I am learning to love myself

Not in the commercialized
“Self-care” way
But in a way that makes me 
Defend how I feel
Without making myself small,
Without masking my emotions.
Self-love means allowing myself
To take up space.
Understanding that I do not need to limit
My self-expression for the sake of protecting
The people around me from their misplaced shame.
Learning to love myself means
Learning to let go of the
Shame, judgement, and hate
That I have been carrying around
For everyone else.