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I’ve been thinking about love a lot lately. Not necessarily romantic love, but self-love. Ugh, I know. I kind of hate the phrase “self-love,” too. Self-love has become an influencer-based, cliche term, and as much as I hate using it, I think it’s necessary to think about.
There is so much pressure to find other people in life. There is so much pressure to find someone to love. There is so much pressure to find friends who like you. There is so much pressure to be something to someone else. There is just so much pressure in general. Sigh.
My food for thought is that while other people are important, no one is ever as important as yourself, and I stand by that. I constantly hear about people “finding their other half,” as if their main life goal is to seek something outside of themselves. If this is something that you want to do, go for it. But, if you feel the intense pressure of finding other people to complete your life, you’re looking in the wrong direction.
You have always been whole. You were not born missing a piece of you. While we do spend our lives searching for something, that purpose does not need to be another person. You are enough as is. Welcoming people into your life should always be for your benefit, not to please other people.
With that being said, I know it can be really hard wrapping your head around the idea of living a life just for yourself. Sometimes, at least in my case, I run so far off the tracks that I forget why I’m doing what I’m doing with my life. It’s times like these when I realize I need to take a step back and ask myself if the things and activities I fill my life with are truly for myself. Does this really make me happy? Am I becoming the version of myself I want or what I think other people want of me?
All these questions tie back to the idea of self-love. Even though I’ve heard the phrase many times before, I always find myself noticing that I need to love myself before I can love anyone else. This goes for you, too, believe it or not. As selfish as it may sound, we need to not only love ourselves, but like ourselves before anyone else.
In fact, I’ve found that the people we tend to hate the most are ourselves. I can be so mean to my mind and my body, putting myself down before I even get the chance to prove my potential.
I’ll be honest. I don’t have a well-thought-out recipe for how to love yourself. I don’t think anyone really does. The self-love articles, books and podcasts you consume are usually just a lot of fluff and Pinterest quotes. While that can be helpful on the surface, no one really knows what they’re doing when it comes to making themselves feel better about their lives.
So, while I know this is hard, and all the issues surrounding self-love certainly cannot fit into one newspaper article, I do know one thing. You aren’t going to find the key to self-love in someone else.
I’m all for having romantic and platonic relationships, if that’s your thing, but it can’t be your only thing. You were not put on this Earth to constantly wonder what you can do to get other people to like you. People aren’t going to like you. They aren’t. So, if no one can fill that role, you’re going to need to do it for yourself, buddy.
Start doing less of what you think will make other people happy and more of what makes you happy. Because, at the end of the day, you’re the only person that will always be in your life. Every other character in your story can come and go at any moment. You are the consistent being.
Above all, the most important thing to know is that you are not broken. You are not lost. You don’t need to search for the answer, and you don’t need to stress over where you went wrong, because you didn’t. You are here to grow, to learn and to create for yourself, no one else. So, the next time you go looking for something, instead of a lover, look for yourself. You are your number one priority. You better start acting like it.
If I held my heart up to the sun, light would shine through, not because there’s a piece of me missing, but because I’ve had experiences that have cracked, scratched and stabbed at my heart. Despite these scars, what’s important is that my heart is still whole. So is yours. It always has been. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.