Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Boiling Waters PH.
When I was a kid, I used to believe I am everyone’s heroine; that with my own strength I can save the world. Fearless as I am, when someone is in need or when those I love was been hurt by someone, whether the concern person is younger or older than me, I will go and speak to them and will make it appoint that justice is served.
When I grew up, I dreamed of becoming a lawyer because I always wanted to help anyone who is in need. I strongly believe that there is no bad people, only bad doings and if I will be able to save anybody from their bad doings, I can for sure make this world a better place.
When someone I love is in pain, when my friend is in trouble, when a friend of my friend’s friend needs help, with no hesitation I will surely help with an open arm. Out of habit since then until now, I am always having this urge to save people from their misery, I help them with their problems as if it was my own. I guess I got it from my dad, I grew up watching him help almost every person he knew or even those he didn’t knew at all – in any kind of circumstances or misfortune he always helps. He was everyone’s hero.
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In due course, after years of helping people, I noticed that most of the time I get hurt in the end. As if I’m a candle who burn myself just to lit the darkness of other people lives. It seems like all the sacrifices I’ve made to help people and after giving them the best out of me, in the end it’s either I am not enough or I am more than enough that they neither cannot handle nor cannot make them stay. Sadly, I constantly end up asking myself, “What went wrong?”
And what is worse? I am the kind of person whom you can betray a hundred times, or lie to a million times yet will be the first one to be there for you when you are in need and will make it appoint you will be okay by offering you whatever best left in me out of my brokenness. Even how many times someone put me in trouble or disappoint me, I never learn, I am having a hard time to lose the smallest hope I have in my heart ‘that maybe, just maybe – people will change.’ and because of those recurring circumstances with different set of people, I end up losing myself, I end up having a broken soul and a hesitant heart.
“I didn’t notice that while I am busy praying for someone to be happy, I forgot it was me who needs it badly.”
Unfortunately, my dad missed to show me 2 important things on wanting to save the world; First is that people won’t love me just because I love them. That believing this is a fair world is same as trusting a lion won’t eat me because I didn’t eat them or a snake wont bite me because I took care of them. Second is that I need to love myself enough that no betrayal nor lies or disappointments could ever hurt me and bring me down. That in this world full of villains, I can’t just wait someone to save me the way I save everyone, I have to be my own heroine.
Nobody taught me to love myself first. When I was a kind I was showed that love is a sacrifice. I was taught that I ought to share what I have to those who need it most. And even up to now when I am already working, life made me realized you must give your best even if at times it isn’t enough.
All my life I give parts of me to people who never wanted to keep it. That is how I was raised; that is what the people around me taught me. I sacrificed myself to fix broken people who would always leave after they’ve healed. I shared what I had to the point that nothing’s left for me to hold on to when I need it. I give my best in trying to make temporary people stay but it is never enough.
By depreciating myself to fix others miserable life, I never realized I am damaging my own soul not until one day I woke up with a heavy heart full of hatred. I wanted to runaway but my problem is I don’t know how to hurt or leave people, I don’t even know how to say no whenever they are asking for help and so instead of getting better, I end up hurting myself and even hating myself even more. I belittled my pain just to make others feel better, my bad.
Nobody taught me that I should sacrifice for myself too – like walking away from something that hurts. Nobody told me that when I give, I should always leave something for myself so that I wouldn’t feel so empty. Nobody ever told me that I am always enough, that I am not a disappointment and that not meeting other people’s expectations is fine because I don’t live for them; I live for me. That’s why for the past years you really cannot blame me if I have a hard time trying to love myself or teaching others how to do it – because at the very least, I didn’t know how.
But eventually, I learn and still learning… a lot.
Self-love is a battle I’ve been trying to win for so many years now.
I started staying away from toxic people that I love the most; because they do nothing but drag me down. I started avoiding breaking my own heart for anyone’s sake. I started dating myself and prioritizing myself over anyone. I started saying NO and accepting the golden fact that it don’t make me a bad person if I say no sometimes. I started letting my broken dreams go and create a new one. I started forgiving myself for the wrong things I have done and the right things I haven’t done. I started accepting that I am not everyone’s superhero and human as I am I will never be right, great, loving at all times.
It wasn’t easy as I thought it was. And can’t say I’m finally there because every day I still have to strive and win this battle against myself, for myself. But at least, I can say that I haven’t tried to tear myself apart for so long now and that I no longer remember when was my last attempt. I believed, this alone is a progress.
I’ve learned enough that at times, I need to be selfish first so in time I can be self-less.
I hope and pray the same for you.
Bless your heart always,