Updated: Aug 13
Have you ever been told or even read in a book somewhere that you need to love yourself? If you can't love yourself then you can't love another? I have. An utterly ridiculous concept which for some of us is not even conceivable, you may as well tell me to climb mt Everest. Throughout my twenties and thirties I struggled with depression and for someone who has very little self worth or feels totally broken by life, it is simply not possible to love yourself. You can't. I call bullsh*t.
However, if you allow yourself to ponder it, I guarantee that you can find one tiny little thing that you like about yourself. Just one.
So how did I go from self Loathing all the way up to self Love? Here's my secret to climbing my Everest.
For me there was a time that the idea of self love was unfathomable. I was depressed, lonely, empty, broken and unlovable. My fiancée had left for another woman and I did the only thing a sensible girl should do in that situation. I fled the country.
I arranged to fly to Switzerland and meet up with a friend from uni to travel Europe with. It was my first time out of the country and to my shock and dismay; my friend sheepishly explained that she could no longer go travelling with me. (long story - she'd just bought a pub and couldn't leave)
So here I was, in a foreign world, unbelievably heartbroken and seriously depressed, in major need of a friend to cheer me up and instead, I was alone.
As I couldn't return to my own country (as he was still alive and I'd heard he was getting married) I had no choice but to backpack solo across Europe.
After about three months on the road, bouncing around from country to country, staying in hostels and couch-surfing with complete strangers.
I found myself sitting on an old country train rattling across southern France.
As I stared out the window at the green farmland that was rolling by and I looked at my reflection in the train window and I started to ponder....
"I was kind of strong. I mean here I was travelling alone, surviving all by myself. First time out of the country, first time travelling alone.
Sure I was a total mess on the inside but I had managed to keep myself alive throughout the last few months and only a strong person could do that right?"
The next thought nearly knocked me off my seat.
"I like that about myself".
The thought dropped like a tonne of bricks - I'd never liked anything about myself before. Did I just find one tiny little thing that I'm proud of?
Tears splashed onto my lap, blurring my vision.
This was the first step up my Everest.
It turns out, that loving yourself is a big step, but finding something that you like about yourself, something you are unique for, good at or even just proud of, is the way towards developing self love.
Take a moment to ponder one thing that you like about yourself no matter how small it is and see if you can take your first step to becoming your own friend.