure within ourselves will shine through our eyes and attract anyone who want to bask in the light of our love to us. Those people then will give us love and appreciation without being asked.
So, next time you pick a flower would you say “they loves me; they love me not” or would you rather say “I love me; I love me; I love me….”?
I sincerely love me and I love you too
The leaping koala 🙂
Disclosure: In this post (and other posts to come) I would like to open my heart and share the reflections I gained from my personal experiences. I know that everyone have their own unique experiences but I hope that whatever I share will be of value to all of you.