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Love Yourself Before Someone Else Does

Updated on October 8, 2013
The nerd.....zero self-respect
The nerd.....zero self-respect | Source
Gaining self-respect
Gaining self-respect | Source
Confident before the fall.
Confident before the fall. | Source
At peace today with a firm grasp on self-respect and self-love.
At peace today with a firm grasp on self-respect and self-love. | Source

A very simple question: do you love yourself?

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The eternal conundrum! You have all heard it. You can never really love another person until you learn to love yourself. You have all internalized it and yet there are so many out there who simply do not love themselves. The reasons are many, too many to list in this article. They are all valid in that they are real to the person feeling them. Friends will tell them they are being silly. Family will profess their love because, well, that’s what family members are supposed to do. No words from another, however, can bring about this magical transformation because, unfortunately, it is an inside job.

I know this to be true because there was a time, not so long ago, when I detested who I was. I could not look in the mirror without being sickened by what I saw. During the quiet moments, all alone, my thoughts would inevitably turn to the feelings that had haunted me for decades.

This story has a happy ending. Today I do love who I am. I am comfortable in this old body, content with whom I have become….or maybe I should say with whom I have always been. How did the transformation take place? Perhaps I should tell you a story to better drive home the point.

I write this for the teens out there who are searching for their true selves. I write this for the men and women who struggle with this daily, for all out there who feel incomplete, restless and discontented. It does not have to be that way. There is hope and there is a solution!

THE LITTLE NERD

Yes, I was a nerd and a hopeless one at that! As a young child I was skinny, sickly and painfully shy. When I entered high school I was 5’2” tall and weighed 102 pounds, not exactly a formula for a macho future. Forget about dating! It was not going to happen for this boy.

Our family did not have much money when I was growing up so I was always wearing clothes that were on sale rather than stylish. Most of the kids in our private school had dads who were doctors and lawyers. My dad worked in a gravel pit. Most of the kids were self-assured and working their way up the popularity scale. I was busy holding onto the bottom rung of that particular societal ladder.

I remember our 8th Grade graduation like it was yesterday. We had the graduation party at the Tacoma Lawn & Tennis Club, a very high-brow establishment with beautiful gardens and a massive swimming pool. Waiters were walking around in tuxes and we were all dressed in our finest. I had finally worked up the courage to ask a girl I was sweet on to go for a walk with me around the grounds. I was trying my best to carry on a conversation with this vision of beauty, and at one point I started walking backwards while I talked to her. In the middle of some remark I was making I walked backwards right into the swimming pool.

There is no word in the English language that properly describes the humiliation I felt that day.

HIGH SCHOOL AND SPREADING MY WINGS

One thing and one thing only saved me in high school and that was baseball. My ability to throw a baseball sixty feet from the pitcher’s mound to home plate gave me membership into the Jock Club. That membership, and my natural athletic talent, helped me to gain self-confidence and finally begin to believe that I had some worth.

As those feelings of self-worth grew so too did my confidence; my personality started to emerge, the natural gift of humor rose to the top, and the painful years of youth began to recede in my rearview mirror. Dating remained painful as I was convinced that I was homely and that no girl would ever go out with me. I remember standing in front of the mirror trying to will the pimples to go away, hoping that each day would bring a straighter nose, a more pronounced chin, some positive change to my appearance that would make me desirable to those of the opposite sex. It was not meant to be!

A FUNNY THING HAPPENED WHILE IN COLLEGE

It happens ever so slowly at first. The change is so minor that it goes unnoticed from day to day, but one day you wake up and notice that you have, in fact, changed. I began to notice in college that I was accepted among my peers, that people were coming to MY dorm room to hang out. Being introspective by nature, I dissected this mysterious change and realized that being self-confident was like wearing a sign that said I AM WORTH KNOWING. It was a marvelous revelation, akin to breaking from the womb of self-loathing and beginning life all over again. A second chance and one I was not going to waste. Or so I thought!

AN AURA DISAPPEARS

Into my twenties I headed, full of confidence and loving life. I had a friend tell me once that I had an aura, that I exuded this mysterious quality that made her want to be around me. I was shocked because memories of that little nerd were still fresh in my mind. What was this aura? Where had it come from? Was that friend just blowing smoke or was there really something about her point that was valid?

It would take me thirty years to find out the answers to those questions because at the age of twenty-five I discovered alcohol. My life was about to reverse course.

“DARKNESS, DARKNESS, BE MY PILLOW.”

The more I drank the more my self-confidence disappeared. The more I drank the more my personality changed into one that spoke of confidence but in fact screamed silently of fear. The more I drank the more my aura transformed and eventually I lost all that I had gained on my journey to self-discovery.

I had completely forgotten who I was and interestingly my self-image returned to that little nerd from so many years ago, incapable of pleasing others, incapable of fitting in and incapable of loving myself.

A HAPPY ENDING TO THE TALE

Today, of course, the aura is back and I am happy. Today I do, in fact, love myself and by extension I can love others. Through the love and encouragement of others I learned that I’m okay just the way I am. There is no other Bill Holland and I’m happy with that fact.

So what is the point?

STAPLE THIS TO YOUR FOREHEAD

It saddens me to see kids in school trying so hard to fit in with the crowd. It saddens me to see adults striving for that elusive acceptance through plastic surgery. Seventy year olds dying their hair to get rid of the gray; seventeen year olds taking diet pills so they can look like super models. It is madness and it is sadness and it is all so unnecessary.

We are all unique. Seven billion people on this planet and not one is like me….or you. Not one has my talents, my looks, my sense of humor or my aura. That makes me the most precious commodity on the market, a priceless, one-of-a-kind treasure, and the same can be said for all of you out there. If Rembrandt had only painted one masterpiece in his lifetime, what do you think that art would be worth today? There is no way to place a price on such a piece and there is no way to place a value on you.

And yet so many out there do not realize this fact. So many cannot see their uniqueness and worse, they do not desire that uniqueness. They chase after the illusion of happiness. If only I could look like her. If only I could have those clothes or own that car. If only, if only, if only! Like a cat chasing its tail with no hope of ever catching it, people are forever sprinting after the next packaged miracle that will somehow fill the hole that is growing inside of them.

But what happens when that packaged miracle disappears? What happens when aging cannot be hidden? What happens when the possessions are gone? Where will the self-worth come from then?

It does not have to be that way!

Love of self is, truly, an inside job, and it takes work. It takes constantly feeding the soul with positive thoughts. It takes surrounding oneself with people who are supportive and affirming, accepting you for who you are. It takes looking in the mirror and seeing yourself as that priceless treasure.

There are no shortcuts in this task. There are no sure-fired cures for what ails you. Madison Avenue cannot manufacture an ad campaign that will give you that which is already inside of you. Drug companies cannot give you a magic pill that will make the insecurities disappear. You have to dig deep, deeper than ever before, and find the uniqueness that is you.

Look in the mirror! Tell yourself that you are a treasure! Do it now….and then do it again….and some day….just maybe….you will begin to believe it.

Wishing you all peace, happiness and love!

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • profile image

      kelleyward 4 years ago

      Bill, I wish we could teach our little ones this at an early age but this is a lesson we all have to learn through experience. It's so hard to see kids rejected and bullying starts so young. I hate watching my 1st grader feel sad or lonely and I like you wish there was a way I could help my boys see that there is so much more to life than the here and now. Thanks for sharing your story and pictures. Kelley

    • Jeff Gamble profile image

      Jeff Gamble 4 years ago from Denton, Texas

      Incredible Hub Bill - If we could learn this lesson of self-worth early on in life, think of how well adjusted we would all be. (Love the baseball uniform, by the way.)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kelley, I agree, for the most part we all have to learn this lesson in our own time; painful but necessary. Thank you my friend and have a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Jeff, thanks for stopping by. It's pretty funny looking back and seeing that baseball uniform. At the time I thought it was the coolest thing I owned. :)

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      BEAUTIFUL message, Bill! I wish more people understood that. I discovered I really liked who I was my senior year of high school. The day I borrowed my dad's best friend's really cool camel skin fringe jacket and wore it to school (1986 - it was an anti-fashion jacket). I got laughed at by all the popular kids. Did I take it off? HELL NO! I liked it, it was comfy and I realized, I didn't give a rat's behind what anyone else thought, only MY opinion was important to me.

      My best friend asked me what the hell I was thinking, and I told her I wasn't wearing it to fit in or be popular, and from that day forward, I stopped caring what others thought because it didn't make me who I was and I wasn't reliant upon them to tell me who or what I was. Suddenly, my whole group of friends changed. And I'm happy to report, most of the "new" group of friends that I made in my senior year, I am still friends with. I wonder how many of the "old" group of friends I'd still be talking to if I hadn't discovered that I loved myself.

      VUMS.

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      :Love of self is, truly, an inside job, and it takes work. It takes constantly feeding the soul with positive thoughts. It takes surrounding oneself with people who are supportive and affirming, accepting you for who you are. It takes looking in the mirror and seeing yourself as that priceless treasure."

      Bill, this is some incredible insight! If only every teenager could read this a few times. If we don't love ourselves, how can we love others. So often people try to fit in, thinking that will give them success. If only they knew how wrong they were. Another excellent thought provoking hub uncle Bill!

      I like how you mentioned seeing yourself as a priceless treasure, we are special!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Josh, yes we are! I know you are special and I am lucky to have met you and formed a friendship. It is painful to see so many kids who don't like themselves, and as a teacher there was so little I could do to help them. Anyway, thanks buddy!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      TT, YES! I would have liked you in high school. We could have hung out together and flipped off the cool kids. LOL

      Thanks for that share; I hate seeing the number of kids today who don't like themselves....you can just see it when they are standing around or walking down the street...it's in the body language and it screams "I HATE MYSELF"....sad.

    • girishpuri profile image

      Girish puri 4 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      Beautiful message, i remember Jimmy Buffet ' ultimately i love myself, if you don't that's ok, but i am proud of what i am....great hub, voted up

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Girishpuri, it's hard to argue with that philosophy! :) thank you!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      bill....I shocked myself at the immediate way in which I answered your question...."yes."......I hit it instantly. And now I'm smiling and feeling so damned accomplished and proud........WHY?

      Oh, my friends.....because 20 years ago, I could not have answered this question....or most other questions about my OWN feelings......at all.

      Back then, I would have stared at the questions......read them over and over as if I didn't understand them.....worry about making sure I choose the right one....the honest one......the easiest one.

      I don't have that problem today. Not at all. Sometimes .....damned HARD work really does pay off!!!.....................Peace!! UP +++

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, I couldn't agree more....hard work has paid huge dividends for you and I both. Looking back I would trade one damn moment of my life and that includes the painful stuff that almost broke me. It was necessary because I simply didn't learn unless the pain was great enough.

      One might say that I am a slow learner...that may be true...but I have learned...and today life is incredible.

      Lifting a non-alcoholic toast to you and I my friend, two survivors who made it through.

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      Voted up awesome!

      Billybuc, you don't look like a nerd to me especially not in your baseball uniform. Lol. I really like the message on loving yourself in this hub. For some people, their self-worth is dependent on the approval of others. It's funny how the mind works. A painful event can cause an impact in one person by painful memories or emotions in response to a trigger. Even years later, (Darkness, darkness, be my pillow) you found yourself replaying that event of being called that little nerd in your mind.) I am glad that you were able to conquer it and regain that confidence back. By the way, the mirror exercise is one of the most powerful self-acceptance exercise you can do. "I am worth knowing."

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Love, thank you and your words are true. I do the mirror exercise daily and it never lets me down. :) I appreciate you and your outlook on life; blessings and peace to you.

    • GClark profile image

      GClark 4 years ago from United States

      Very inspirational Hub with a great message. You should be speaking to kids in local schools and help them learn how to make the right choices early in life and to love themselves. GClark

    • CloudExplorer profile image

      Mike Pugh 4 years ago from New York City

      Bill you and I both know, that being yourself takes a great deal of internal works, and its not easy at all. This quite frankly is one of the most difficult tasks for any human soul to truly accomplish, because many of us are misdirected, misinformed, and truthfully misguided by differing trends in society to become followers, as opposed to leaders of our own.

      Now there comes a time in a persons life when they must face the consequences for their actions of shoving their real self to the side, and all of us know how that feels to truly feel alone, in a crowd of so-called friends that shower you with a false love, and false sens of security.

      You my friend have earned the knowledge of self, and shall receive the honorary accomplishment of filtering out those who are fake from those who are real, and to rise up to the occasion to earn real friends, because you have become the real you.

      I commend you on such an high esteemed accomplishment, because the Lord knows to do so is to look inside of your soul, which is physical nor visible. Powerful words Bill, powerful words indeed.

      Voting on this one won't do it its proper justice neither, and I will pray for you tht this hub gets noticed by all those people world wide who need it most.

      Cheers to great hubbing and awesome sharing factors, which this one is getting sent across the waves of networks I'm responsible for conducting on and sharing. Wow!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      This is one the most beautiful Hubs I've read in a long time. It's beautiful because it carries a very important message to anyone who reads it. I was a painfully shy child and felt very unworthy. It took me years like yourself, to begin to like myself. I can honestly say now, Yes, I like myself!

      I voted this UP, etc.etc. and will certainly share so other can read your message.

      BTW You are a very handsome man!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Great hub. I totally agree, each one of us are unique. We should be able to appreciate ourselves. Self-esteem and confidence follows automatically. Voted up. Each and every one of your hubs have many lessons to be learned. I learn a lot from you and you are generous to share all your experiences with us. Your aura shines brightly through your hubs.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      GClark, thank you! I spent a great many years as a teacher and although rewarding, it is sad to see so many kids who do not love themselves.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, I don't know what to do with you. LOL...you are a great cheer leader. We should travel the world on a speaking circuit, spreading the love and reflections we have gained.

      The trip was worth it, Mike! The lessons learned made the pain worth it. I am happy where I am today, as I know you are.

      Blessings and peace my friend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, you are kind and that brought a smile to my face. Thank you! It is a tough road to travel when we don't like ourselves; the journey is worth it, though, if we finally reach that special place of self-acceptance.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vellur, there's that aura thing again. LOL...thank you my friend. I am just giving back that which was given to me and I'm happy if my words help someone else.

    • Voronwe profile image

      Voronwe 4 years ago

      Love this hub! It was so interesting and engaging to read. Thank you for sharing your life experiences. I too hope that many kids and teenagers read your inspiring hubs.

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Darn straight, Bill! :) My peers didn't know what to make of me; I was an officer in ROTC (goofy), an editor on the school newspaper (way cool), a captain on the rifle team (popular), volunteered at the National Federation of the Blind organization (more goofy), attended mostly AP classes (popular), hung out with my little brother at lunch (he was a sophomore) (dorky), and worked in the daycare at the Church of the Nazarene during summer (they didn't know what to make of that). I liked to keep everyone on their toes and me from getting bored. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Voronwe, thank you so much for visiting. I greatly appreciate it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      TT, the same here! Nobody could figure me out, including my parents. Leave 'em guessing,that's my motto. :)

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

      Billy, You really articulate your experiences along with your thoughts in a way that most anyone can relate to on some level. I have painfully learned that joy and self love are something that came to me slowly. Its unfortunate that it took me so many years to have such satisfaction with my life, even with my health problems and so forth. Much of the change in me happened when life beat me down to a point when I finally looked up and knew I was a child of God, and loved unconditionally. I was just okay, and that is peace and joy.

      Your series of hubs have been very eye opening and I am glad you have the ability to give your message in writing and on the video. Awesome hub.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pamela, thank you very much! Your comments always bring a smile to my face. Somewhere I developed a voice that is easily understood. Don't know where it came from but I'm glad I found it. As for learning life's lessons, it took me much too long but it was all worth it.

      Have a wonderful weekend my friend.

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Bill I am Wishing you all peace, happiness and love! You are awesome and you always write such a awesome hubs..and this one is the best.. It really touched my soul.. I needed to read it my friend.. I am 60 will be 61 in a few days.and I have been fighting getting old.. I keep dying my hair.. lol.. Maybe I need to quit.. thank you friend.. sharing

      Debbie

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Sadly, it is something someone must learn for him/herself. I was the weird nerdy kid throughout middle school, started to step away from it a tiny bit moving into high school and college, but didn't really start to...discover myself? Until after college. I spent so long as the strange kid getting picked on it was very difficult to move past that self image. It doesn't matter how many times someone else tells you something, you have to internalize is and believe it for yourself.

      Great hub.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Natasha, you? nerdy? Hard to believe! Your points are well taken my nerdy friend! There are some things we just have to learn for ourselves. Wishing you a fantastic weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Debbie, I understand, I really do! It's a bitter pill to swallow, feeling young on the inside, so full of life, but our bodies are heading in the opposite direction. If this helped you then it is I who is grateful. Thank you my dear and have a wonderful weekend. Oh, I got your book...yours is on the way. Thank you dear!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      i find myself now in a very bad situation. BUT!... I did live a glorious life.

      my wife really did dance with a prince (Norway, when he was attending Berkeley)... those flags really were floating in mid air... I really did deliver toys to thousands of kids. in 2099 cornerstones will be opened and people will say "who the heck was Martin Kloess?"

    • Trinity M profile image

      Trinity M 4 years ago

      Another gem from you billybuc. Your article is so poignant. It brings home all those feelings we have all experienced one time or another. It took me a while to get there too but I've found my happy ending and I am now making sure to instil love of self in my son from and early age to avoid this unnecessary anguish later on. Thank your for this wonderful hub.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mhatter, you are, indeed, in a bad situation. I'd love to be there when those cornerstones are opened. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Trinity, you are becoming a very loyal follower and I greatly appreciate you. I'm looking forward to learning more about you; your profile is quite interesting and I hope you write hubs about homeschooling some day. As a former teacher I'd love to hear your viewpoints on it. Thank you my new friend.

    • Sonya L Morley profile image

      Sonya L Morley 4 years ago from Edinburgh

      What an incredibly moving piece of writing, the video even more so, you are a reassuring presence there, Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sonya my dear friend....I miss you! I hope you are well and thank you for always being so supportive. Sending a big hug your way!

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Billy muy fine friend - The more I learn the more pride I have for the person you are. You stand as an inpsiration to so many who have experienced the same thing. I cring when I look back at some of mine. Such a proud road you can see as you turn and look over your shoulder - while continuing to walk ahead.

      Proud to know you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you my fine Irish friend! I always look forward to your comment; you have a way of making me feel good about my work. For that I will always be grateful.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      I agree that I wish we could learn this earlier in life, but we can't. One thing that can be good however is that sometimes you have scars. You can see the scars as mistakes in the past, but they do not force you to follow them in the future.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michele, I'm a big believe in scars and the value of them. I have them all over my person and a lesson was learned with each one.

    • heavenleigh707 profile image

      Heaven L Burkes 4 years ago from The Invincible Heart of Neverland

      This is so wonderful. Thank you! Low or no self-esteem surely doesn't come from what someone looks like. I have known the most beautiful girls who see themselves as ugly. Having one's spirit crushed by outside influences is so tough to overcome. Hopefully this will help those struggling with a "crushed spirit." It is so empowering to know that we can nurture ourselves to a place of self-confidence. We need not be paralyzed by negative influences from our childhood. Whew. You are a wonderful example of hope and what wonderful things can happen when you refuse to give up! Many thanks!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Heaven, I don't know where it comes from but there ain't no quit in me. :) I truly do appreciate your kind words and I look forward to many more months of following each other and learning as we do.

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      Self-reflection is not for the young. You're wrapped up in what you're peers are doing but sometimes, that is an eye-opener! I like myself sometimes but my self-esteem could be better at times, still it keeps me honest :o). My daughter is only 17 and I think it's harder for her generation than mine.

      Another thought provoking hub Bill -well written, well considered and interesting as always.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Have I not read this yet? I'm working on getting there, Bill. Can't say I love myself absolutely, but I'm working on things. You're such an inspiration--to me and a lot of others out there. Keep it coming! Thanks for writing this.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Julie, I agree, rarely do we see the young practicing self-reflection. I think sometimes we need experiences in order to have something to reflect upon. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vicki, I just try to keep it real and speak what I feel...thank you for your kind words and continued support.

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      Bill, Thank you for sharing your story. I can relate to so much of what you wrote. Before I discovered alcohol, I was one of those people that could never see the value in myself.. alcohol helped me do that but then it turned on me. I learned what it meant to truly feel worthy and KNOW that I meant something to others in the rooms of AA. I really don't know if I learned to love myself first or if I learned to love them and in turn I loved myself... It honestly all seemed to come at the same time.. I just learned LOVE period and it spread out to all areas of my life. Even though I haven't been to a meeting in quite a while, I still haven't forgotten those things and the truth that was planted. Your hubs always remind me of it :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jamie, thank you for that comment and I echo your words totally. AA is where I learned to accept myself, love myself and by extension love and accept others. It's been a wild ride but oh so worth it.

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      The first time I felt that Love was in a treatment center back in 1996. It was after the an evening group one night and everybody got up and held hands and said the Lords prayer. I'll never forget it. I knew at that moment there was hope for me. God bless.. and Happy 4th!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      God bless you as well, Jamie. Have a safe and wonderful 4th!

    • Tactfullyrude profile image

      Tactfullyrude 4 years ago from Idaho

      You are the logic in my storm of confusion my dear friend! What a lovely hub and so greatly written I made my two teenagers read it. After the required 'eye roll' and 'Seriously mom?' they both walked away with a smile. I see my both my boys struggle with self image everyday and it pains me they do not see themselves as the incredible individuals I do! I only hope your insightful hub shined some light on them! I am so grateful to you and your kind words of encouragement and sincerely written hubs! Thank you greatly my friend!!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tact, if I helped in any way then it is I who is grateful. You are very welcome!

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      Vincent Moore 4 years ago

      Yes indeed "Know and Love Thy Self" first and foremost and love will find your Karma. I struggled with Love all my life, I lost much and hurt loved ones around me and placed to much emphasis on money, stuff and my own ego. I paid the ultimate price by losing 3 of my 4 children. My ex pointed out to them that their father was unloveable and they believed her and for the past 13 years I struggled without them in my life.

      Fortunately I kept my sanity even though the bottle also was a close companion and kept me in another world much of the time. It affected my career and changes had to be made. I was able to find my way with help from prayer and close friends.

      Yes my creator decided not to abandon me. I am living proof today like you Billybuc that our ugliness can be recognized as unique and turned around for the good. I encourage the young to feel good about themselves, stay positive on life and don't let negativity bring you down. Be proud of who you are and stay focused.

      I had a tough time with my youngest son and it took me two years to bring him round to being confident. Today he is 18 and his life is turned around for the better, I am very proud of him and he knows it. This was a compelling hub and video and I thank you for sharing it with us. You reached many souls here and I truly believe your words will be shared and passed on to help others. Peace and blessings to you sir.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vincent, thank you, and I am humbled by your words. Thank you for sharing part of your story so others can learn from that as well.

      We have traveled a similar path; for me, pain was the greatest motivator. I had to hurt enough to finally be willing to change. My only hope is that I don't have to suffer anymore in order to learn. This path seems to be working for me so I see no reason to take a detour.

      The beauty of the past is that not only have I learned from it but now I can share it with others so that maybe they can learn something as well. That is my hope and prayer.

      Thank you Vincent! I look forward to our friendship.

      bill

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      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Wow, Bill! As you can see, I'm about a month behind in reading my Hubmail. But everying for a reason! Yesterday, I published a poem I wrote way back in the 70's. It's called "As the Sun Comes Up". It was written about love for who knows who at the time. When I posted it, I realized it was me I love! I've learned so much about myself here, but I digress....

      As an Air Force Brat, I've attended 13 schools in my lifetime. It was hard. I was accepted in Catholic school (grades 3 thru 8) because I was smart. However, upon moving from Philly to Jersey and attending public high school, I was shunned for that very reason. I was smart, so I wasn't cool. I had no "popular" friends and none of the popular guys would date me. That is, until I left home upon graduation. I busted out. I hit every no-no. Then I became popular. But with BIG consequences that I don't care to go into now.

      I began writing poetry. To me, it wasn't poetry, it was a release. It helped me voice and grow. To sort myself out. Much of what I post here on HP is just that. Although, when I do, I see myself in a different light. Most of my yearning for love was not that of someone else, but of myself. I can honestly say now, that I love myself. And much of that I attribute to you and the select few who have bothered to come to know me.

      Awesome hub, my friend. Probably the best in this series! Thank you for reaching out to me. You are a friend for life!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I am proud to be your friend for life. I gravitate towards people like you, who have lived life and learned some tough lessons along the way. How can one really appreciate life unless they have suffered along the way? The pain was necessary for you and I so that we could appreciate the wonderful gifts around us.

      Love you my dear; keep doing what you are doing and you'll keep getting what you are getting.

      always,

      bill

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      What a great hub that I never read before. It's a perfect article to share on my last hub. Thanks Billy

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, thanks Nadine. I haven't seen this one in quite some time. Thanks for digging it up.

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