I went on reading some of the newer posts on my blog feed and one of them had a picture that said: “AND IF I ASKED YOU TO NAME ALL THE THINGS YOU LOVE, HOW LONG WOULD IT TAKE YOU TO NAME YOURSELF?”

Boy, this made me think a lot. I kept talking about how I will be more positive, how I am making efforts into taking care of myself and learn to actually love myself like I used to but this question threw me in front of a bus. It hit me so hard I could feel the pain all over my face. As I was reading the question I thought of my daughter and my family, I thought of my friends and then I thought of books and flowers, I thought of the beach and sunshine, of beautiful mountains and of Christmas day. I thought of my writing and my newly discovered passion for baking but I NEVER thought of MYSELF.

I grew up with such a distorted notion of normality and loving oneself was seen as selfish. As a woman, I learned that you should just have kids, get married and take care of the house because that is what my mother did and my grandmother as well. This is what happened back in the days when women had no ambition or self love. Most would just stay miserable in a marriage for the sake of the children and going out was seen as a sign of looking for something else if you know what I mean.

Later on in life I started seeing things differently and opened my eyes towards the world and a different normality but some damage was still left in me. I had no idea how to love myself for who I was or be confident in my own skin. No matter how far I got and no matter how many praises I received I still considered myself not worthy, not smart enough, not beautiful enough, not lucky enough. I lacked confidence and on a certain level, I still do.

I hurt myself (emotionally) and get depressed and anxious over the smallest things in life because I was shown how to please people around instead of how to say no and how to love myself. I always see the bad things I do and not the good ones. I can’t be entirely happy over things and events because my mind goes straight on overdrive and starts stressing.

I learned how to sacrifice my time, my resources and put my life on hold for the sake of the other and with this came my lack of confidence and most probably pressed start on the anxiety button.

This year is a special one. It marks my fortieth birthday and with it I decided, the birth of a new me. I cannot say that I will completely change or that I will miraculously be cured of depression or anxiety. I cannot say that I will reinvent myself and build an empire discovering my true calling. But I can definitely say that I am working on communicating more, expressing my feelings, dedicating more time to myself and just be. I want to learn what it actually means to love myself and when I see this question again I want to automatically think of ME first or if not first, at least to consider myself before the books and nature.

How about you? Do you really love yourself? What would your love list look like?