I Love Others. Others Love Me. I Love My Self // Self Affirmations to Jump Start Your Year
I shared a post recently that talked about my struggles with negative thinking and suicidal thoughts, something that I was scared to put out into the world. I think about that saying, "Be careful what you post on the internet because it will always be there, even if you try to delete it". How scary is that?!
Before publishing that particular post, my mind bounced back and forth between two questions:
"What will people think? Will they think I'm crazy?!"
"What will my family and friends think? Will THEY think I'm crazy?!"
But a deeper question pressed in my head.
"No matter what anyone thinks of what you write, can this potentially help someone?"
The answer was a solid, "Yes."
Putting my fear aside, I hit the "Save and Publish" button on that post clinging to the mindset that although I'm sharing my story, sharing it with the world wasn't about me. It was what it could do for someone else. To my surprise, I received so much love and feedback from people, even people that I didn't even realized kept up to date with my writing. They shared words of comfort and healing, giving me so much hope that what I share into the world has the ability to be impactful.
I am not ashamed of my story. In fact, it highlights my cracks and flaws and shows how my faith in the Lord has pieced me back together. I have been reminded of a confidence within myself, one that was always there. I have learned to love myself exactly where I am, carefully giving myself grace and forgiveness. It has taught me to be my own best friend and to give myself the love I have restrained me from giving all these years. That's a story I'll never stop telling or sharing with the internet, even in fear of it never deleting itself.
This whole experience is a perfect example of today's featured mantra, "I love others. Others love me. I love myself."
I loved others enough to share my story, despite the fear I felt.
Others loved me back by pouring encouragement and love in my life.
I (made the decision) to love myself back.
There are so many ways that this mantra can taken. One can be inspired by the thought of what you put onto the the world will come back to you:
Sharing your love out into the world by loving others.
Receiving that love back from other people.
Learning to love yourself through other people’s love.
On the flip side, another example would be what I went through recently in my relationships. I learned to apply this mantra in a healthy way after releasing toxic relationships from my life.
For the longest time, I've lived with the lie that no one really loved me, or specifically, that I wasn't worth loving. It stemmed from different areas of my life, specifically abusive and toxic relationships with family and friends. I remember last year I got to the point where I didn't see the point in having certain people in my life anymore because I wasn't receiving the love I craved back. It made me wonder why I spent so much time trying to please others who weren't 100% invested in our relationships. I also wondered whether it was me and that maybe I wasn't worthy to receive their love. It inspired this gnawing feeling in me to withhold my love from others in fear of being hurt and rejected.
Eventually, I realized that this manner of thinking was not healthy. I withdrew back from toxic friendships, aligned myself with people who graciously loved me no matter where I was at in my life, and made some boundaries for myself. After many reflecting moments and a year of recovery, I realized the following
I can still love others, and if they don’t love me back, I can still love them from afar.
Although I’ve cut people out of my life, I don’t wish anything bad for them. I learned to release my anger and realize I could still love those people, but I needed to love them from afar in order for me to live a healthy life.
Despite my negative thoughts about myself and despite the past toxic relationships I’ve had with others, there are people in the world who still love me.
Focusing and surrounding myself with the people who genuinely love and care for me helped alleviate the lie that no one loved me. After shifting my focus, I have learned to control the lie and recite a list of names of people in my life whose love has impacted my soul.
I can’t let the idea of people loving me back be the anchor on whether I should love myself.
This one is a major one for me. Because I’m co-dependent and have always tried to earn everyone’s love, I had to let go and God. I needed to remember who loved me first and how his love reminds me how I am wonderfully made. I also needed to free my worth from other people’s opinions and focus on feeling worthy and enough as a woman. I made a list of all the good qualities I hold and how I have helped other people. I could see on paper that I wasn’t a bad person, rather I was a great person who never gave herself credit. Without anyone else’s opinion, just the opinion of me, myself and I, it was decided that I was worthy of love.
Connecting these realizations with my present story of sharing my struggles, I feel braver to go out into the world without any expectations of everyone loving me. The reality is, not everyone will love me right back because they may not know how to love me from where they're at in their life. However, I can still love others, the (right) people will love me back, and through it all, I will love myself.