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Learning to love oneself becomes a full-time job. In childhood, one survives scrapes, bruises and bullies and grows whole, intact. Most take it for granted, that sense of wholeness and the ability to protect oneself naturally, instinctively.

But trauma during childhood, specifically traumas that go without intervention then the child is blamed, silenced and not helped in any way, these trauma’s break a child’s self-worth and erase the child’s very existence. The wholeness meant to grow does not. The nurturing of a tiny spirit is removed in order to keep her silent. 

I learned I was unloved, not worthy of love, and incapable of just about anything. How could I feel loved when attacked then forced into silence and shame over it? I believe it’s the silence and shaming that killed my ability to self-love. Where even now I must work very hard to see my side of things, to feel what I feel, because for so long I’d been absent or trained to only think about others; especially others whose cruelty towards me went beyond comprehension. Why would I know how to love myself now? Where is the map?

These are things that we do when we decide to have a child. Protect. Protect the child so she grows into who she was meant to be. Not twist her, and break her, and let the pieces shatter. When a child is harmed is such a way, everything must stop. Protect that child. Nothing else matters except that what you now know happened never happens again. And that child needs the most loving, gentle care…for a long time to come. It is possible to repair the damage at the time of the trauma, to mend the wounds and the child grows free just as she was meant to be.   


20 thoughts on “SELF-LOVE

  1. So well articulated and that experience that you describe of not being allowed to grow into wholeness and self-protect and love is one that I know all too well. It’s such hard work trying to undo all those damaging voices from childhood but we are doing it and you are a leader in your wisdom and grace 🙂

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  2. Your writing is so gentle and caring even when it expresses so much pain. I attended a conference yesterday on trauma informed care for children, so the world is listening. It is not changing as fast as we may want but our message is getting through. Keep writing!

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  3. I just want to send hugs to the little girl who didn’t get what she needed, and to the grown up who is still hurting. I think you are learning to care for yourself and to feel what you feel. You’re healing a little everyday. You can heal, and you can draw a new map. 💟

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  4. Thank you for posting this. Loving myself is the thing I never learn while growing up. I was so used to shame, gulit, self hatred and remorse that at many times I doubted my capability to love.Then I realized I had the most distorted concept of loving here in my mind. I equate love with feelings which is farthest from the truth.Learning to love myslef started with understanding how I feel and the thoughts behind those feelings until gradually I realized that love is more than just a feeling. And loving myself started from there. It takes action and commitment and reaching out.When I begin to see love on a different perspective I become more loving to myself and to the people around me one day at a time. And I find a loving God in control of everything!Thank you for your time.

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    1. Thank you for sharing. I relate too well to what you shared, those negative feelings, voices, and judgments.
      It’s a whole new world discovering that I can give myself a break, think a different way, not be ‘bad’ but GOOD!

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        1. The attacks on my body, soul and psyche began at such a young age, any goodness I was born with had not yet had time to cement into place. Childhood is the time we are molded into what we are to become.
          All those bad feelings became me instead. I never had a chance to learn I was ‘good.’ It makes creating space for it now after a lifetime habit of believing and feeling otherwise such a hard hard job.
          I like the way you put that, ‘this goodness I am created with.’ That is a perfect positive thought to carry today and every day. Thank you!

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          1. I keep telling my self that I am good, I made it a part of my daily affirmations and that I deserve and worthy of love, And it is ok to receive. These were the things I have to constantly remind myself and in this way I shut the monster out!

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  5. I find myself nodding and nodding again all through this post. I know I have the concept of love-it is a choice to stay when everything in me wants to jump ship and save myself sorrow at someone else’s expense when I’m interacting closely with someone. But I don’t know how to consider myself VIP. Or MVP. I just ache to find out how to grasp it without becoming cold and angry and selfish. I’m working on it, though. Great post, ma’am

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    1. Yes, that does seem to happen. Either agree, be pleasing, become invisible in some ways with no needs or boundaries, or turn ‘cold and angry and selfish.’ But selfish is better stated as self-caring, not something I was taught to do, but something each person must do for themselves. Because who else will? It shouldn’t feel wrong to take good care of oneself. It is essential.
      I’m working on it too! Thank you…


      1. You’re wonderful! I’m going to work hard at it, I’m tired of sacrificing only to find out that nobody who ought to be right in there with me is doing anything of the sort while I carry loads with no relief. My mind and spirit were starting to break, and God got me out. I need to focus on positivity SO badly I could cry, but there’s nobody to help with that. I thank God for your blog or I wouldn’t have found a ray of light to take with me. Bless you!

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