Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Nobody Will Love You Until You Love Yourself

Did the title of this blog post sound like when you read a cliché or when all your friends in relationships say cheesy, annoying phrases like “it’ll happen when you least expect it”? Well good because those things are usually true and so is this!

It wasn’t that long ago that I would roll my eyes when my friends would tell me that everything happens the way it’s supposed to, that when I least expect it someone would come along and change my life. I honestly thought they were full of it. I would think “that’s so easy for you to say you’re already in a relationship”.

What I had been seeing as the end result was the relationship. Finding a guy who loved you for all your quirks and getting to do boring things like stay home on the weekends or go get groceries together and it would be fun. And you wouldn’t have to defend yourself when your great Aunt Lois asked why you were still single.

However, that’s not what it’s about. See I wasn’t happy with myself. I was constantly comparing myself to other people. I was giving the wrong people all my attention, and I kept letting the first guy who gave me the slightest bit of attention all of mine. This led to a lot of crushed feelings, pints of ice cream, and hangover tears while my friends sat beside me.

I was attracting the wrong guys because I had the wrong energy. My friends could all see my good qualities, but I always focused on the negative. I was hyper-focused on what I didn’t have in comparison to everyone else.

I continued in this cycle. It would be a different guy but usually the same story. I luckily have amazing friends who were always there to listen. I remember one distinct time that a good friend of mine looked me in the eyes and she said, “Hannah why do you keep doing this to yourself? Why can’t you see what you deserve?”

Until you believe in yourself - until you accept and respect yourself - no one else will. The biggest problem was that I was hyper focused on guys. I wasn’t paying attention to myself or giving myself any affirmation. I didn’t believe in myself. I didn’t see what my great qualities were and I didn’t see what I deserved. I didn’t respect myself.

Am I saying that until you respect yourself guys will avoid you? No. But until you do, you’ll find that the guys you attract don’t care about your opinions, do not make effort for you, and often would just rather sit around than do something exciting or fun.

Last summer, I decided to join a work out group that was doing BBG 1 by Kayla Itsines. This was the first time I devoted so much time to myself and my health in a long time. I had always worked out but I didn’t always see the results I wanted. I had a group of girls who became my friends and my biggest cheerleaders.

I didn’t just lose weight and build muscle, but I learned my worth. I realized my value. I could do anything I set my mind too and I had so much to offer the people in my life.

I started realizing that I needed to hold everyone in my life to a higher standard. And if I wouldn’t let a friend treat me a certain way, neither could the men in my life. I started truly focusing on myself, my friendships and being the best I could be. I was actually happy, but my hobby also helped me relieve stress, anger, anxiety, etc. I stopped worrying about the one thing in my life I didn’t “have” and focused on finishing my degree, and making a future for myself. I was able to deal with my anxiety and realized how amazing of a support system I have. I put more effort into things that interested me, and things that made me a more well rounded person.

I worked on myself without really thinking about it. Guys in my life who had lingered before all of a sudden didn’t seem as interested in me anymore because I started to value myself. I didn’t let them control me or make me feel like I needed to pretend to like things they liked so that we had things in common. I was me and I was unapologetically myself.

I think that at the end of the day, what matters is you. Not only your relationships with others, but your relationship with yourself. If you treat yourself with respect and know your worth, everyone else will too. You’ll focus on yourself and your goals more than the things you don’t have in comparison to your friends. Most importantly, you’ll stop giving attention to guys who aren’t worth your time. You’ll realize that guys who are worth it put in effort to show you they care.

 If you don’t respect yourself, you won’t see your worth or how amazing you are. You won’t see that life is so much more than having a significant other. Once I realized how much I had to be thankful for, I realized that what my friends had said was true. My focus should have been on myself all along, but having this experience made me want to make up for lost time. The most important thing, is that you’ll care and fall in love, with yourself. Maybe not every day or all the time, but realizing your worth will change how you value others and how you let people in your life treat you.
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