Loving Yourself... Again
How to begin the process of 'loving yourself... again' after you've been heartbroken as a result of grief.
It is safe for me to assume that if you clicked on this article, you are on a quest to loving yourself… again.
Whether my assumption serves me correctly or not, I am happy that you’re here. It is by no mistake that you found yourself here, reading these words right now.
My hope is that you identify with something said here. Maybe, just maybe, there’s a lesson embedded in these 900+ words just for you. Maybe the lesson is for that friend of yours who you just don’t know how to advise. Whomever it is for, I’m excited!
Now, let’s chat. Shall we?
So, how do we 'love ourselves... again' after experiencing heartbreak of some sort? Before we dive in, I have a disclaimer: this article is not just for those who have been broken up with, or are coming out of a long-term relationship. While this kind of heartbreak is hurtful, and many articles talk in depth about how to ‘get through it,’ we will be talking about the kind of heartbreak that comes from grief ofall kinds.
Stop what you’re doing for a second, and think about this. We are all grieving someone or something. Have you ever considered that?
Maybe it is that aunt who recently passed away in a car accident, or that relationship of seven years that just didn't work. Both scenarios sting beyond comprehension, and we have, in a sense, lost bits and pieces of ourselves as a result of such tragedy.
I would very quickly like to speak to those grieving someone. Hi. My name is Erika Hunter, and I am a 20-something year old orphan. Nice to meet you. I hope you know that whether you’re grieving someone deceased or alive, you aren’t alone. It’s quite painful to feel like you are, but there are tactics that I believe you can adopt now that will help you in your grieving process (there are also plenty of blog posts out there that you can read similar to this one).
I didn't always do well with grief. In fact, my decision to start therapy was what had me discover the areas of my life that demandedmy attention. I know therapy isn’t easily accessible to everyone, so I am sensitive to that; however, here are some things that I’ve done in addition to my bi-weekly therapy sessions that has helped me in loving myself… again.
Saying Daily Affirmations
To tell you the truth, I forgot how to love myself after my parents’ death. My world had turned upside down, and it felt like I did with it.
It wasn't until I logged into YouTube, and found one of Steve Harvey's "Hey Steve" videos that I woke up, and decided to approach life differently.
In this short clip, Uncle Steve said: "Life is 10 percent what happens to you, and 90 percent of how you respond to it." I'm not exactly sure if he was the genius behind this quote, or if he had read it elsewhere, but for where I was mentally, I needed to hear this. That day, I made a conscious decision to change the narrative. A week or so later, I found my therapist.
I refrained from saying things like, “My life would be easier if my parents were here.” This statement didn't help me in any way. It actually just made me pity myself, envious of those with parents, and angry. Instead, I filled myself with positive things like:
“I am resilient.”
You, yes you, reading this are too.
Try jotting down 10-15 “I am” statements. Now, say them in the mirror every morning before leaving the house. You’ll be surprised at how this one simple task will positively impact the rest of your day. Remember, it is how you start your day that determines how the rest of it goes.
Establishing a Community of Like-minded Individuals
Look. I’ve heard this statement repeatedly, and it has become my new mantra:
Nothing changes if nothing changes.
If you know your circle of friends aren’t the best group of people to be around, find a new crew. While in your self-growth season, it is crucial that you surround yourself with those who are uplifting and encouraging you often.
Anyone else, deserves the boot. You hear me?
I started this process by making a mental note of those who weren’t feeding me in any way. If they were taking from me and not depositing anything, I refrained from hanging out with them and even communicating with them.
You do not need dreadful people in your life. Heck. You do not deserve dreadful people in your life.
You know what you do deserve? A community of like-minded individuals whose common goal is to honor themselves through various act of self-love. Period.
Finding a Hobby and Investing In It
In addition to saying affirmations and limiting your talk time with so-and-so, you also must regularly do what excites you most.
For me, I enjoy writing. Maybe for you, you also like to write. Whatever you like to do, be sure to include it in your day, or your week, or your month. Don’t go too long without doing this thing, because remember, this is an activity that excites you—and the more you’re excited, the better you'll feel.
Find that thing and invest in it. The more you do so, the more likely you are to come across people who also enjoy the same thing. So, introverts, don't go crawling under a shell now. Your new crew is on the horizon!
Listen, friends. These tactics aren't hard to adopt. We oftentimes make things harder by doubting that we can do them. But, you must. I promise you that the reward is much greater in the end.
Once you weed out the distractions, adopt better and more effective habits, and do what feels good to you, you will become more self-aware of how you desire to be loved by you.
You owe yourself the time you deserve, the attention you desire, the love you dream of, and the intentionality you crave.
I’ll leave you with words from Alex Elle (if you don’t know who she is, I would advise you to add ‘following Alex Elle on Instagram’ to this list of tactics):
“Healing is a soft process.”
Say that again. Now, aloud.
Be kind to yourself, and remember how capable you are of returning to you even after (or dare I say, in the midst of) heartache and grief.
Love on you with no apology. You're doing great!