The Everlasting Love Story: A Journey To You

In the heart of a bustling city, there lived a young woman named INAYA. As the name suggests,  she was known far and wide for being kind, caring, and compassionate. People counted on her for a helping hand or a listening ear. Her heart was a sanctuary for others, a place where troubles found solace.

Inaya took care of herself diligently. She nourished her body with wholesome foods, relished in the colors and textures of nature’s bounty and embraced movement. She tried finding solace in the rhythm of her breath. Yet, despite her efforts to tend to her physical well-being, there was a crucial element missing. For all the love and care she gave, she had never learned to love herself. Her heart was a garden of vibrant flowers, but she had forgotten to water her own. In the quiet moments of reflection, Inaya couldn’t shake the feeling of emptiness that settled within her. The mirror reflected a stranger, a girl weighed down by the burdens she carried for others.

 It was as if the universe had forgotten to mirror back the same tenderness she so readily bestowed upon others. Deep inside, a question lingered in the corners of her heart;  why did the love she gave to others not seem to return to her in the same measure? Was Inaya’s love not sincere or lacking in depth? Was it not genuine? 

That was not true; Because she sincerely celebrated the joys of those around her, and was always ready to offer a kind word or a helping hand with a force that flowed freely from her heart.

Inaya had a close friend Sana who always made Inaya feel comfortable without any fear of judgment and therefore, Inaya confided her perplexedness to her. She spoke to her about her anguish, and to her surprise Sana already knew about her state as she could see the manifestation of it in her behaviors. 

She told Inaya that she has been noticing how her laughter had become less frequent, her sensitivity to criticism heightened, how she had started struggling with feelings of unworthiness, how she often sought external validation to affirm her worthiness, how her self expression became limited because she feared rejection, and how she had become reluctant to prioritize her needs thinking it to be selfish on her part. 

She told Inaya that on one side she is giving so much of herself and on the other side the emptiness within her seems to be  growing multifold. She made her understand that despite her outward kindness, her inner world was often turbulent. She made her recognize her struggles to find inner peace and contentment. 

This became a pivotal step in Inaya’s journey towards self-love. She realized that lack of self-love was taking its toll on her. She had given so much and had poured her heart into the lives of others, and had unwittingly created an imbalance in her life. In her quest to be a pillar of strength for those she cared about, she had inadvertently neglected the foundation of her own well-being.

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She realized that she was deserving of the same love she gave so freely, and that it was okay to ask for what she needed. She seeked help from close friends and therapists and started nurturing and boosting her self-love. 

  1. She Practiced Self Compassion. She learned to be kind to herself. In moments of difficulty, she took short breaks to recharge herself, by taking a 5 minute stretch or taking deep breaths, or moments of stillness. She treated herself with the same level of compassion she offered others.
  2. She started Setting Boundaries: She recognized her limits and stopped over committing. She learned to say a ‘NO’ when necessary and prioritized her own needs and desires. It was ok for her to decline additional responsibilities or social invitations if she needed time for herself.
  3. She engaged in Relaxation Techniques: Inaya embraced mindfulness and practiced activities like meditation, deep breathing, and guided imagery. These helped her stay present, reduce stress, and fostered a deeper connection with herself.
  4. She Practiced Affirmation:   Replaced self criticism with affirming statements such as,, “I am capable, I am worthy, and I am enough.” This helped rewire her thought processes and boosted her self confidence, self esteem and celebrated her worthiness. 
  5. She set Aside Me Time:  Dedicated time to activities she enjoyed, such as reading, music, writing, etc. These activities brought joy and rejuvenated her spirit, and became a form of self expression and self love.
  6. She Expressed Her Emotions:  Allowed herself to feel, and express her emotions without any judgements. Whether it is joy, sadness, or anger, she acknowledged them and validated her feelings.
  7. She Nourished Her Body: Beyond physical health routines, Inaya paid attention to nourishing meals, staying hydrated, getting ample sleep and engaging in activities that made her feel strong and vibrant.
  8. Practiced Gratitude Journaling: Regularly jotted down things she was grateful for.  This shifted her focus towards positivity and accomplishments.
  9. She Seeked Support and Connection: She understood that seeking help is a sign of strength and self-care and did not hesitate to reach out for support from friends, family, or professionals.
  10. She Limited Her Exposure to Negative Influences: She minimized contact with people, environments, or media that brought negativity or drained her energy and consciously chose to spend time with people who uplifted and supported her.
  11. She Learned to Forgive Herself: She understood that self-forgiveness was a vital part of self-love and personal growth, and hence let go of her past mistakes. 
  12. She Celebrated her achievements: Both small and big achievements and took pride in her efforts and acknowledged her progress. This reinforced her self worth and reminded her of her capabilities. 

The above 12 practices helped Inaya transform her relationship with herself. Each step she took was a testament to her commitment to nurturing and boosting her self-love, creating a foundation of strength and resilience that would sustain her for a lifetime.

It was a lesson she carried forward, a beacon of light for others who, like her, were learning to navigate the intricate dance of giving and receiving love.

The love story with your own self is everlasting and you grow through love, so grows your joy,  ever more present and ever more constant. Self love is a vehicle that leads to a ‘Journey To You’ and leads to a broader version of you. Stop worrying what other people think, because people who genuinely love you for who you are will also love your growth. 

Let’s wake up with Love each day, Love for Life, Love for others, and most importantly Love for ourselves!

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About the Author

AllYour Tomorrows

With graduation in Psychology and a PG diploma in Psychological counseling, started my career as a school counselor. Got a chance to attend the Train the Trainer seminar at Infosys Banglore and thereby started my read more...

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