The Fabrication Of Self-Love

The Fabrication Of Self-Love

Loving yourself is not an easy feat, but something only you can do.
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Sometimes, you believe to be home to the most confusing things in the world. Your stomach is a swirling met of sensation and speculation, and you live everyday with complete uncertainty and a probable backlash from another side of yourself. Though you feel you are a part of the sun and can ride on its bright beams, you also lurk in moonlight and walk the dark streets with power in each step.

I’ll tell you this. Don’t let people take up space in your head for free. There are seven cardinal sins and seven virtues to vanquish your bursts of self-doubt. And from that, start showing up in the mist of the morning for a communion with your fears. Don’t let people and their words spider their way into your mouth, nor feel bad about spitting them out, saying no, and standing your ground. When you lack confidence, and hunch over with rocks settled between your vertebrae, let go of apologies. Embrace the fiery red within you, and search in the bleakness of space for a bright light. Though sitting in the same seat in class, the same coffee order, and the same morning routine is comfortable, strive towards being uncomfortable. If you’re going to fuck up, fuck up big.

Loving yourself is difficult. It’s nothing you can pick up overnight, nor is it something that somebody can offer to you in the palm of their hands. It isn’t something you can find in other people, it isn’t tucked away in a chest on top of a magical mountain. I believe it is a mystery and is something you accumulate through the yarn of time. The self-yearning and aching for love is extremely real, and I believe it’s a battle between finding it or never finding it.

God, isn’t it selfish when you open your mouth and tell the truth. Nobody wants to hear it and nobody wants it from you. Everybody just wants you to listen. Absorb what’s thrown your way, and be good. To swallow the knuckles off your thumbs, wrap yourself in a thick cloth and follow the river into the deepest parts of the ocean.

But tough love is the sweetest medicine. Keep searching in the bleakness of space for a bright light. Acknowledge the desire and dreams kept hidden in your stomach, take that lantern you’ve been providing for everybody to see, and lock it away for a little bit. Let others hold it up for you. Don’t let anybody consume your spark and look for love in the smallest places - the tea in your honey, the golden sleepiness you melt into before you go to bed, the pitter-patter of footsteps and the warm feeling you get when you’re with your best friends.

“You have to love yourself because no amount of love from others is sufficient to fill the yearning that your soul requires from you” -Dodinsky

Cover Image Credit: Didem Arslanoglu

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I Drank Lemon Water For A Week And Here's What Happened

It has already changed my life.

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There are so many health crazes out there now, it's hard to tell what actually works and what doesn't; or more importantly what is healthy and what is making your body worse. I read about simply drinking lemon water and I figured that didn't sound gross or bad for me so I figured I would give it a try. I've been drinking it consistently for a week and a half and I already notice some results.

I've never been a fan of lemon in my water, I always refuse it at restaurants. You definitely have to find your sweet spot in lemon to water ratio, in what tastes good to you. I personally cut the lemon into quarters and use on quarter per day. I put the lemon quarter in the bottle and then continuously fill with water throughout the day. I still get the yummy lemon flavor all day because I do not squeeze the lemon. It took about a bottle or two to get used to the lemon flavor, and now I just crave it.

Lemon water is supposed to speed up your metabolism. Obviously, a week is not long enough to tell if this is fact or fiction but I have noticed a change in appetite. I feel like I do not get hungry as often as I did before. I saw this effect within 24-48 hours of starting the experiment. This seems opposite to a fast metabolism but we'll see.

I definitely feel more hydrated with lemon water. I drink a lot of water anyways, about 80 oz a day but for some reason with the lemon, it makes me feel better. I don't feel as sluggish, I'm not getting hot as easily, and my skin feels amazing. I am slightly skeptical though because the lemon almost makes my tongue dry requiring me to drink more water, so I have upped my intake by about 20oz. I'm unsure if the hydration is due to the extra water, the lemon, or both!

My face is clearing up and feels so much softer too, in only a week! I have not gotten a new pimple since I have started my lemon water kick, may be coincidence but I'm not going to argue with it.

I also feel skinnier as I feel like I'm not holding as much water weight. I only exercise lightly, for the most part, walking around a mile or two a day so we can eliminate exercise factor to the slender feeling.

I have a messy stomach. Everything upsets it, and even though lemons are very acidic, they have not affected me in a negative way at all. It almost seems like the lemon water is helping me digest the difficult foods that my stomach doesn't like. I'm nowhere near a doctor so don't trust my word but it seems to be working for me.

From the effects I've felt so far, it also seems like lemon water may be a great hangover cure! I haven't tried it but I don't see why it wouldn't work. I can't say a negative thing about drinking lemon water so far expect you have to buy the lemons! If you try this for yourself though just make sure you are using an enamel saving mouthwash or toothpaste since lemons aren't so great for your teeth.

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Learning How To Cope With Rejection

"We are stars wrapped in skin, the light you are seeking has always been within." - Rumi

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"Life sneaks up on us every once in a while and gives us something we didn't even know we wanted, and lights within us a love we didn't even know existed." - Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines

I've never really been someone who needs other people to motivate me. Whether it was schoolwork, going to the gym, or trying new things, if I ever want to get something done, the motivation has to come from me. If I don't complete a task, I may try to pass the blame but deep down I know it's on me. However, knowing this about myself can sometimes be frustrating because often my eyes and dreams are bigger than I am willing to work for.

I can't count the number of times I have dreamt about a music career with stadium tours and platinum records or going to a top-tier university and getting the opportunity to create a successful start-up company. Sometimes the dreams will seem simple like planning every moment of my dream wedding or visualizing the day I have my first child. While all of those dreams would be amazing, I know they will not all come true. But that is not necessarily a bad thing.

I realize now that I can create my dream life out of what I do have, not out of what I wish I had. As Rumi said "the light is within" and I just need to find it. I know that good things don't just get handed to you, you have to work for them. But my brain works a little differently. When something doesn't go my way, it if anything makes me work even harder.

In December of 2016, I found out I got rejected Early Decision from my dream school. Sad, mad, and generally disappointed, I avoided this topic of conversation with everyone. It felt like a summer of essay-writing, test-taking, and four years of hard work had been thrown out the window. But it motivated me. It made me want to achieve something to prove them wrong.

Of course in the way that I deal with most emotions, I wrote a song about it and, with the help of my sister, posted it on my YouTube channel. It was a productive way of dealing with the rejection. Now that I am almost halfway through my second year at Emory, I truly believe it was for the best because it lit a light within me that I don't think could have come from anywhere else.

The university that I thought was my dream school told me they didn't want me. I built a thick skin (or thicker skin) with their rejection and gained a lot of strength because I had to. I'm sure I'm not the only person they have taught this lesson to and I'm sure I won't be the last. My heartbreak gave me more strength than I could have imagined and still motivates me to achieve greater things, things I thought were only a part of dreams.

"I am going to make you so proud" -Note to self.

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