A lab for young creators to showcase their passion and develop their voice

Choose to Love Yourself

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People make important decisions that affect their lives. One decision can make or break someone's life. I believe the most important decision someone can choose is to love one's self. I have had the struggle of this internal battle.

Growing up, I did not have the best cards dealt to me. My mother is a drug addict and was very rarely home. Since my mother was usually absent, I was left to take care of my younger brothers. My mother and I never had a good relationship either. We are like oil and water; we do not mix very well at all. I always heard from my mother growing up how I was ungrateful and worthless. I also heard countless other profanities from her. My mom would tell me things about how my dad wanted nothing to do with me, which later in life, I came to find out was far from the truth. All these things sat in my mind and led me to hate myself and believe all the vile things she told me.

My mother greatly affected my self-esteem. I would feel incredibly guilty and disgusted with myself. I never thought I was good enough and always had the mindset that there was someone better than me, so why bother. It mutilated my self-esteem and confidence. I never wanted to try anything because it always seemed like my mother was never proud of anything I did. Anytime I had something going on for school like choir, band or the time I hosted my middle school award show, she was never there. It made me feel especially disappointing and mediocre. My own mother never supported me. It is tough going through something like that.

Not only did it affect my self-esteem, but it affected my personality as well. As a result of my mother shoving me down and making me feel small, I always feel like I have to prove myself to everyone. I have serious trouble with accepting affection from others, and most of the time interpret their affection as a bad thing because I never grew up feeling loved. I tend to push people away because I feel like I will fail them somehow. My mind tends to only focus on the negative things in life, and I have a very pessimistic point of view. No one should have to feel the way I do.

Because I misinterpret people's affection toward me, I often misjudge them. My mother put it in my head that affection is bad. She never verbally said it, but the way she acted and the way her relationships would turn out would somehow lead to this conclusion. I have a difficult time letting people into my life. I never want to share about my past because I do not want people to pity me or feel sorry for me. The one thing I hate the most is when people say, "I feel sorry for you." I push people away just like my mother did, and it is something very strenuous to break.

It took a lot of talking out loud to others and expressing how I feel verbally to come to terms with everything. The feeling when you let everything go and throw all those burdens out the door is truly indescribable. It is like the weight of the universe is finally lifted off your shoulders. The decision to forget what others think about me and love myself no matter what makes me the best person I can ever be. Not one person can define me, but me. No one can tell me who I am. Only I can say what kind of person I am or want to be. I am the only person in control of deciding that for myself.

I thought making the decision to love myself would allow everything to fall into place, but it takes a lot of work. I have to work really hard with myself in order to maintain that mindset especially when I am around others. I try to think about what I am doing so I can stop myself from falling into old habits. This is not something that happens in one day. It takes a lot of time, but it is worth every second of it.

Once I got into the habit of maintaining the mindset that I am worthy and amazing, my whole life and perspective changed. I no longer focus on all the negative aspects of life, but instead, I see everything positive in my life. My perception of affection has altered, and I am better at how I judge whether or not the affection is good or bad. I do not let people hold me down or stop me from achieving anything in life. I do not let people tell me I am worthless and ungrateful. I do not let my mother's voice sit in my head anymore. I was able to keep pushing forward and I kept on looking for the light until I finally reached it. I learned to love who I am, no matter what.

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