Sunday, June 30, 2019

Love Yourself First

There was a time in my life that I can honestly say that I didn't love myself. I didn't even like myself. I can even say I hated myself. I hated everyone.... hated people in general.  "Persons" were nice but people, as a collective, people were confusing.

I hated their laughter, their pleasantries in groups and also the way they busied about their day like nothing ever bothered them.

I was miserable and sick. Couldn't they see that? I just knew they must be faking. Who could possibly be that happy? Who could possibly love life that much?

I'll tell you who...

• People who have learned to live with limitations.
• People who have accepted that there are just some things that can't be changed.
•People who have come to terms with letting go of things not meant for them.

Let's tackle them one by one.

Learning to live with limitations doesn't mean "settling". It means understanding that not everything is fixable. Some things just simple are. Accepting the good as it comes and not holding onto the bad is where your power dwells.

Take my illness, for example. I use a hashtag a lot on social media, #SickButHappy. I don't like that my illness takes it out of me. I disapprove of the way COPD knocks the wind out of me, both literally and figuratively. But it hasn't killed me yet. I'm still here doing my work... the work of making peace with my own heart and soul.

I woke up again today. That's a pretty good start to my day, in my book. The rest is downhill from there. I may be in pain. There are even times I've coughed so hard that I could swear I coughed up my shoe laces. I have bad moment, not bad days. I chose to focus on what's good in my life, and that brings me joy.

Some things, you just can't change. This leads me into the second bullet. "Go with the flow". You've heard that expression, I'm sure. Going with the flow doesn't make you a doormat. You can have boundaries that are non-negotiable and still accept when something is beyond your control. If you can change it, do that. If you can't, then worrying about it only brings on undo stress. Worry never changed a thing. It only adds to percieved burdens.

Onto my third point. The letting go. Things and people will enter your life without your permission. Someone or something coming into your life doesn't mean it has to stay. Nothing has power without your consent. Sometimes we hold onto things or people because of the time, energy or money we invested into it, in order to keep it. If it no longer serves a purpose, let it go.

That smoothie machine you haven't touched in five years is adding clutter to your life. That adds weight to the soul. Let it go. Similarly, if a person brings more pain than joy to your existence, that person isn't meant for you. Real love doesn't hurt... lack of love does.

You deserve to be happy. Not accepting this fact is the root cause of your unhappiness. Once I began to make a conscious shift in the way I viewed the world around me, I came to accept this. My outlook on life improved.

 I started to love myself. I began to love people again. I finally loved my broken but beautiful life. I focused on what mattered. I finally started to let go of things and people not meant for me. I broke free from my self imposed limitations.

Don't you want that, too?

Love yourself first.

#copdjourneys #copd #emphysema #chronicillness #lungdisease
#author #writer #blog #motivation #inspiration #meditation #courage #healing #hope #love #loveandlight

(Artwork by Veronica Lee. View more my art @VleeArt1 on Instagram. )

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