No one ever said learning to love yourself would be easy. It actually seems to me possibly the hardest thing I have ever done. That’s saying a lot from a rape survivor, someone who has placed two children for adoption, has been a victim of different forms of abuse over the years and has dealt with loss & heartache/break in many forms, many more times than she can count. To say that learning to love myself is the hardest things I’ve ever done is HUGE. I don’t say it lightly. I’ve had to unlearn so many lies I have told myself over the years, either that others have instilled or planted or gone along with or played into, or that have manifested from different events in my life that have spurred them to light, boring themselves into my head, taking up residence and getting so comfortable that truth became foreign, weird, incorrect and even seemingly lies, to me. I have had an off picker when it comes to relationships. I have chosen people who were incapable of loving me the way I needed to, deserved to, or even realized I could actually be loved. I sabotaged myself over and over not only choosing wrong but by subconsciously telling myself it was right because then I didn’t have to hold anyone accountable for not being able to love me, seeing as I couldn’t even love myself. They didn’t have to take responsibility for anything that happened because I took on all of the blame every time, whether it was placed on me or I shouldered it willingly. Never did I hold someone accountable for how they treated me, spoke to me, used me, mislead me, walked all over me or abandoned me. I took the blame. There had to be something wrong with me, not them. I was the problem and needed to fix myself, but instead of working on focusing on me, I just continued to invest in helping others to fix themselves and in turn continued to unfix myself to the point of not knowing if I was even fixable anymore. As if fixing others would somehow banish my need to fix myself anyway. That I could save myself through saving others. I lost all love I may have had for myself. I can’t pinpoint exactly when it happened either, or if it was simply a gradual over time progression of one thing after another that just kept me down and berated and feeling not enough or unworthy of genuinely finding love and compassion without judgment from someone who would truly choose me back, without my having to convince them I was worth it. I’ve always given so much, tried everything in my power, gone to the ends of myself in every way possible, to make others happy. I never considered my own happiness or that maybe pursing making others happy would deter mine even further, stunting my emotional growth for so long and making me feel like I was unlovable at every turn when it ended. And it always ended. You can’t love yourself when you surround yourself with people who don’t love you, who can’t love you, who will never love you and/or are even incapable of loving themselves. I had to learn that the hard way. And not just once. Or a dozen times….but over, and over, and over again. The fixer had to finally become the fixee. To come to the end of herself and have nothing left but herself. Learning to love myself again has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Ultimately, it was the most worth fighting for. I had to learn to fight for myself before I could expect or even be able to have the knowledge to properly select someone who would also fight for me. Now that the love has returned though, I can finally see myself for who I am: someone who is loved, lovable, loving, so worthy of love and on a mission to spread love to others effectively now that she has once again learned to love herself.