Loving others is something that's always been easy for me. But the concept of self-love was never something I could grasp.

I'd have flashes and moments of it, but true love for myself - I never had it. I took the easy way out, and let others love me - and tricked myself into believing that with their love I could love myself, but I was wrong. Through tons of tears and heartbreak, I realized that if you put your love and happiness into someone who is not yourself, every single time, without fail, they will disappoint and break you. I realized that you have to have the love and happiness in yourself, and then find someone who is the perfect addition to it. Even knowing the missing puzzle piece was loving myself, I was scared of the journey that loving myself would take me on. But for other people hesitant to change paths and learn to love themselves, not just other people - let me tell you, it is well worth the journey.


In the society we live in, love is talked about all the time. But it's always about loving someone else, when we should be teaching people to love themselves first. Loving yourself isn't just about loving your physical attributes. It's about loving the quirky things about your personality, loving your uniqueness, and loving yourself even when others may not. It's about being okay with being alone, and not caring about what people think of you because you are authentic to who you are, and wouldn't want to change it for the world.


Now, don't get me wrong, though. I'm not saying that learning to love yourself means there will never be days where no matter how many outfits you try on you think you look fat in every one, and that you'll never think that maybe a certain person deserves more than you can offer. Because you are only human, those moments will still occur, but they will also pass. Self-love means even throughout the ugliest of times you know that, with some faith and love, you can make it through it. Just think about it - you are your longest commitment in life. So how can you truly be happy if you don't learn to love yourself?


The road to self-love is rough, bumpy, and filled with twist and turns. But then the day comes when you look in the mirror and think you look beautiful, and someone will be cruel to you and it doesn't bother you the way you used to because you know who you are. The time will come when you spend the whole day alone and actually enjoy it, because you've created your own happiness. And the best part is the empowerment you feel when you realize you created this love and happiness within yourself, so no one can take it from you. It's embedded in you. Nothing compares to the moment you truly love yourself for who you are. So take the risk, take a chance on yourself and not others for once, and see where the journey of self-love takes you.

As August Alsina says in his song Encore, "love yourself, and learn to love this thing called life".