There are two things you need to know about me:
1) I’ve never really been the head-over-heels in love type of girl.
2) I used to be the most insecure person I knew.
I’d always thought that I would never really be able to let anybody in until I learned to really love myself, on my own, and be happy within myself, but it turns out we all need a little bit of help sometimes.
I’ve always heard the statement that you ‘need to love yourself before anyone can love you.’ and now, I can see just how toxic that statement really is. Why can’t I be worthy of someone’s love when I’m not feeling myself? Why does being insecure, or worried mean I’m less of a person? It doesn’t.
Falling in love is an experience that’s a little different every time, but each time you can take something away from that regardless of how it ended. And I’ve used that to get to know myself better, and eventually, fall back in love with me too.
I was taught that I was beautiful. Not just when I’d put on an hour’s worth of makeup, but when I’ve just woken up and my hair is a mess all over my face. I learned that each curve I’d spent so long hating is actually perfect and I’m allowed to think that.
I was taught that I was funny. That I could make people smile, and really laugh so hard their stomachs hurt.
I was taught that I could be kind. That I could really make a difference to someone’s day.
I was taught that I can be appreciated. And not just for the big romantic gestures, but for all the small things that I do every day. And I learned that I should expect that from people in my life.
I was taught that I was clever. That I could grab someone’s attention when I talk and have them listen. Really listen. And that what I have to say matters to somebody.
I was taught that I’m wrong sometimes. But being wrong and making mistakes doesn’t make me a bad person, it just makes me human. I’m allowed to be flawed and I shouldn’t have to hide my weaknesses in fear of being judged.
Being in love doesn’t solve all your problems. It doesn’t automatically make you a better person, or complete you. But, if you can open yourself up to being loved and try to see yourself the way your partner does, maybe you’ll find things about yourself that you never saw before. And even if the love doesn’t last, the lessons you’ve learned from it can last forever.