Typically, not a day goes by that I don’t find myself stumbling across a friend’s Facebook post; witnessing them praying to Jesus (and the world, mind you) to send a good man, a perfect man, or soulmate to save them from the miseries of life.

Then there’s the girl with the new #MCM every week who breaks up with Mr. Perfect by Friday, posts the lonely and pitiful selfie accompanied by #Bored on Saturday, and ends up in a new relationship that’s bound to fail by Sunday evening.

Most of the time, I find myself shaking my head in pity as I scroll past their posts, because I can relate.

Yes, I was once that love addicted girl who suffered from loneliness, waiting for my knight in shining armor to rescue me. I guess it would make a great romance novel or a synopsis for the next Disney movie but the only problem was – my prince never came.

Have you ever found yourself angrily writing your feelings down in the yellow notebook you found stuffed in the back of your closet, before coming to the not-so-original conclusion that you need to leave men alone? That you should be focusing on YOU in the first place?

Perhaps you’ve vented to that older, wiser girlfriend about your relationship woes and she told you to love yourself first – then everything else will fall into place?

Ugh, you want to tell her she’s ridiculous, because OF COURSE you love yourself. That’s why you work hard every day and get a pedicure every week.

But late at night, when you’re silently replaying her words and revisiting your embarrassing dating history, you discover that maybe…just maybe…you don’t. You’ve been waiting for someone else to see the value in you, but you haven’t found it yourself.

Sigh, if only I knew four years ago what I know now, my journey to self love would not have hurt so much.

After yet another painful heartbreak, I had no choice but to give dating a rest. After going through the lengthy stages of anger, depression, and sadness, I finally began to heal.

I’d like to share my 3 tips for self-discovery which led me to self love, cured my broken heart, and released the dangerous chains of love addiction.

Tip #1 – Reflection

Reflection is a powerful tool. It works best when you’re willing to be honest with yourself. What have you got to lose by revisiting your mistakes and identifying where you went wrong? Even if you’ve made hundreds of them, being able to honestly admit and learn from them is the goal.

It’s how we gain wisdom.

The best thing about honest reflection is that you can leave it between you and God, no need to publish a book. It can be painful to admit that you messed up or were wrong, but hey, we’re human beings, it’s expected. Forgive yourself.

Tip #2 – Books Are Your Friend

As a kid, I loved reading books. I’m telling you, you couldn’t pull me away from The Babysitters Club if you tried. During my reflection period, I revisited my younger self; remembering myself as just a little innocent chocolate girl with uninhibited dreams who enjoyed reading.

I set off to the bookstore and picked up ‘Waiting to Exhale’ and its sequel ‘Getting to Happy’, and thoroughly enjoyed every moment reading them.

A good book can leave you fulfilled and, most importantly, give you insight into your own life. Savannah, Robin, Gloria, and Bernadette confirmed that I wasn’t alone and that there was nothing wrong with me.

I needed that.

Tip #3 – Try That Thing You Always Wanted to Do

Have you ever put your own desires on hold, waiting to fulfill them with your dream man or for the “right time”? I hate to admit it but I have.

Get up, get out, and conquer your wish list! And if you don’t have, one make one immediately.

For example, I didn’t know how much I liked sewing until I took a $20 class at Jo-Ann’s. The class sparked an idea, which led to another, which led to another, and led me into a whole new realm of thinking that I didn’t know I had.

It kept me busy and gave me a great boost of self-awareness.

I began to grow and make plans for myself that no longer required romantic dependency. I learned to love me for me and enjoy my own company.

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