As far back as I remember, I have always possessed a self love. A confidence and respect for myself. An internal compass that always made me feel I was on track. This does not come from ego. As I am quite shy and introverted by nature. I looked like a little boy when I was little and grew into my looks after puberty. And when I grew into my looks I admired those too. I would look in the mirror and be inspired. I was even embarrassingly caught once by a friend who noticed I was admiring my reflection in a glass door behind her as we were talking. I didn't then nor now think I am the prettiest, the smartest, the most anything. I admire those I can learn from or be inspired by, not threatened or intimidated. However, from an early age my confidence and self love seemed to be questioned by others. I seemed to pose a threat to adults and teachers who could not sway or bend my determination with their authority. Peers who were resentful as they seemed overcome with insecurities. Sneer comments such as being able to eat whatever I wanted and not gain weight. A comment from an ex-boyfriend that I sugar coat everything because I didn't get upset when he tried to pick a fight with me over my previous relationship. A friend who felt the need to write me an email that life is hard and I wear rose colored glasses, as a reaction to me telling her everything will work out during her troubled times. A manager who gave me a card that says "anyone can be cool, but awesome takes practice" even though I was her top performer. The list goes on and on and on. My strong character, enthusiasm, optimism, intelligence, good taste, honesty, and all of my other strengths are celebrated by me. I am grateful, and I work hard to keep the compass pointing in the right direction. As I always strive to be the best I can in every situation, see missteps as opportunities, and maintained faith even in the most dire of life situations, I have stirred some strong responses from others. It is something I still do not understand, for as much as I love myself, I love others even more. I look for the best in all and everyone.
And it leaves me wondering, do others have this same self love? I heard many times from others that they do not like, even hate, themselves. How does one function that way? How can they not see the light that I see from them? How can one be blind from one's own light? What put it out, and how does one bring it back? What saddens me is how many people who were close to me, that were supposed to care about me and love me, tried to put my light out. I have spent a lot of time hiding my light under a bushel. But, I am ready to let it shine unhindered. Love starts from within. It can be complimented by others, if you are lucky. And shared with others, if you are brave. Do you love yourself?