Self-Love Reflection: Finding Myself

Posted: November 6, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Morning! I’m in my post half-marathon high and drawing out the celebration a bit before the drive home I’ll be back with a full recap tomorrow. Until then, please welcome Erin from the blog Creative Soul In Motion as she shares her self-love reflection story.

I never worried about other people’s opinions. I walked in the rain barefoot. I prank called cute boys. I wore crazy outfits and spoke my mind and it was great.

But then High School came along and with it the pressures of fitting in, anxiety over meeting new people and making new friends. Suddenly I didn’t know who I was or anything about myself. Suddenly I second-guessed every decision, friendship, relationship, interaction… every step in any direction.

I didn’t know who I was. And because I didn’t know who I was I couldn’t love myself.

for Tina 1

Now, I had a great High School experience. I made a lot of friends and did really well in school, but I could never break free of the pressure to be perfect and to fit in. Then came college and I found myself moving backwards rather than forwards, even more lost and confused than before; I was in a new city where I didn’t know anyone, pursuing a major I wasn’t sure about and trying just as hard to be “normal”.

I used to be scared to stand up for myself and speak my mind.

I used to be scared to be bold, to be different, to be unique.

I used to be scared to be myself.

For more than five years I didn’t really like myself. I didn’t see myself as beautiful, valuable or worthy and honestly it was a horrible feeling. Then one day, when I found myself crying in my car for the 100th time, I decided that I was done. I was tired of feeling worthless and not believing in myself. So, I made a few changes:

I found the courage to leave a bad relationship

I fell in love with a wonderful and supportive man

I took a chance and went to therapy

And because of these changes I found an amazing well of confidence, passion and strength within myself. I finally saw myself for who I really was and began to love and accept myself.

for Tina 2

Now, I won’t go into details about my ex because that’s just not fair and it’s really not the point. To be blunt, I was miserable but I pretended everything was fine because I didn’t want to give up on the relationship even when I knew it was beyond repair. Essentially our relationship was built on fake smiles, daily fights and a complete lack of support or encouragement. We were just putting up with each other
because we had been together for so long and didn’t know how to break it off.

After forcing it to “work” for over three years I came to the decision that I couldn’t keep putting myself second. I didn’t want to bite my tongue from saying something just because he didn’t agree. I was tired of hiding my feelings, dreams and desires. I didn’t want to be with someone that didn’t believe in my potential.

There is only so much you can do for love before it breaks something deep inside of you. Before I could do anything though I needed to find courage…

Courage to make a change and do something for myself

Courage to believe that I was making the right decision

Courage to look into the future and see something better and brighter

Courage to stand up for myself and speak my mind

Thankfully there is a happy ending: I left a bad relationship and fell in love with my best friend and study buddy, Josh.

for Tina 3

Josh turned out to be the best thing since sliced bread. We have been together for almost 4 years and throughout the last few years he’s taught me how to laugh at myself which has helped me overcome my fear of failure.

For as long as I can remember I have always tried to be perfect. Wanted to get an A+ on every assignment, every test and in every class and have everyone like me. At the same time I tried to hide my own personality - my silliness, boldness and passion. I thought that it was the only way for people to like me – to be the best and never show weakness.

Then Josh came along and with his gregarious and supportive family I realized how important it is to laugh at yourself and how wonderful it is to be different. Since then I have felt as though a burden has been taken off my shoulder. I no longer have the responsibility to be perfect. Now I laugh when I fall in Sports Conditioning Class, and I dance in the streets and I’m not afraid to wear bold colors or stand out from the crowd.

for Tina 4

Let me tell you, life is so much better now that I have learned to laugh and embraced who I truly am – someone that is bold and unique and proud.

Even though Josh and his amazing family have taught me so much, I knew that there were some things I needed more help with and needed to seek “professional help”. I know some people are hesitant to see a therapist but I am so happy I did because talking to someone was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

My therapist, who was actually a teacher at Bryant, helped me talk through issues that had kept me up at night for years, work through pain that I couldn’t overcome and helped me deal with anxieties and insecurities that could freeze me in place. She gave me a safe place to openly talk about my worries and frustrations and it felt great to open up.

Through our sessions, I began to trust myself again, to realize how beautiful and strong I was deep down and to push past the negativity that tried to hold me back.

I used to be scared. All the time. I was scared of myself, of the future and of the unknown. Now, I am brave.

for Tina 5

and courageous and strong.

I’m proud and happy and I love myself.

  • When have you ever felt pressure to be someone different than yourself?

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9 Comments to “Self-Love Reflection: Finding Myself”
  1. Holly says:

    what is the name of her blog??

    • Tina says:

      Thanks for letting me know. Didn’t realize the link didn’t go up. Definitely want people to be able to find Erin and her great blog.

  2. jobo says:

    Wow, what a great turnaround story – my favorite kind. Great self-love post!

  3. I used to feel like I had to fit into a mold, and that anyone outside this mold was judged and weird. High school was the time where I most wanted to fit in and cared so much about what people thought of me. Then I went to college and started to discover who I really was. By my senior year I had found myself and embraced it. I was crazy, outgoing, and just lived my life by being me and it was the best feeling in the world. I have never been happier in my life than when I have been myself :)

  4. Emily says:

    What a great story, Erin!
    A lot of this resonated with me:) I’m actively to be “me”!

  5. I’m glad to hear that you found yourself Erin! Thanks for courageously sharing.
    All the best,
    Janice

  6. [...] be sure to check out my Self Love Reflection and then check out Tina’s blog as well. She’s one of my all time favorite bloggers [...]

  7. Kia says:

    What a great self-love reflection. I am in that transition period of leeting go of perfectionism and just being myself.

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