I have spent the majority of the last few weeks thinking about love and how we love those who mean the world to us. When deep in thought about this topic, one of my favorite quotes came to mind: “We accept the love we think we deserve.” At first, the quote merely sounded euphonious (the equivalent of something sounding aesthetically pleasing) and it came from one of my favorite books- but as the maturation process continued, I’ve come to resonate with this relatable phrase.
After falling in love and watching my friends fall in love, I have observed the very real impact of self-love. See, if someone you love (whether it be a friend or someone you are head over heels in love with) falls in love with people who treat them so much less than they deserve… then they are most likely are under the misguided belief that they do not deserve to be beautifully loved. As someone who loves this person, it breaks your heart to watch them hurt and settle for rain- when they clearly deserve the rainbow. But at the end of the day, there is something I need you to remember. As much as you love them, you cannot fix them- and that is okay.
If your friends are either falling in love with people who treat them horribly or they sabotage relationships with people who shower them with the tender love and care that they so rightfully deserve- there really isn’t much you are able to do. You can try talking sense into them and reminding them every second of every day that they are settling and that they, in fact, do deserve blissful happiness… it won’t change anything; which I am sure you have come to realize by now. Your friend needs to walk this hard path on their own and of course, you can hold their hands and support them through it, but ultimately this is a self-discovery. The only way your friend will ever realize their worth is if they realize what they are worth- you cannot do it for them.
If the person you are in love with picks people who treat them terribly or broke up with you, despite you doing everything right- they truly believe that they are not deserving of the love that you give them and either left the relationship, due to self-destruction or never started a relationship with you because they think you are worthy of more than them. I understand that this not the impression that you are under. It’s so much easier for us to see what someone else is truly worthy of, whereas they are drowning in their insecurities and self-doubt; they are unable to see their own worth. You need to understand that there is nothing wrong with you and that this is not your fault. Despite popular belief, you cannot love them into loving themselves. It is an active choice that they need to make. You are willing to treat them exactly as they deserve, and that says a lot about you. One day they will come to realize that you are exactly what they deserve- hopefully, it won’t be too late by then.
Love is so confusing and beautiful, simultaneously. It’s an intricately-woven web that seems impossible to figure out. But one day, it will all make sense. And then all the pain would’ve been worth it. As a little reminder for that ‘one day’ that you are holding on for… I’ll leave you with another of my favorite quotes from Perks of Being a Wallflower.
“I know these will all be stories someday, and our pictures will become old photographs. We all become somebody’s mom or dad. But right now, these moments are not stories. This is happening. I can see it. This one moment when you know you’re not a sad story. You are alive. And you stand up and see the lights on the buildings and everything that makes you wonder. And you’re listening to that song and that drive with the people who you love most in this world. And in this moment, I swear, we are infinite.”