We pick people who are terrible for us because we all remain unconvinced of our tremendous worth. We walk around with our heads down and music blaring — tuning out a world we feel unworthy of. We don’t let ourselves see color in the world, because we feel inferior to it.
We live in a digital age where we’ve all been told that our worth is based on artificial beauty, showcased on Instagram apps and filtered photo galleries. We are worth the number of likes we get on our ~ hottest ~ pics. We are worth the number of unsolicited DMs we get on Twitter. We are worth the number of Tinder matches we manage to rack up. And it’s never enough — how could it be?
We read defiant internet articles about how we deserve a “fairytale love” and hope to be convinced. But we aren’t. We have late night wine sessions with our BFFs, letting them drone on about how “worthy” we are of love. But we don’t believe them. We listen to defiant songs by inspirational pop singers, but those empowering lyrics belong to them, not us.
There’s always someone better than us, always someone hotter, always someone more talented. So we hesitate, we hedge our bets. Do we really deserve to go “all-in” for someone truly awesome? How can we? It won’t last, they will find someone better. All they have to do is open the menu of other people. We don’t believe in ourselves. We’re selling ourselves short. We see ourselves as an outfit discarded in the clearance department, with tons of other designer clothes around us.
Because we have blemished skin, or a receding hairline, or big ears — or whatever. We have anxiety, we have an illness, we struggle with an addiction. We aren’t worthy, that’s what we tell ourselves.
Our society has conned us — made us believe that *we* are the only imperfect human amongst a civilization of flawless beings. But we are not. All humans are flawed. All humans are beautiful.
We pick people who are terrible for us because that’s what we believe we are worth. We are worth the boy who calls us ugly, or the girl who mocks our sensitive side. We are only worth relationships that are broken because we ourselves are broken. That’s what we’ve convinced ourselves.
We pick people who are terrible for us because those are the people who want to make us dependent. Those are the people who tie our worth to them — because *nobody* else could love us. But it’s a lie.
We pick people who are terrible for us because we believe the alternative is to die alone. We think that someone is better than nothing, and that no “someone” who is “something” would settle for us. So we allow ourselves to get stuck in a never-ending cycle of toxic people because we don’t believe that we deserve better.
We pick people who are terrible for us, but we don’t have to.
We live in an era that celebrates our failures and diminishes our triumphs — but we don’t have to. Every single one of us has something that makes us unique, powerful, and awesome. Find that thing. Put that thing on a pedestal. Wake up everyday and tell yourself, “I am f*cking awesome at THIS THING. It doesn’t matter that my skin isn’t perfect, or I don’t have six-pack abs. Because I have this thing.”
Remind yourself that beauty from within is forever, while physical beauty fades. Eventually we will all have sagging skin. Eventually we will all have wrinkles. Eventually all our six-packs will fade away, and our hair will thin. But your internal beauty, your skills, humor, love, and passion is forever. Hold those things dear. Use them in your everyday life. Celebrate them.
Slowly begin to believe in yourself. Carry yourself with confidence — even if you only have a tiny bit.
Take that tiny kernel of confidence with you wherever you go. Hold onto it, and work it into everyday interactions. Grow to believe in yourself. After all, you are the only you in the world.
Then, let your value raise. Realize you are worth it. All of it. Stop accepting people who treat you anything less. Look for people who share your values, and share a high valuation of YOU. Chase the people who check your boxes, and then pick a person who treats you amazing. You deserve happiness. You deserve love. You deserve it all.
Then wake up one day, laying next to the person you love — don’t reach for your phone to check your DMs or Instagram likes, but instead — reach for your partner’s hand and hold it. Be happy. Be content. Be loved.
Realize you are beautiful now. Realize you were beautiful the entire time.