I’ve been going through a bit of a self-esteem crisis these past few weeks. Let me state the obvious: when the person you’ve loved for nine years tells you that they don’t love you anymore, it feels pretty terrible. Since Ross left me, I’ve been questioning myself a lot more than usual. I’ve wondered about how it happens that a person falls out of love. I mean, at one point I know he loved me. He would tell me so every day. We had talked about getting married and listed all the things we adored about one another. So what happened? Had I changed into a person that was unlovable? Had I become so difficult to be around that he didn’t want to be with me any more? Had the girl I was when we’d met been swallowed up by some selfish, vapid harpy?
The answer to those questions is: I don’t know, but I don’t think so. I don’t know why Ross stopped loving me. I can’t answer that. But I do know that, while I’ve changed a lot over the past decade, I haven’t become horrible or nasty. I’m not unlovable, and I’m trying my hardest to reinforce that idea. While I might no longer be loved by the person I adore, I still love myself.
Some people might consider it very self-centred to admit that you love yourself, but I don’t. I think that loving yourself is vital to happiness. You need to be able to accept yourself and enjoy your own company. My relationship with myself is far from perfect. I have days where I am very critical of myself, where I can’t find a single nice thing to say. So in an effort to remind myself that I am, in fact, awesome, I’ve decided to make a list of some of the things I love about myself:
– I love the colour of my hair. Even though I’ve considered dyeing it so many times, I don’t think I would.
– I love that I’ve never lost my curiosity and wonder at the world around me. I’m always eager to learn new things.
– I love that I am a kind person, who always tries to put herself in other people’s shoes and not judge too harshly.
– I love that I always try to be polite to strangers, even if they don’t treat me with the same courtesy.
– I love that I am articulate, and good at expressing myself.
– I love that I am compassionate to animals.
– I love that I am hilariously funny. I can make just about anyone laugh.
– I love my love of dance, even if I’m not very good at it.
– I love that I have a beautiful body. I love my perky breasts, my flat tummy and my pert behind. I love my shapely legs.
– I love my quick mind.
– I love that I’m optimistic and romantic.
– I love my wonky smile.
– I love my raucous laugh.
– I love that I’m organized and punctual.
– I love my willingness to be open and to share parts of myself that others might hide away.
– I love my ability to admit when I’m nervous or afraid, and then carry on.
– I love that I’m an awesome cook.
– I love my ability to make the perfect cup of tea, every time.
– I love that I don’t care if my house doesn’t look like it was snipped from the pages of a magazine.
– I love that I’m short.
– I love that I’m a considerate person. I always try to buy thoughtful gifts, be quiet when people are napping and remember my friends’ birthdays.
– I love that I’m geeky.
– I love that I’m a bit of a homebody.
I’d like to invite you to do this exercise yourself. You don’t have to show your list to anybody, it can be jotted down in a place where no-one will ever read it. If you’re feeling really brave, you could add your list in the comments, or send me a link if you post it on your own site. We’re all loveable in our own way, and we all possess qualities that are worthy of love. What do you love about yourself?