Learning To Love Myself After Him

Learning To Love Myself After Him

You are beautiful before and after someone convinces you that you are.

Tatum Oxford

Most of us have met someone who saw much more within us than we saw within ourselves -- someone who brings out the best in you, encourages you to do what makes you happy, and truly cherishes your company.

Having met someone during a time of low self-esteem, what happens if they leave?

Will you go back to not seeing all the obvious reasons you are beautifully made? Will you continue to tell yourself all the positive remarks they once told you? Will you assume they were simply too nice, or even lying to make you smile rather than be sad?

When I was fourteen, I did not love myself. I did not see what others saw in me. I was hurting too deeply to think positively. Then, I met a boy who would ultimately change my life.

He asked questions -- so many questions.

He genuinely wanted to know me for who I was. He invested time into listening to my stories and reasoning for how I ended up feeling the way I did at the time. Something within him stirred. He saw just how similar we both were. He and I were far more mature than most our age.

We were two young people who grew up too fast in order to handle what life provided. Although he was extremely handsome, with beautiful blue eyes and luscious blonde curls, he didn't consider himself to be handsome. It was just like how I didn't consider myself to be beautiful. I'd tell him not to worry about jelling his hair, because his curls were so perfectly attributed to him. He'd tell me that my happiness was more important than being unhealthily skinny; he'd tell me that my petite body was beautiful and didn't need a single change. How did we, two intriguing and raw people, ever doubt ourselves for a second?

Somehow, in a moment I would forever hold sacred to my heart, two beautifully broken people held each other. He hugged me and said, "You're so beautiful. I hope you begin to believe you are. You're perfect to me." I told him how humbled I was to have met his beautiful self, and that I knew we were on the brink of a wonderful journey.

We shared our writings with each other. We learned and practiced playing guitar together. We encouraged each other to continue standing up for what we believed in -- which was mostly anti-bullying during that time -- no matter how bad the repercussions were. We lost friends because they realized we no longer were willing to support their cruel behavior. We lost what felt like everyone, but we had each other. We had each other, and that's all that mattered.

Our bond fluctuated between dating and simply being friends a few times, given we were both facing adversities that truly challenged who we were as individuals. He always made sure that when I needed time to heal, or "get better", that I would do it on my own with the resources I had. He was always there, but he never wanted me to link my growth to him, but rather to myself.

Two years -- two beautiful years is what life offered us together on this earth.

Life takes turns, sometimes for the best, and sometimes for the worst. This turn was tragically both.

You were forever too pure for this earth, therefore I had a sense that you were where you belonged. Selfishly, I hated the world for taking you from me. I lost my absolute best friend. I lost a believer in me, someone who had shown me the beauties within myself and life as a whole.

I haven't played guitar since. Writing has been my best coping method. Believing in myself took a very, very long time.

It's been two years since you passed, and I have finally learned how to love myself. I'm sorry it was so prolonged, but I didn't have your hugs or words of encouragement at my dispense. I had to be that person myself. I had to be my own best friend.

Have you ever tried to befriend a bully? Seems nearly impossible, right? That's what it was like learning to love myself.

I freaking love myself, and I want to scream it from the rooftops.

Thank you for instilling a faith within me, for myself.

This is a reminder to anyone and everyone, that you are beautiful BEFORE AND AFTER someone reminds you that you are. You're qualities don't change when someone leaves, you're just left to see the best in yourself by yourself.

It is such the challenge, I know... But you will finally start to live once you've learned to thoroughly love yourself regardless of who's in or out of your life.

At the end of the day, you only ever have your own back. Strengthen your spine. You are strong.

You are so very loved.

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