There was a time when I loved myself unconditionally, and although I never claimed to be perfect I was happy with who I was. All that changed when I became depressed, for the first time I hated myself. Hated the fact that most days I couldn’t get out of bed, hated myself for being, as I perceived it, pathetic.
It took me a long time to get over that hatred and learn to love myself again just the way I was. One of the reasons was because I could clearly remember who I once was, and I missed that person with every inch of my being. All I wanted was to get back to my old self, reclaim my life and carry on. Like that had worked so well for me!
Then one day I realised that the old me, the twenty-year-old me, the impatient me, the charge ahead regardless me, was gone forever. Not because of my illness but because I was no longer twenty. From that moment, I started the journey of discovering who the forty-year-old me was like.
I learnt to accept that change was just that and more often than not was for the best. Once I’d grieved for the twenty-year-old me and accepted that the thirty-year-old me had battled with the dark side, I set about loving the forty-year-old me. After all she wasn’t so bad, she was wiser, more patient and far more in tune with herself.
So please be kind and gentler with yourself. There is only one you, and you can’t really expect others to love you if you don’t love yourself!