Self-Love: A reflection

By Malia Taylor

I believe self-love is important.

I believe it is important because self-love can show who you are as a person. Showing that you love yourself does have Pros and Cons depending on the type of person you are, but always showing that you love yourself can increase your confidence.

Self love also teaches you to set boundaries. It lets you know your limits and allows you to be able to say no and communicate clearly to others. There was a time in life that I had to show myself self-love because I would let people walk all over me. I would let people talk to me and tell me things any way they wanted to. I would not allow myself to defend myself because I was afraid of losing friends.

By the time I figured out what self-love was, I was in the 8th grade. I used my “self-love” in a more negative way. I would bully people to make myself feel better about being me. I thought that since people treated me that way, I could treat others that way too. And on top of that I was tired of being the one people picked on.

When someone would do something that was not conducive for me or did

something wrong, I would overreact by getting mad and extremely bratty. I thought I was doing something by being rude and disrespectful towards my friends and teachers.

I remember a time when I was in 8th grade and one of my friends, who was so sweet and genuine towards me, asked if I wanted to play volleyball with her and a couple of other friends. I would usually participate in any activity we did in gym class, but I was still mad about the morning before. Me and my mom had gotten into one of the worst arguments we have ever had. I had lashed out and told her to leave me alone and how she constantly bothers me. She said she was sorry and walked away from me.

After that day was like hell on earth for me because I gradually started losing my friends and it eventually got worse when rumors about me started going around. Rumors got so bad I did not know what to do anymore and I just broke down one day in 4th period. Being in the situation I was in took me back to when I was in elementary school when people told me straight that they did not want to be my friend because I was ugly and black.

I remember not wanting to tell my mom what was going on because I was in

the mix of trying to make myself believe I was mad at her, and I did not need her. As months and seasons passed by like trees through a car window it reached May. May was when everything stopped. I do not recall hearing anything bad about me after May. It is like everyone had agreed

to stop picking on me at a specific time and date. After that day I took accountabilities for my actions and changed myself a lot. I started dressing more appropriately, cursed a lot less, and most importantly I stopped smoking because I never liked it in the first place. I only did it to look cooler in front of my friends. I even apologized to a couple friends and all three of my teachers that following summer for the way I treated them.

I found out what self-love was when my mom sat me down after she found out what a year I had. She told me that it is okay to show people who you are and if they do not accept you for your silly real self, they never accepted you in the first place, remember who you are and that everybody is not your friend. She would say this to me and my siblings all the time, but I never really understood what she meant until this very moment. My mom showed me the way, and I took it.