Let me tell you a story: Like all other good stories, this story is about transformation. A transformation that starts by not understanding the point, with a path full of problems, achievements, happiness and sadness, that eventually leads to loss, and that loss lead to understanding and transformation.
It was a cold 31th of December. Maybe 2012? I took a bus to another city without notifying the person I planned to visit until I was already on my way. I wanted to say “I love you”, and I wanted to do that in person. It happened that that person was my girlfriend by then, and she needed time, and that I was pushing further something that needed time to heal.
When I reached the bus station, I told her I was there. She came dressed in brown, like the changing season. She stood a few steps from me, with a direct gazing look on me. Then she said: “It is over”. She approached me, hugged me, kissed me in my cheek, and leaved the place without looking back.
I had no ticket to return to my place. It was dark, cold and the last day of the year. I was empty.
I had I was in some kind of spiral of pain that I had to suffer. Most of the people I wanted in life were already out of my life. It was hard, and painful.
I did tons of mistakes, and ended doing even more after that. I suffered a lot, I had to take some pills to be able to sleep at night.
I was told to go to the mountain, to learn how to do skiing, to face stuff there. So I did. It was the first time I was in the snow, the first time I did skiing. It was cold, it was hard, everything was white and bright. And when you are up in the mountain, you have to face it and go down by skiing even if this is scary at the beginning, and whenever facing more and more sheer places.
That was refreshing; a great new experience. Even if I was a bit relieved, the empty feeling was still there.
I had to leave the house and the city I had been living one for a very short period of time, and to rent a new house in my place, to live alone. I had no job by then, and I needed an endorsement to do so, so it was hard and required help from my mother.
But in the ended I managed to rent that house and to live independently, alone. After that, I invested a few months trying to recover from all the hard times I had and to try to figure out why happened the things that happened. I tried to read self help books. Then tried to read about feelings, and other people’s experiences. I reached two high quality websites: https://tinybuddha.com/ and https://highexistence.com/. I subscribed to them via RSS, and started to read stuff from a daily basis.
After reading experiences from other people for some time, I started to be aware of some stuff, and I managed to forgive myself for all the bad stuff I did on bad times. Reading about other people doing bad stuff, about other people suffering and being hurted by other people and still forgive them I was more aware than ever about the nature of the human beings.
There was a lot of good advices and life-lessons I learnt there. But I wanted one single thing that could help me with everything if possible. After some time, something clicked in my head: the reason of the spiral of pain I suffered my whole life.
There was one single thing that affected everything else: self esteem. It happened that for my whole life I did not loved myself. That was probably because of the family problems I had to handle as a child. I also discovered I had some degree of autism, probably Asperger, and that fact forced me to live a life full of social misunderstandings that hurted my self-confidence.
My whole life up to then I searched love from other people instead of searching it inside of me. I pushed myself way to much trying to please other people instead of doing it because I enjoyed it.
Self love and self esteem is something you have to take care of. It is like having a shower to avoid bad smells, but by far much less obvious. And nobody else told me how important that was in the past.
I started to be self-aware of things, and to be alert of signals about not loving myself. Also I decided that I would tell all this to my next girlfriend, and I would take care of her self-esteem and would request her to help me too with that.
And the following girlfriend ended being my wife. It has been a lot of years now; I meet her after my transformation about my way of thinking. We suffered a lot, had tons and tons of quarrels and problems, but we are still together.
Do you know? Is it ever possible to take care of someone’s else self-esteem? If it has to come from yourself? Actually it is!
- Don’t say “I love you”; just show that love. But never when that person is low on self-esteem
- Warn that person when she or he is doing too much things for others instead of for him/herself
- Invite that person to think about her/his toxic relationships and his/her own feelings
- Give that person time for him/herself, to think, to take care of herself
- Don’t give up on that person on bad times
- Support that person on his/her personal vital decisions
I wanted to end the year with the lessons I learned, with the hope it helps to enlighten someone’s else path, and as a token of gratitude for all the anonymous people that share their stories with me, giving me the chance to be aware of the things that really matter. I will continue to write about other life-lessons I learned in the future.
Thank you for reading, and have a nice start of 2020!