All of my adult life I've heard you need to truly love yourself or you will never be truly happy, find true love, and so on. I honestly thought I loved myself and was confident that I knew who I really was so I didn't know what all the fuss was about. I mean doesn't everyone love themselves, I would find myself thinking. Then, a little over two years ago I was diagnosed with an incurable disease that progressively got worse.
I alienated myself from the world and for more than a year I locked myself up in my house, only leaving when absolutely necessary. I only allowed a few friends to see me in this weak and vulnerable way. I was embarrassed of my wheelchair, the weight I was gaining, and the way the bones in my feet were being deformed.
It was then, at the weakest, most loneliest time of my life when I realized not only that I didn't know who I was but that I never really loved myself either. I also realized I had spent my life always putting everyone else and their needs first, ignoring my own real needs. It was a long, lonely journey but slowly, with lots of tears, I began to get to know myself and what I did and didn't want in my life.
I reflected on every aspect of my life focusing on the good and bad outcomes of past events. Some things that I didn't want to face, some that brought back tremendous pain, and many things I didn't want to admit were my fault. Now that was a real eye opener. What I realized was that if I would have truly loved myself back then things probably would have turned out much different.
If I wouldn't have done this self-reflection I don't think I'd be getting ready to walk down the aisle in two weeks like I am doing today, nor would I have finally known what true love was like. I can honestly say that I now not only know who I am but I truly love and respect myself. Something that is still new to me.
I have slowly come to terms with my disease thanks to my self-reflection and my amazingly supportive fiancé, Kenny. Slowly my confidence continues to return and the new and improved Lysa gets stronger mentally and physically every day, as this is a life long journey.
I can say for the first time in my life that this is who I am; take it or leave it, makes no difference to me. I found out what it truly means to love yourself, I dare you to do the same!