Learning to Love

This post won’t be what you are expecting it to be, I’m sure. It won’t be about letting others in, but rather learning to love myself. This is a journey I have been on for a while.

At one point, when I was young and unaltered by the world, I was able to be happy with who I was. Then, time passed and I started to let the world in. I started to listen to the voices that said I wasn’t enough.

The voice that screamed, “your dad killed himself, that’s how horrible you are.” The voice that shouted, “you will never be pretty/skinny (pick a word) enough for anyone to be attracted to you.” I allowed those voices to determine the person I was. Each time a guy friend referred to me as “one of the guys,” or my brothers friends said I was, “just like a sister.” Those voices got even louder, and had even more justification. I wasn’t enough. I would never be enough.

Somewhere around college, I lost the remaining part of that small voice that said, “damn girl, you got it going on.” She left. She was replaced with more voices that told me how small and horrible I was.

You see, for girls the world is a really ugly place. Even the strongest, and most secure, woman will have moments of insecurity. I just happened to have years of trauma that made me so fragile I was just waiting for that last thing to break me.

For the last 13ish years I have tried to find that woman inside of me who knows her value. I placed that burden on my husband, and when he couldn’t (naturally!!) give me what I needed, I resented him. I began to think that he, too, thought I wasn’t enough. The reality was that he did think I was enough, I just didn’t allow him the chance to show me. I placed that burden on my friends, and at the first sign of conflict, I ran. I pushed people away – or even worse, I stuck around and nearly killed myself trying to conform to what they wanted/needed.

About a year ago, I watched the movie “Mom’s Night Out.” One quote in particular hit me right in the heart. The main character is having a conversation with another character, and she is speaking about how she isn’t enough. He asks her “Enough for who?” Ouch!

I left the movie with those three words stuck inside of me. It was in those moments that I began to unravel all this garbage inside of me, and I started to ask myself that question. Along with the question, “says who?”

Who says you aren’t enough? Every single time, the answer was a resounding, “ME!” I was the one saying I wasn’t enough. I allowed mean people and ugly inner dialogue to control my identity. I allowed a mentally unstable father, “friends”, and years of abuse to define my worth.

In the last year, I have begun to heal myself. I can say that for the first time in my life, I am at a point where I truly don’t worry if someone likes me. If you don’t want to be my friend… Okay. That is your choice. I don’t have to be liked by all people. Lord knows, I certainly don’t like all people.

I can also say, confidently, for the first time in my life… I AM HAPPY!!! I am happy. I’m not happy because someone else is making me happy. I am simply happy.

Yes, I still have moments of insecurity, but my inner badass quickly comes to the rescue and says, “Girl please. You are awesome.”

So, if you hear me singing at my desk, or see me acting silly, or dressed In a way that doesn’t complement the latest fashions, please know that I don’t care if you are embarrassed for me. I am confident enough in who I am to sing Wilson Phillips at the top of my lungs, and I will. But, if you give me a compliment on something (most likely not my singing) I will probably be very hard pressed to believe you, and I will brush it off. Not because I am being rude, but because I have had years of people telling me the complete opposite – or using flattery to get something from me. I am a work in progress. I believe my own inner voice now, it is still taking some time to hear other voices and know who to believe or not believe.

Please also remember that it has take me a very long time to get to this point in my life, and if you try to bring me down, I will gladly bulldoze you down, and smile as I step over you and continue on my way.

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~Peace~
Aleah

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