We all want to
be loved, right? Attention is nice. It's good to feel wanted and appreciated.
There's nothing wrong with wanting the affection of other people.
But can I ask you something?
Who's going to be there for you when no one else is? You. You will have to be there for you at some point in your life. Sometimes no one will have your back, even though you've got friends and people who care about you. Sometimes you'll be alone.
So when you're abandoned, alone with your own thoughts, that's crunch time. That's when everything you've learned up until that point becomes all you have.
So I'll ask you again, if it isn't you, who's going to love you?
I can tell you that I've been on both sides of the coin.
I've tried to love people who couldn't love themselves. I've tried to "fix" those people, I've tried to save them, I've tried to help… But I can't force anyone to better themselves. That's something I'm still learning. I think that some of the people in my life need to learn that too, that they are the only ones who can help themselves. Let's be honest while we're at it: we've all second-guessed our love for our significant other. We may not want to admit it, but it happens. Usually, we just remind ourselves with a list of what made us fall in love with them to begin with. But I can tell you that it's hard to make that lust when the person you care about couldn't put a single thing on it.
Is it even possible? Speaking long term, is it even possible to constantly reassure someone, to try and change their mind about themselves, to work so hard to make it work with someone who won't match your effort? Is it possible?
By that same token, is it possible to love someone else when you can't even love yourself? Everyone says they can do it. I know I thought that I could. All the time, people on the Internet are like, "I never loved myself, but you, I loved you with every breath in my lungs," or something overly dramatic like that. Maybe it feels like loving someone makes you invincible, like you can face everything in the world that you couldn't face before when you're a teenager in love.
Assuming teenagers even know what love is, and I'm fairly certain that most kids my age don't have a clue.
I like to think I know what love is, but I don't really know for sure. I'm only 16, and I know that I don't have all the answers yet.
But I do know what it means to love yourself. It's something I've struggled with for the majority of my life. Up until a little less than a year ago, I didn't have a clue. Most days I thought I was decent enough, some days I even liked me.
But loving yourself is something entirely separate. Loving yourself means not beating yourself up for wrong turns in life. Loving yourself is being happy the way you look every day, regardless of what outfit or what mood you're in, because you appreciate the body you've been given. Loving yourself is taking pride in what you do well, and being willing to admit that you have talents. Loving yourself means knowing that trivial things like weight on a scale or a GPA don't define your worth as a person. Loving yourself is forgiving your past and future mistakes. Loving yourself is being thankful for the life you get the chance to live.
Loving yourself means treating yourself the way you deserve to be treated.
Because let's be honest: if you aren't thankful for what you have, you don't deserve it, let alone anything "better."
Self-love means knowing you're a good person, and you don't need to change to please anyone else.
Self-love is an art that I've only just discovered over the past year.
Don't settle for not hating yourself. It's time to embrace your faults and celebrate your virtues. Because you're perfect just the way you are. I swear it.