You Spend Years In A Classroom, Yet They Never Teach You How To Love Yourself

Stephen Paul
Stephen Paul

They don’t teach you how to hurt. How to truly hurt, to truly feel every inch of your body on fire and be at peace with it. To see your grandfather or your brother grieving in front of you, to see your mother throw herself into the plot and beg for the world to take her too. They don’t teach you how to hold someone who is delicate and lost, who just needs to feel the sincerity within your cells against their aching skin. They don’t teach you how to cry with your best friend, how to compassionately be there for another human being because you were once there as well.

No, they don’t teach you how to love. How to truly love, how to selflessly commit to someone else, how to give your heart to another human being and trust that their palms won’t crush your gift. They don’t teach you how to love yourself, how to build a temple within your ribcage that doesn’t wax and wane with validation, that doesn’t turn to ruins in the midst of your confusion. They don’t teach you how to stand alone, in pure confidence, in ruthless certainty of your matchless heart.

They don’t teach you resistance, resilience. They don’t teach you how to make ends meet, how to get up each and every solitary day as a single mother or a struggling twenty something when all you want to do is sleep. They don’t teach you how to live with your demons, with your disappointments, they don’t teach you how to figure out who you used to be before you allowed for your flaws to define you. They don’t teach you how to push, how to truly push back at life when it closes in on you, how to remind yourself of white-hot light in the midst of a sapphire dark spell. They don’t teach you how to survive.

See, if math were a life lesson we would learn how to count the number of times we’ve been let down. We would learn to subtract all of our pride, leaving us with understanding, leaving us with a will to persist. If geography were that of existence, we would take fieldtrips to the redwoods and breathe in their beauty, we would learn about how the universe is mapped out within our veins, how the Milky Way and Cassiopeia are dancing within our brains. If art were a life lecture, we would take a magnifying glass to the cracks within our bodies, and we would see just how whole we are in spite of them, just how artistic our own wounds can be, like famed Renaissance mosaics, like chipped one hundred year old paintings.

No, they don’t teach you what it takes to be human, what it takes to be real. For the reality of life thrives in our experiences of it. The marrow within our bones is made up of practice; it is made up of the memories that defined us, the moments that surprised us, that hurt us, that challenged us. We are walking, breathing lessons, our cities are our institutes, our peers are our professors, our mistakes are our tutors. Make sure you are constantly educating yourself; make sure you are constantly learning. TC mark

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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