How falling in love with myself was more important than finding the one, and advice on how to find self-love’

0 89

I have to be honest, as I always try to be, as I write this, I’m alone at a festival feeling more self-conscious than any kind of self-love. What I’ve learnt over the many years of trying to reach some sort of self-acceptance, is that it is not a linear journey. It comes with ups and downs and many roadblocks. It is a way of life, and sometimes it can feel like a constant fight, but it is something I will continue to fight for. 

I will continue to fight for it because I owe it to the little girl I was, and the little girl I can still feel like. I came to this festival alone because I had no one to come with me. Being of that age were most of my friends have families, partners or lives of their owns, I don’t always have someone to be my wing women. In some ways coming here alone was an act of self-love, it was something I wanted to do, regardless of whether I had to do it alone. I’ve found over the years if you are constantly waiting for someone to be free and available to enjoy life’s pleasures, you may spend your days waiting alone in your flat, as I did for many years. The weekend would come, and I would spend my time messaging my friends, waiting for someone to be free. At some point I realised that I was done waiting. 

Life is short and precious and whilst it is often nice to share moments with others, I realised it is also nice to share moments with myself, because I alone deserve it. I deserve to go on beautiful walks and see beautiful scenery, I alone deserve to eat nice meals and to cook them for myself and I alone deserve to go to a festival. 

It is a constant work in progress, I arrived at this festival this evening and thought “what the fuck are you doing” “who the fuck do you think you are?” The truth is, I’m a girl who chose to live, who wants to live a life less ordinary. I’ve never been content with the mundane 9-5 life, and my life so far has far exceeded this framework. 

Falling in love with myself is so much harder than I’ve ever found falling in love with a man. I have gone from relationship to relationship thinking that this next man will complete me, save me even. After many many failed attempts at this, I attempted to be single for a year. The joys of covid made this slightly easier with social distancing and the fear of killing someone you came into contact with. During this year I threw myself into therapy, finally for the first time doing it for me, not my family and not for a love interest. I knew I needed some tweaking as I for so long had searched for the answers in men, when I should have been searching for them in myself. 

I spent time doing what I liked doing, going on walks, being in nature and writing. I’m not sure if I would have ever been able to complete my memoir without this time by myself, because I was always too worried about how it may affect other people. I truly believe without taking time for yourself and what you love, you will never know what you want and need in a relationship. So, I decided for this year, to date myself. Take myself to places I wanted to go and try and treat myself with the love I had so freely given to the men in my life. 

I don’t know if I have the qualifications to act as an inspiration for “self-love” as I am still learning. What I do know is that without knowing who you are without anyone, you will never really know what it is you want. 

We are told from a young age about romantic stories, that of Disney princesses that finally meet Prince Charming, we are sold the idea that this is what we must strive for, this is the end goal. What if Cinderella had ended differently? What if she had managed to get out of that toxic family situation without the help of Prince Charming swooping in and saving her? I recently went to watch Barbie and was so pleased that it showed a strong independent self-sufficient woman. Yes, it was a bit fluffy, it was Barbie after all, but Ken didn’t save her, Ken didn’t improve her life, she did. I so wish when I was younger there were more examples like this, maybe I wouldn’t have felt like such a failure when the men in my life didn’t save me. 

It seems like as women we are told that men are there to look after us yet often, we do the looking after whilst neglecting our own wants and needs and losing our own identity. I’m guilty of morphing into whatever boyfriend I am with. I dress how they want me to dress, I like the bands they like and seem to forget who I am. For a long time because I went from one relationship to the next, I never gave myself time to work this out. I never asked myself what I liked. 

I’m so grateful I took that time to date myself, to find the things that sparked joy inside of me and also feel ok with liking things that other people didn’t. Whether it’s growing up, aging or self-love I’m not sure, but as I’ve got older, I’ve definitely reached more acceptance with not being cool.  In all honesty I’ve never been cool, but for years I tried to be. I remember changing my dress sense, the music I liked and even the way I spoke in some hope I would fit in. Releasing my book was the ultimate fuck you, the here I am, worts mental issues and complete insanity, and if you don’t like it, stop reading. It took a huge amount of courage to lay myself bare, to be ok with people judging me. What I realised is people will always judge me whether they know me or not, and as Kurt Cobain said, “I’d rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not.” 

I don’t know what advice I can give to find self-love other than to date yourself. Treat yourself as you would someone you love and fancy. Cook yourself a Sunday roast, because you deserve one. Take yourself to that nice restaurant you’ve been dying to go to regardless of whether you’re alone. Go to that art exhibition or that festival because YOU deserve to. Don’t wait for people to be available, be available for yourself. It is not easy, and it can feel fucking uncomfortable, but the pride you feel after you’ve shown up for yourself is like nothing anyone else could ever give to you. 

Only when you start loving yourself, will you be able to feel truly loved by others. Finally you’ll realise its what you deserve.  

By Mariella Pearson, author of Libidos & Life Lessons

Mariella took up writing in lockdown and realised through her writing she could make other women feel less alone.  Mariella loves to empower other women, and is always fascinated to learn more about how she operates, so she can be the best version of herself.  Her ability to laugh at herself through the chaos of life is infectious, helping us all to take life more lightly. 

The post How falling in love with myself was more important than finding the one, and advice on how to find self-love’ appeared first on Wellbeing Magazine.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.