Accessing Self-Love During Dark Times

Self-love is not all about face masks and yoga.

Sometimes, self-love is the act of working through and facing really tough stuff.

Sometimes the act of self-love can be about reevaluating your self-talk and phrasing.

No, I am not going to claim that positive affirmations can pull anyone out of a depressive episode or a disaster situation. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. During dark times, it can be extraordinarily difficult to believe in positive thoughts. They do not feel authentic or genuine given the current situation. In this article, I tell my recent story of how I got through a very shitty week and accidentally discovered the magic of how a slight change of phrase, a declaration of the mundane and belief in that present moment, helped illuminate my belief in myself. 

Even though Self Love Magic is a website advocating self-love, I absolutely have to write about those moments when self-love feels ridiculous.

The times when we’d rather just hole up, self-sabotage, and let life crush us. I am talking about the moments where you’d rather get in a fight with your best friend than receive a hug from them.

The moments where vodka seems a perfectly fitting substitute for our daily recommended water intake.  

I have been having those moments for a couple of weeks now. 

I’ve had friends come by. I’ve eaten balanced meals. I’ve slept a full seven hours per night. I even shaved my legs (for those of you who don’t know me, that is a pretty big deal).

On Sunday, I put myself in a situation I was not prepared for mentally or emotionally. I ended getting bullied and harassed online by complete strangers. When this happened, the harassment immediately sent me back into a place of trauma. This was a place I was all too familiar with, a place that I had been working on for years to overcome.

I turn to my partner.

I try to process.

When I do, I feel so unable to handle anything he has to say.

He says it all “wrong” because he “doesn’t understand.”

I am quick to forget that he loves me and is just trying his best.

I get angry at him for being a man.

For not understanding what it is like to walk in my shoes.

Then he uttered the two words that can make me fly off the handle at the speed of light.

“You’re overreacting.”

Good job, bro. Now, I go all out. I am a monster. He is my enemy. I feel alone. It’s me against the world.

It’s likely that I was somewhat angry at him and his actions, at least for the “overreacting” bit. But I also question what else was I feeling anger towards. It wasn’t the sweetheart on the phone with me who was just trying his best…

I was angry at the men who have hurt me.

I was angry at the men who haven’t stuck up for me.

I was angry that I felt misunderstood.

I was angry that I put myself in a situation that ended up hurting me.

I was angry because I didn’t know how to deal with the complex emotions running through me.

To top this off, this week I have gotten rejected from eight job applications and haven’t heard back from three interviews. My partner and I are long distance and I miss him terribly. I constantly feel like a disappointment to my family and myself. I am not bringing in even close to the amount of money I need to survive. So yeah…I guess I have a little anger.

But then it switches off like a light. Suddenly I can’t feel my feelings. Not the good ones. Not even the uncomfortable ones. I can’t think of a single thing to make me feel, that will not make me self-destructive. Numbness is something I can’t stand. I feel dangerous when I can’t feel. What if I decide to throw everything away? Do something drastic? Burn all my bridges? Numbness is terrifying territory for me.

So I force myself to shower.

I go into the fridge to find an orange and I bring it into the shower with me.

I sit with my knees to chest in my tiny shower stall and let the clogged drain do its thing. Water pools up around me and I dig my nails into the juicy orange without caring that juice is dripping on my chin and my stomach. I am grateful that I still have my senses.

Hot AF water still feels soothing on my skin. My orange still tastes orange-like.

My bodywash still smells peachy.

I suddenly get the idea to speak out loud. This, for some reason, warrants standing up, so I do.

“You’re okay,” I tell myself.

It takes a millisecond before I swear I can hear my own eyes roll in circles in their sockets. I sure as fuck am not okay and I know it. I don’t believe myself for a second. I try something else.

“You are going to get through this.”

As the words leave my lips, I hear keys typing a message.

It sounds like a Facebook friend I have never met. That old college friend’s aunt who for some reason friended me.

Auntie Brenda has just left a comment on my status update and she doesn’t even know me. It’s generic. Not believable. Nonsense.

I try for another round: “You will get through this.”

 Nope, that’s still not it. I remember that magic is about what one truly wholeheartedly believes. If you do not believe it, it will not work.

Suddenly it comes to me…I realize what needs to happen…

“You are getting through this.”

I believe that, by the mere proof that I am alive in this very moment. Not only am I going through this, but I am also getting through this in the very present NOW.

In this single phrase,

  1. I acknowledge that my situation feels really tough to be in right now.
  2. I acknowledge the fact that I am actually am getting through it. (If I was not, I would not be alive.)
  3. I declare it my will to continue to get through it.

So my story is a lesson in self-talk, shifting your phrasing, and the sheer power of words if you choose them wisely. When doing magic, phrase your intentions in the present tense as if they have already come into fruition.

Remember, magic is about what you truly, wholeheartedly believe. If you do not believe it, it will not work.

The very moment you even think about your spell, the spell has already been cast.


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