Ernest Hemingway once said: “The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.”
I believe this is one of the harshest and more difficult things to admit to when it comes to relationships. The way they transform you. The way your insecurities take over and you start thinking that you need to change for that one boy or that one girl.
You start liking the music they listen to, the movies they watch, the principles they hold dear. And you get so worked up trying to please them that you start forgetting what you like. And so, after some time, you are no longer you. You become a projection of someone else. You lose the only real thing we, as human beings, have: individuality. Sure, it’s rather amazing having someone with whom to share common interests and passions. But there’s something even more amazing; not having to look for validation every second, of every day. Being able to hold on to your core beliefs even if the one you love disapproves of them.
Relationships are not a zero sum game. They might end tomorrow or last forever. However, there is something that will definitely last forever.
You. When it all comes crumbling down, you will still have you. So make it something real. Make it authentic. Make it powerful. Don’t build your world around someone else. Love them, learn from them, learn from everyone. Just make sure you take only the pieces that fit your puzzle.
Think about it. Could you really love someone who was nothing without you? Someone who just follows you around, waiting for you to say or do something, just so they can approve of it, no matter what? You couldn’t, could you Well, nobody really wants that. It’s impractical, it’s boring, it’s the opposite of enticing.
So put yourself together. Take yourself back and remember that nobody will value you more than you value yourself. Stop trying to impress people, especially those who are supposed to already be won over. Say no every once in a while. Above all, be honest with yourself, know your own purposes for what they are, good or bad, make your own decisions firmly and rightfully – and you will be someone you like, for a change.
We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be. It is awful to let the experiences of others define or build us. It results in anger and frustration, from both sides. I don’t enjoy “fake” people. There’s nothing there to learn from; just a carefully rehearsed role. Authenticity, on the other hand, takes guts and backbone. There’s something so beautiful and refreshing about seeing someone being unapologetically themselves.
Make that choice. Be brave enough to be yourself despite everything and everyone. Stop letting others define you before you forget completely who you were before you met them.