Self-Love by Someone Who Hates Themself

All relationships are important. Whether they are platonic or romantic; we hold so much value in the relationships we form with others.

But the most important relationship that we all hold, is also the one that we tend to neglect the most. This is the relationship we have with ourselves.

I’ve struggled with self-love and self-esteem issues for almost my entire life. So I know that the relationship we have with ourselves typically affects every single aspect of our lives. It can affect our mood, our actions, our words and even how we live our day to day lives.IMG_4170

I can tell you firsthand that when you view yourself as ugly, not worthy or even disgusting you tend to become more depressed and can even isolate yourself from others.

But at the same time, when you make small steps to change your mentality about yourself the changes in the way you view yourself can be monumental.

I have tried almost everything to learn how to love and accept myself for who I am. I’ve gone as drastic as starving myself for weeks on end and working out until I couldn’t breathe. To as simple as throwing myself at men in hopes that their attention would make me feel better. But each time I failed.

And the reason I failed was that at the end of the day I really didn’t believe that I was beautiful or strong or enough for anyone. I still was doubtful even though I was trying to take steps at loving myself.

I didn’t believe in myself at all. The thought of me failing was always in the back of my mind and it always slowly crept up on me.

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Photo by: @conspirateurs

With all that being said, I’ve tried it all. But even though I have failed 10,000 times I still keep on trying. I now feel like I have the confidence in myself to finally learn to accept me for me.

I know that self-love and self-acceptance are a lifelong practice, and though I am only 25 I have learned so much so far in my journey.

Below are some self-love practices that have made me feel empowered, evincible and truly forced me see the beauty in myself; whether it be my outer or inner.

Yoga

For the past few months, I have been practicing yoga about two times per week. Yoga has allowed me to discover the beauty of my body by showing me how strong I actually am. At the beginning of my journey I could barely hold a balancing pose and now I have seen so much progress in not only my balance but also my flexibility and strength. But the practice of yoga is not the only thing that has helped me discover this, it’s also my instructor Shauna (@Kalanyoga). She has honestly taught me so much about not only the practice but also about my own self. She constantly incorporates empowering and inspirational messages into her practice. At the start of each class she invites us to set an intention, so each time I tell myself, “learn to love yourself”. And at the end of class she closes it with, “may we look within for validation and self-awareness. May we speak words of truth, kindness and encouragement. May we be the change we wish to see in the world.” These three simple phrases seal our practice on such a positive note that constantly leaves me feeling empowered and proud of myself.

Therapy

Back in high school, I started seeing a therapist because my depression and self-esteem issues were getting worse and I didn’t know how to handle them on my own. My therapist recommended that I start a daily journal and a self-help book called “Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance” by Rosie Molinary. Each day I would read the corresponding except. The author advises you to either write from the question she presented or try something new. This forced me to think about my self-worth on a daily basis, which allowed me to find the tools to finally learn to accept and love myself. I currently do not go to a therapist for my issues but I am rereading “Beautiful You”. Sometimes you just need someone who is unbiased to listen to you or provide you with the tools change your thought process about yourself. Although I know I am strong-willed and more than capable to learn to love myself, it can be tough. Some days are so much easier than others. But I know for me, talking to someone who believes me and makes sure to validate my feelings about myself helps wonders.

Daily Affirmations

One of the hardest things for me to do is tell myself I’m beautiful or that I am worthy. The reason why it’s so hard is because when I say it, I don’t believe myself. If you’re like me, then this one is going to be tough. Affirmations are a great way to change the way you think. When you put something out into the universe it usually comes back to you. This is called the law of attraction. So when you put negative thoughts out into the universe you typically receive negativity back. And when you put positivity into the universe you typically receive positivity back. It’s as simple as that. So for me, when I tell myself I am beautiful or strong or have a great ass, I don’t necessarily believe it (except for the ass part, I definitely believe that!). But the fact that I am speaking positive and empowering things about myself into the universe helps me because it eventually comes back to me later in the form of something else. And when this happens I feel one step closer to finally believing the words I am saying to myself. But if you don’t feel comfortable saying these words out loud to yourself each morning you can always write yourself a sticky note and leave it on your mirror so then you are forced to see it each day. In the beginning, I couldn’t force myself to say anything positive so I would write myself a message on my mirror in dry erase marker each morning. And seeing a message saying “I am beautiful” while looking into the mirror, even though you might not feel that way at the time, will eventually force you to see that you are truly beautiful.

Read

Kind of going back to the therapy bullet point. When your world seems so bleak and dysfunctional sometimes the only thing that can help you is to escape it for a little. The easiest way for me to escape my reality is by reading. When I find a book that captivates me it’s like a movie is going on in my head. All my worries, frustrations, anxieties and thoughts of self-doubt all see to melt away while I’m reading. Bonus tip: grab a glass of ginger ale (or wine), light a few candles and read while in a bubble bath!

Give yourself time

Know that self-love and self-acceptance are a journey, and boy can it be a bumpy one. Changing the way you see or feel about yourself takes time, practice and patience (which I have none of). It’s easy to be hard on yourself when going through this journey but realizing you’re not perfect and mistakes will happen will only help you. Allow yourself to make mistakes or have a few hiccups without being so hard on yourself. I know, I know, easier said than done. But this journey won’t happen overnight, so you have to allow yourself the time to heal from the negative image you currently see yourself as.

Orgasm

When all else fails, don’t give up. Give yourself an orgasm. Discovering your body is one of the quickest ways to self-love and self-acceptance. When I was in college I had a human sexuality teacher that had all the women go home and grab a hand-held mirror to look at their vaginas. Like actually LOOK at their vaginas. Most women tend to hate the way their vaginas look so she wanted us to explore the beauty of our own vaginas. To be honest, this was the first time I had ever actually seen my vagina. I mean, yes, I had seen my it before, but not like this. So I encourage every woman to do the same. And when you are done discovering yourself discover yourself again with an orgasm! When you orgasm your brain is flooded with oxytocin, which is also referred to as the “love hormone”. It plays a huge role in how we bond with others as well. So when you give yourself an orgasm it can help you bond with yourself, which will then lead you to love yourself more.

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These are only a few ways that have helped me along my journey with self-love and self-acceptance. I also really enjoy having some alone time browsing through Target or TJ Maxx or hanging out with my girlfriends or taking my parents out to dinner.

There is no right way to learn to love and accept yourself. Each person’s journey is their own and is completely unique to themselves.

So I encourage everyone to find out what works best for them and practice it daily.

I would love to hear how you all practice self-love and self-acceptance!

Happily Healthy

IMG_0079Tomorrow, February 1st, my boyfriend Vincent and I will celebrate our two year anniversary. I’m definitely not going to say that our relationship is perfect, it never will be, and we’re okay with that. But it is such a mutually beneficial and healthy relationship, filled with so much respect and love. Which is honestly all we both have ever wanted.

We fight. We disagree. We bicker like an old married couple. We get annoyed with each other. We need our alone time away from each other. But we also love each other endlessly and continually grow together and as our own person.

If you’ve read any of my previous blogs about my past relationship then you will know that I know exactly what an unhealthy relationship is like due to my ex. But thankfully that relationship taught me a lot and really shaped me into a better me, which allowed me to love and respect what I have with Vincent so much more.

With Vincent and mine two-year relationship just around the corner (literally less than 24 hours away). I wanted to discuss some things that make a relationship a “healthy” one according to my experience being in an extremely unhealthy relationship vs. my current healthy relationship.

Let’s get into it!

  1. You not only grow together as a couple, but you also grow as your own person
    You both push each other to be better. No one is perfect, but you can always be better than you are right now. You’re also not afraid to let your significant other know where and when they can be better and also open to constructive criticism; it’s coming from the heart!
  2. Neither of you compromise your values or “non-negotiable” 
    If you and your partner really love each other than neither of you will ask the other to compromise their values just because you don’t believe in them or like them.
  3. You are not afraid to speak up
    Your partner’s wishes and feelings have value, and so do yours. You both always let each other know that the others feelings, ideas, etc. are constantly on your mind and have a place in your personal decision making. You both also let the other know when their words or actions are out of line as well. Mutual respect is essential to maintaining healthy relationships.
  4. You have boundaries
    Just because you are in a relationship doesn’t mean you isolate yourself from your loved ones and friends. Healthy relationships require space and alone time. You both make it a priority to spend time without each other with either friends or family or if you’re like me a solo trip to Target.
  5. You support each other
    -Reassurance and encouragement are both amazing benefits of having a significant other. Knowing that the person you love supports you in all that you do is a wonderful feeling and when you’re in a healthy relationship these feeling/actions are like second nature.
  6. You fight
    Okay, listen to me for a second. Disagreements are a natural and healthy part of a relationship, whether it be romantic or platonic. It is okay to have disagreements and learn to compromise on certain things. What’s not okay is having screaming matching at each other. So when I say “fight” I mean healthy disagreements that have a positive outcome such as a comprise or better understanding of the issue as a result.

So please remember that relationships require a lot of work from both parties. Both Vincent and I feel that a relationship is not 50/50. It’s 100/100. Each person needs to put in 100%. This doesn’t mean that each person is putting in 100% at all times. Sometimes you’re having a hard day so your partner puts in more work to make you feel better and comfort you. And that’s awesome. That’s what love is all about.

Also, no relationship is perfect. Just because your relationship isn’t perfect in your or others eyes doesn’t mean it’s not a healthy relationship. (If you want to read about an unhealthy, destructive relationship scroll down and read my past blog posts about my ex.)

All relationships are unique and lovely in their own way. But the most beautiful and raw relationships are those with two people, despite their hardships, who together give each other endless happiness. Those people are happily healthy in their relationship.

P.S. Happy two year anniversary Vincent. I love you bubs.

How Social Media Distorts our Perception of Real Relationships

It’s been a few weeks since I released my “Addicted to you” blog post. And in those weeks I have been going back and forth on what my next post should entail.

Should it be about a specific event that happened? Or about the tactics my ex used to manipulate me? Or even another overall view of my toxic relationship? Or should it be more about me or about him?

These are the questions that have been floating around in my head constantly and I’ve honestly written pages and pages on each topic. But I was still torn on what I should post.

I’ve been constantly writing and then immediately deleting everything because what I’m trying to express is extremely hard to articulate in a coherent manner, since well, my relationship wasn’t really easy to understand.

But since I’ve been thinking about this a lot I realized that more negative memories from my past are starting to resurface. It’s honestly insane how our true memories can be so distorted by either the sheer power of us wanting to believe something different happened or by the manipulation of another changing our memories.

After the realization that most of my memories of my first love are not as they seem, the more I realized how much power he had over me.

The one thing that you think that someone can’t take away from you are your memories. But that is in fact a lie. They can be taken away and they can be manipulated.

I’m not just a victim of  my memories being manipulated but I also actively participated in deceiving all of my friends and family as to what was actually occurring in my relationship.

For the most part, I did this somewhat unconsciously since most people don’t like to actively air out their dirty laundry and I was no different. I chose to only show the world the “good” that was happening in my relationship, even if most of it was fabricated.

Social media is such a huge part of peoples lives in this day and age. People use social media for all sorts of things. Like staying connected with friends and family, sharing their experiences and even promoting themselves.

I’m not going to lie, I was once obsessed with how I looked on social media. And to be completely honest I still somewhat am.

That being said, I only let the world see what I wanted them to see.

Most of my posts on social media were all about the fun things I was doing or how amazing my ex-boyfriend was. But honestly most of them were fabricated.

Social media distorts the way we see real relationships because of people like me who claim to have the perfect relationship even though it’s the furthest thing from the truth.

Due to “social media relationships” young adults are expecting to be whisked off their feet at every turn in a relationship and that’s not the way it is in reality.

People fight. They have disagreements. They go through some tough shit together. But do you ever see that displayed on social media? No.

My past relationship was a whirlwind. That’s the best word to describe it because there were some really good times but there was also some deep, dark times that no one should ever go through.

And I lied a lot on social media. I claimed that our relationship was all sunshine and roses all the time! And it wasn’t.

We fought probably 90% of the time an the other 10% was us trying to make up for our dysfunctional relationship by ignoring our arguments without working them out or finding a resolution and playing “house”.

So everything all my friends and family saw on social media was pretty much a lie.

I loved my ex. More than he probably ever loved me. But the wonderful things I constantly said about him all over social media also came with him throwing tantrums, talking to other girls constantly, belittling me and countless other unthinkable things. But I never told anyone those things. Not only was I embarrassed but I also felt like I somewhat deserved the torture because I had such low self-esteem and he used that against me.

I went through all of my social media accounts and pulled some photos that I posted about my ex. And for the first time I’m going to be brutally honest about what was actually going on during the time I posted each of these photos.

(But like I said above, my memory regarding most of these events is a little distorted so I might not recall everything that was going on.)


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My ex and I had been officially dating for about a month and we were already falling in love. I decided to take him to my cousins wedding as my date so he could meet my family. Everything was going good until it wasn’t.

He was obviously nervous to meet most of my family so both of us had one or two drinks during the reception. (We both were only 18 at the time but since we were at a family members house my mom allowed us to have a drink.)

But I quickly noticed that he soon was very intoxicated. He was slurring his words and was visibly drunk.

I had only seen him drink one or two drinks. But then I found out that he had been sneaking drinks when my family wasn’t looking. This should have been the first warning sign, but what can I say. I was infatuated with him so I left it slide with little to no resistance.

 

This was our one year anniversary. We both had Disney passes and went about two times per week.

He took me to Ariels Grotto in California Adventure because he knew Ariel was my favorite Disney princess. He bought me a really heartfelt gift that anniversary—it was a 20th century antique typewriter key encased in a silver pendant.

This was probably one of the only truly happy memories I have of us.

3

This text was sent to me about a year and a half into our relationship. To be honest I’m not exactly sure what occurred before this message was sent.

But I was used to receiving messages like this typically about a day after we would have a huge blow out. He’d also try to save his ass and get back on my good side again by making me feel like the only girl in the world and like he truly did love me. This was his m.o.

The saddest part of it all? I fell for it every time.

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This photo was taken at his dads house. The only time we ever went over there was to get shit faced. And this time was no different.

We were sober when the photo was taken but that evening we were both pretty intoxicated.

My favorite thing about this photo is that I refer to him as my best friend. He was my best friend because I had abandoned all of my other friends just to be with him. I was addicted to being around him and with him at all times and most of my friends had had enough of it. And I don’t blame them one bit for that.

Thankfully, I have repaired my relationship with them all now.

5

We were visiting my grandma who lives up north. To be completely honest this was a nice trip for both of us. I remember us getting along really well the whole time and it actually felt like a real and true relationship for once.

6

This photo honestly terrifies me now. The reason being, he would make similar faces when he was having delusions. (He used to hear and see things that weren’t there a lot of the time.)

He acted as if he was possessed and would growl and say vial things. So this photo just brings up some of the most emotionally draining and terrifying events that had ever happened to me.

7

I attended my colleges play because I was writing a piece on it for the newspaper. I bought two tickets, one for me and one for my ex. He decided last minute that he wasn’t going to go with me, so I ended up attending it alone.

The reason this photo makes me so sad now is because when he told me he wasn’t going to go with me it crushed me. I had always shown interest in his passions like music so when he told me he wasn’t going that meant that he wasn’t interested in my passion for writing. And this picture was me trying to show the public that I was happy, when I really wasn’t.

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We were at Disneyland again in this photo. He was pretty deeply into his alcoholism and drug abuse at this point but I was obviously naive and ignorant about it.

And as you can see by the comments, people believed our false happiness.

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This photo was taken right before we broke up for good.

I had driven down to San Clemente where he was in rehab. We had the whole day planned full of exploring, shopping, eating and catching up.

I’m not sure if it was this day or another day I went down there to visit with him but I found out he was talking to other girls.

We were laying down next to each other after just making what I assumed to be love, when he went to the bathroom and his phone buzzed. I looked over at it and noticed he had a text from one of our old coworkers. I opened it and discovered that he was asking her for photos and telling her how beautiful she was. He was sending these text pretty much at the same time he was telling me how after rehab he was going to get a job, save his money and propose to me. He was even telling my mother this as he was flirting with this girl.

I was so extremely devastated because I was still sticking by his side even though he had put me through hell and back and was attending rehab. Most girlfriends would have dropped their boyfriends way before it ever came to this, but not me.

Another thing, the caption on the photo pictured above has since been edited but before it had something to do with how much I loved him and how wonderful that day had been for me to finally see him clean and sober for the first time in what felt like forever.

Needless to say, not everything you see on social media is real.

Female masturbation

Last week I attending a school-run sex love workshop titled “Female Maturbation”.

Being a sex and relationship blogger and writer I was super excited to attend a workshop that directly addresses information that I find so intriguing and strongly support.

The man purpose of the workshop was to address these questions: “Why do you think maturbation is more acceptable for men than it is for women” and “What are the benefits of knowing how to sexually please yourself?” and “How can we make female maturbation a more acceptable topic?”

Before I address these questions I want to do a quick anatomy lesson.

What is generally called the vagina is actually the vulva. The vagina is the muscular tube leading from the external genitals to the cervix of the uterus while the vulva is the external genitals that include many major and minor anatomical structures like the labia majora (which are the outer lips), labia minora (which are the inner lips), clitoris, clitorial hood, mons publis (which is the fatty tissue found on the public bone), perineum (which the space between the vagina and anus, commonly called a taint or gooch), urinary meatus (which is known as the pee hole), and vaginal orfice.

So now that we know the difference between the vulva and the vagina, lets talk about the questions I stated above.

Why do you think maturbation is more acceptable for men than it is for women?
-Female maturbation is considered taboo to talk about and if you partake in mastubating as a female you are typically seems as “dirty”, which is completely not the case. It seems to be considered this way because of years and years of this type of thinking being reinforced. Female pleasure has always been considered a taboo subject, while male pleasure is a common topic to discuss. There are even some places in the world that still do female circumcisions where they remove the woman clitoris so that it is almost impossible for the victim to feel any sensation through her clitoris.

What are the benefits of knowing how to sexually please yourself?
-There are so many benefits to knowing how to please yourself. The biggest one is that it is a great way to figure out what you like and don’t like so that you can pass this information on to your partner, which enhances your communication in the bedroom. Another benefit is that maturbation helps relieve pain. A lot of women use maturbation to help with the pain caused by cramps and headaches. So basically maturbating is good for your heath. It can also can boost your self-esteem because it releases feel-good chemicals like dopamine and oxytocin during msturbation, which is the biggest release of these chemicals that is non-drug related. I could honestly list another 20 benefits but I think you get that maturbating is a big deal.

How can we make female maturbation a more acceptable topic?
-I personally think the best way to make female maturbation a more acceptable topic is to keep talking about it. We need to inform the uninformed, educate then uneducated, and answer questions that have been left unanswered. And the best way for us to do that is to create more workshops that allow people to go into a safe space for people to discuss their own insecurities, ask questions, and become educated on the subject. I also think it is extremely important that sex educators start talking about masturbation. They need to let younger people know that you aren’t “dirty” or “naughty” for touching yourself. It is natural and completely okay to maturbate. I feel that we’ve all been brainwashed into thinking that anything sexual is dirty and taboo and we really need to change that stigma by continuing to talk about it and normalizing it.

What is your opinion?