Self-Love and Adult Survivors of Childhood Abuse
Self-love “the instinct by which one’s actions are directed to the promotion of one’s own welfare or well-being, especially an excessive regard for one’s own advantage” (Dictionary.com). Self-love should be front and center in the life of every individual from a very young age and throughout their entire life: however, when it comes to adult survivors of childhood abuse achieving self-love can be a long uphill battle infused with depression, loneliness, fatigue, lack of energy, or the motivation needed to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Sometimes I wonder what personal views individuals who grow-up in loving homes have about themselves or their feelings about navigating the roads of life. I often wonder how hard I will have to work; to remove the negative effect that verbal, sexual, physical, and emotional abuse had on my life. The idea of ‘just get over it’ is easy to say however accomplishing, an instant level of healing and restoration can only come from God pouring out his loving kindness upon my life or the life of others living with the negative effect of past childhood abuse.
Waking up daily with a mindset of gratitude have allowed me to keep climbing that hill one step at a time because I feel blessed to be a survivor, every day that I wake up, to be able to walk, run, or feel the sunshine on my face is a good day, a blessed day. I feel that self-love; is vital to the healing process of past abuse; without self-love personal, desires will seem like a dream or a fancy that keeps playing in your head none stop. I have lived periods of my life without self-love; the feeling of worthlessness, confusion, pain, and shame consumed every aspect of my life, including choices that have had a positive and negative outcome.
Additionally, the positive outcome that I have had in my life during these periods, I know and truly understand, is a complete intervention from the Lord. I will have to say this: self-love is critical when it comes to making a personal or professional decision that will have a positive outcome, not just for (you) or me but also for our families and communities.
My Tips to Achieving Self-love
I allow myself to feel my emotions be uncomfortable in order to free myself from that inner suffering.
I read my bible daily and other books with positive and uplifting messages; I also pray throughout the day, which keeps my mind focus on positive thoughts.
I see the beauty in the little things, like watching birds at the feeder from the kitchen window or looking at the different shades of roses on my rose bushes.
I don’t sweat the small stuff; I pick my battles because somethings aren’t worth the hassle.
Being optimistic about my future at all times has allowed me to grow and engaged with others because I love to share my hobbies with others. They are cooking, baking, sewing, gardening, and bird watching.
Disclaimer: I fully understand that my tips to achieving self-love might not work for everyone who has suffered some form of abuse. Each individual or case might need its own unique steps that might be more appropriate to the individual condition and life challenges.