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I Love Me, & I Won't Apologize For It.

I love myself.

I love myself a lot, actually.

Why it's considered a bold statement is beyond me, but I'd scream it to the rooftops if I could. I'm not sure when society put a mute on it--mute meaning that it's not talked about openly or regularly, so when it is, it jars others. It's almost like saying "I love myself" is a crime & we're not humbled because we acknowledge our self love. It's an important topic. Scratch that. It's an extremely important my opinion anyway. How we view & think of the world, what we choose to accept into our lives, what we look for in relationships all comes back to one thing.



& how you view yourself.

At an early age, my parents told me I was important. They told me that I was beautiful, that I was deserving, that I was loved, & that I should love myself. Like any child, I listened and nodded and said I understood. But, I don't know if I truly did understand. I understood as best a child could.

I'm not exempt from self-hate and thinking I'm not enough. I would say middle school and early high school were the years that I struggled the most with accepting who I am. No amount of "love yourself, you're beautiful!" messages could change the voices in my head that told me I was not. Those years are crucial in growth...especially as a female. I cannot speak for men because, well, hi. I'm not a man. But as a woman, I feel that the world & those in the world are

harder on us than the opposite sex. We are asked to look a certain way, to be smart, but not smart enough so it doesn't hurt another's ego, to speak, but only when spoken to, to have ideas, but ideas that mirror our counterparts.

Excuse my mouth, but that's bull.

It wasn't until the end of sophomore year in high school that I revisited my parents words. I mean truly revisited them & had what I call an "epiphany moment." I had just gotten broken up with, (we'll save this story for another post) & all my self-esteem shattered into a million and one pieces.

What was wrong with me?

It took me a minute...a verrrryyyy long minute, as in separate my emotions from my logical thoughts. But when I did, it boiled down to this.

Who am I & what do I deserve?

At my core, who am I? What do I know about myself, what do I feel about myself, what do I want for myself? What. Do. I. Deserve?

Now, answering that question should me simple, right? We want it to be simple. But it's not, not always. It's a little complex. It requires us to do some soul searching, to dig into the parts of us we like to leave in the dark, to undress our souls & be vulnerable. See, we want others to be honest with us so we can trust them, but we forget that we need to be honest with ourselves first. We need to trust ourselves. It starts within ourselves.

I am not an exceptional woman or person because I am "perfect." (heads up, no human being is perfect.)

I am an exceptional woman and person because I understand that loving me is important. That acknowledging my flaws and shortcomings doesn't make me less, but it makes me more because it makes me human. That saying I love myself is not a crime nor is it suggesting I am not humbled...that it actually suggests I am in touch with my true self & not the self I want others to see. That by me talking about it, it gives others, especially women, the courage to be vocal about saying "I love me," too.

Because, hey. What is there not to love about you?

I Love Me, & I Won't Apologize For It. I'm not asking for your permission or your forgiveness to love myself & to be vocal about it...because if I love me, & I know my worth, what do I need your approval for?

May your day be ever filled with love, light, and of course, an abundance of chicken tenders💜🌻✨

Cheyenne Pajardo

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