Be good to yourself. People will only treat you as well as you treat yourself. ~ M. V. Hansen

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Never Again - Promise to Self

A positive self-love starts at an early age.
A few weeks ago, after years of having it stored in my computer, I finally deleted a folder I named "Never Again" in 2007. It contained images of a man and his loved ones, mostly his three kids. A colleague advised me to do so back in 2009. I didn't do it, thinking that if something happens that would need some proof of the transgression, I'd have it. Alas, that was just an excuse for me to continue punishing myself for a mistake which I could've avoided if only I listened to people, especially my daughter, who told me not to trust again those who have fooled me the first time.

I'm not going to give the details here of what happened. I'm past that. I had to admit though that the ghost of that incident would come visit me occasionally. Fortunately, this time around, I no longer feel sorry for myself. People like that man aren't worth my attention anymore, much less my affection. It was such a struggle to forgive myself though, but it could be done. 

I've long resolved to retreat and refrain from falling impulsively. It wasn't easy, of course, especially when I see happy couples and watch romantic films or when I simply hear songs of enduring love. It's good that others have a different and a good experience when it comes to building and sustaining love relationships. Not everyone though has the same story. 

When I say retreat, I don't mean I've given up. It's just a matter of resting. And perhaps, just letting things take care of itself. After all, the more we push or force things to happen, the more disappointed we get. It's really better to let things be and recognize the fact that not everything is within our control.

Forgiveness is key to healthy self-love.
"Never Again" then isn't just a folder of bad memories. It's a folder that contained the weak parts of my psyche. It used to be that I love because I thought it was love or that I was yearning to be part of a relationship. There's nothing wrong with wanting to love and be loved; yet, there is something wrong when such yearning leads to self-hate later on or when one forgets about self-love in the process of supposedly loving others. Nurturing relationships isn't an easy task, you know?

To love oneself isn't necessarily a selfish end. Didn't Jesus remind us that we should love others and God the way we love ourselves? They're all connected, it seems. No one has the right to hurt others, of course. But it happens. People can kill and die because of love. Still, people can recover because of love. 

"Never Again" are two painful yet strong words for me. They remind me of my vulnerability, not just as a woman, but as a person as well. It was quite a relief when I finally deleted that folder and later on emptied the recycle bin. I've learned how important it is to love oneself and not to lose it in the process of loving another person. I've learned what I was capable of doing, including my ability to just let go in the end. Most of all, I've learned to set my boundaries and give importance to those who truly love me.

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