The month of February encourages us to celebrate the love we feel for others, and to respect and acknowledge Black history. Well, with these things in mind, we can put ourselves on the back burner and instead of learning from our own past, we look at it with disdain while not learning from it; and for a while I did that. I am a strong believer in using introspection to help others, and I hope you allow me to do so at this time.
Relationships can be such a beautiful thing to experience. But with every rose you run the risk of being pricked by a few thorns. Most of us have experienced the break ups, the promises of “baby, I’ll do better,” and the annoyance that you feel with yourself when you believe the line and the person continues to behave the exact same way, but you stay. For me this type of annoyance I had for myself began to turn into self-loathing after one bad relationship after another.
I’m a very strong person, but I found myself overwhelmed with emotion thinking about the violation, the disappointment, the self-anger, it all bubbled in me. But after promises of “It’ll never happen again,” I stayed, with internal disappointment at myself because this wasn’t how I was raised. Living in a two parent, upper-middle class household where my father told me he loved me constantly and he and my mother were both such supportive influences in my life. What would they say?
After ending a particularly horrible relationship, as I took inventory of the courtship I realized that I hated myself more than I hated him. I was the stupid person that stayed. Why am I such a people pleaser? My sisters aren’t suffering with this. What is wrong with me?
After months of feeling this way, I had to learn that hating myself wasn’t helping me at all. If anything, it was continuing the destructive affect he had on my life. I had to learn that instead of being angry with myself for staying as long as I did, to be proud that I, at least, took a step forward to getting better by leaving. I had to learn that the only love that’s really important is the love that you give yourself.
After situations like these, it’s so easy to beat yourself up, and over look the small victories, of moving on, and beginning to like who you see in the mirror. But you HAVE to notice those victories, because they are the silver linings. They are the encouragement to do more, to be better, to learn from the past. Hindsight is always 20/20, and you’ll always be able to see what you did wrong when you look back on the situation, but if you just fixate on the problems while badgering yourself, you’re not finding a solution.
You have to get back to loving yourself, because YOU are worth it. YOU are amazing and YOU do deserve so much better than you’re getting.
Kendra Koger loves herself. You should love her twitter account @kkoger.