Do you ever look back at who you were a year ago? Two years ago? Do you look at yourself in the mirror and wonder where it all went wrong? I reflect on the past often, blaming myself for things that were ultimately out of my control. We as humans often times have a way of blaming ourselves harsher than others would. We focus on negatives rather than the positives, losing what is shining right in front of us. Sometimes all we have to do is look in the mirror and realize we are enough.  I am what I was looking for the entire time.

I sometimes blame myself for the reason for being sexually assaulted. It’s hard not to and often part of the healing process for survivors. Because of this trauma, it made it hard for things such as relationships to feel like they were fulfilling.  Lately, I have analyzed my core values and what I have learned from this harsh breakup I am experiencing. What I do know is that I definitely have learned a lot. During the course of my relationship, I struggled with feeling like I didn’t have 100% respect from my significant other. I blamed myself and always came up with an excuse for his behavior. I was blinded by my love for him. My mind sifts through what I stand for, how I spend my daily life trying to empower women to love themselves and wonder why I couldn’t love myself in the process. 

The ringing of his words, “I want a girl with a boob job” or “why do you have to wear sweatpants that are flared” remind me of the feeling of confusion when someone I loved couldn’t love me for me. I was in a relationship where I could never be my true self. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was scared and hated the person I was when I was with him. I never understood all the times when I was feeling low my mother used to say, “Devi, forgive yourself. You have to love yourself.” However, now I do. I spent much of my time being mad at myself for being with someone that could never respect or see my values as important rather than being mad at the way I was treated. I blamed me. Sometimes, things are out of your control whether it is because of love, business, school, violence, people, etc. They aren’t your fault. The only solution to erasing these feelings of self-hate is forgiveness. Whether that is the person that caused you heartache and pain, or whether it is for yourself. The person I was a year ago needed a bad relationship for the purpose of growth. I have learned now that the person for me has a balance of 100/100 between the two. The person I was a year ago needed to be oppressed and submissive so that she would be her true self in the future. The person I was a year ago needed to experience heartbreak over and over in order to learn the power of forgiveness. If a stubborn girl like me can do it, so can you.