Loving Yourself Sometimes Means Putting Yourself First

“I love him.”

I don’t have enough fingers on my hands to count the times that I have heard this phrase come out of a friend’s mouth after getting her heart crushed by the same boy who has hurt her a million times. Regardless of how many times the boys have lied and even cheated, my friends have continued to love them endlessly and as much I want to say I don’t understand it, I do.

It is almost guaranteed that we can’t choose who we fall for. I mean of course we can choose who we get into a relationship with but often we can’t stop the process of falling for that person, especially after we entangle ourselves so deeply into their lives. That’s why it’s called falling, right? Because on the way down, you feel like you’re floating.

But what happens after that moment when you land? When your feet are firmly on the ground and it is no longer about falling in love but being in love? Why does no one talk about the moment when love, lust, and the honeymoon stage no longer cloud your vision and you’re able to see all the wrong that they have done?

Well for my friends, they just ignored it thinking that if they gathered enough water and set the room to the right temperature, the cloud would come back over their eyes. It didn’t. They were all left wondering where it went wrong. After really looking at the situation, I realized that if they go back to the beginning, they might realize that this probably started earlier on, before they even met them.

They might even realize it started with themselves.

You see, for my friends and probably many other people out there, it isn’t difficult to realize why someone isn’t right for you. The difficulty comes from letting go of that person especially after you’ve dedicated so much time and effort into making it work with them. There’s a solution to that though. It’s simple but not easy, it's one my friends ignored by putting themselves second. It won’t make letting go an easier, but it may make it more manageable. It’s realizing that by letting go of that toxic relationship, you’re nurturing an even greater relationship; the one with yourself. It's learning to love yourself.

Loving yourself isn’t treating yourself to ice cream or binging a Netflix marathon. Loving yourself is about reminding yourself that your needs come before the needs of others, especially when constantly losing yourself in others starts to take a toll on you. I don’t want you to read these words and think that no one will love you until you love yourself because that isn’t the case because there are people who look at you and see the whole universe in your smile.

Learning to love yourself is an ongoing lesson, one that you will be learning for the rest of your life. It’s taking time for yourself, stepping back and making sure you aren’t losing yourself to anything or anyone to the point that you become unrecognizable to yourself. Learning to love yourself means coming to hard conclusions and facing that fact that maybe they don’t love you if they are treating this way. It means making hard decisions and loving yourself enough to want only the best for your life. Learning to love yourself isn’t easy; it’s getting into a relationship with yourself and becoming completely attuned to your needs and what you deserve.

It may not be easy, but I promise it’ll be the best relationship you’ll ever have.

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