How to Appreciate and Love Yourself When Others Hurt You
Have you ever felt like you don’t measure up? That you have to be smarter, prettier, stronger, kinder, wiser, etc. etc. in order to fit in?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt this way. That no matter what I do, or how hard I try, that I’ll never be good enough.
It’s the worst feeling in the world.
If you have felt this way, or are feeling this way, here are some things you can do to love yourself just the way you are.
First, It’s Okay to Feel Things
“Feelings or emotions are the universal language and are to be honored. They are the authentic expression of who you are at your deepest place,” Judith Wright.
When someone disrespects or hurts you, it’s okay to feel angry, afraid, or sad. Humans are programed to feel things. It’s in our DNA 🙂 Telling yourself that it’s not okay to feel the way you do, blocks your heart from healing. It’s an unconscious way of telling yourself that there’s something wrong with you which is FAR from the truth.
“Your feelings are there to tell you what’s right and what’s wrong.” (Three Ways to Love Yourself). When you give yourself permission to feel, it opens the doorway to unleash all that’s bottling up inside. Acknowledge that yes, you are angry, or yes you are sad. What that person said or did to you, hurt. It was wrong and you are okay and justified to feel the way you do.
You matter. You are worth being respected and appreciated. You are worth being adored.
Second, Before You React, Take Some Time For Yourself
“In solitude the mind gains strength and learns to lean upon itself,” Laurence Sterne.
Give yourself breathing room in order to recuperate. When I get angry about something, I want to lash out at the person. I want to send them a letter or a text, detailing every last thing they did wrong and what they should stop. I’ve done it before… it didn’t end well.
Instead, process what you’re feeling. A good friend of mine suggested that if you feel like you need to write a letter, send the person your third draft. The first is your angry letter. The second is your processing, and the third is when you can get your point across clearly.
Or you can just burn the letters. Trust me, burning an angry letter is surprisingly therapeutic.
Third, Find Things to Love About Yourself
“I need to see my own beauty and to continue to be reminded that I am enough, that I am worthy of love without effort, that I am beautiful, that the texture of my hair and that the shape of my curves, the size of my lips, the color of my skin, and the feelings that I have are all worthy and okay,” Tracee Ellis Ross.
It can be a slap in the face when someone reminds you of your shortcomings. It can really tear down your heart and make you feel lower than dirt. In those moments, after you’ve allowed yourself to feel what it is you’re feeling, look at yourself in the mirror and give yourself compliments.
“Learning how to love yourself may feel unnatural for a start since you could have been ingrained with negative beliefs for decades. It has to be learnt – in other words, in the form of a practice” (How to Love Yourself in Seventeen Ways). Practice telling yourself that even if others may not respect you, you can still respect yourself. Others may not appreciate your likes and dislikes, but you can. Others can feel or say whatever the heck they want about you, but you’ll continue to love yourself, because you are a precious human being. A divine child of light. And no matter what anyone says or does to you, that will never change.
And if you need help thinking of things, you can read this post, Seven Amazing Things About You.
Finally, The Only Person You Can Change Is You
“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t,” Steve Maraboli.
If you have family members or friends who have the tendency to bring you down, remember that you can’t change them.
But you can change yourself.
You can love and embrace yourself for who you are. You can choose how to respond to their negative words. You can choose to stay close to them or move further apart to give yourself breathing room. Follow your heart song and do whatever you feel you need to in order to find the peace and joy that you seek.
We’re all living this life together and doing the best we can. Keep up the good fight and just believe!