The Importance of Self-Love

*This was originally posted in June 2014 and featured on my old blog  =)*

Believe it or not my post today was inspired by last nights dose of ratchet reality TV. I'm pretty sure everyone is familiar with #LHHATL whether you watch the show or not and honestly it's not the only show that puts an extreme lack of self-love in full view for the world to see. Reality TV constantly puts women (and sometimes men) in the forefront to be .... embarrassed (for lack of a better word). As I sat and watched all I could think about is how Mimi is too daggone old to be so dependent on the love of another person that's she's completely blinded to them taking advantage of her.

In my later teenage years I really struggled with loving myself. I was never really equipped with that kind of thing growing up and that's not to discredit my upbringing at all because I was for the most part extremely happy (and I also believe generational patterns and cycles have a lot to do with things like this). But I was never taught the value of self. My first real relationship where someone "loved" me was even more damaging to me in terms of self-esteem and self-confidence. I honestly felt like at 18 years old I NEEDED to be accepted by this person who did nothing but tear me down in soooo many ways, disguising it as love. And I continued to portray the happy girl on the outside so that no one would catch wind of my insecurities.

Thankfully and (I honestly feel like) by the grace of God I met my boyfriend (who was of course a friend back then). He became a person I felt completely comfortable in confiding in and in the beginning of our friendship he taught me so much about loving me first. I truly believe that God can send you people to convey messages that you might not be hearing so clearly directly from Him. I could be completely wrong but either way our friendship was my saving grace. Leaving my old relationship I spent months and months working on me and building myself back up to a point where I felt like it was OK to just be me. I began focusing on my dreams and my own aspirations and it was a completely different feeling not needing someone to validate or confirm my emotions.

In any case, I said all of that to say to be successful in anything in life it starts with yourself. Validation and confirmation from another person will only take you so far. I feel more equipped now  than I ever have before to love other people because I trust myself to know the limits of that love. I trust myself to be an amazing mother and teach my son the value of himself so that he never feels the need to seek other peoples idea of his worth. And I know for a fact I'll mess up. There's no such thing as a perfect human-being but I'm glad I have an amazing support system to pick up where I lack. And I don't depend on or need them, but it's nice to have them there.

What's the most important lesson you've learned about loving yourself?