I was told that I would never truly love another being without loving myself first. That was something I have pondered on throughout my teenage years. Loving myself first… what does that really mean?
I would always reassure myself that I must have love myself simply because I do not hate myself. I actually like what I see whenever I see myself in the mirror. Looking at those giant thighs, that imperfect hair and that far-from-perfect complexion, I tell myself that I’m not half bad and that someday someone must be capable to look past those imperfections and be able to love me the way I want to be loved.
Through the years, I have been through numerous romantic relationships. I was obsessed with finding the right one and the minute I realized that the person I am with that time will not love me for me I would easily drop them off. I was actually consumed by those insecurities that I would always think that the person does not deserve the mediocre me they love right now.
Loving yourself was not as easy as just not hating yourself, it was more than that.
I got out of my most recent relationship 9 month ago and by far that was the best roller-coaster of emotions I have had in my life. I have been with him for 6 months and those 6 months were life changing. It was a toxic relationship, I’ll admit, because we were both emotionally immature and we did not have anyone to guide us because aside from our close friends our relationship was kept a secret.
It was hard lying to people about where I would go whenever I meet him for a date. It was also hard talking silently on my phone to not raise awareness of who I am talking to or what we were talking about. It was hard, but I was willing to put up with all the difficulties just to have stayed in a relationship with him.
The first parts of the relationship, it was indeed good. It would leave a smile on my face for days and I always felt euphoric when I am with him. Someone saying “good morning” when you wake up, “Have a good night” before you go to sleep and hearing “I love you” every after a phone call will bring you to happy places that you thought you would never be in. It was me finally saying that it was a dream came true. I loved him more than I have ever loved anyone before.
But things change and people change.
We would always fight and he started saying mean things to me. Him texting me started to be a chore for him. He would not pick up my calls. He would always reject me when I ask him to meet me up somewhere. He would make me wait and wait and finally he would not show up in dates. Then in the end, I found out that he was already cheating on me with another girl.
I was willing to forget and forgive all that and acted like nothing happened because I love him so much. That even though he cheated, used my financially, and him being a jerk to me, I would still want to be in a relationship with him because I love him. I would still do everything to make him stay and not let him go because I love him. That’s when I realized that this needs to stop because I love myself.
In loving him, I started to forget myself.
I forgot that I was smarter than him. I forgot that I go into a premiere nursing school in the Philippines while he’s taking hotel and restaurant management course somewhere in Taft. I became so submissive that I even forgot that I was a year older than him. Yeah, I know it sounds really romantic being a martyr and all but let’s face it; it only should happen in movies and not in real life.
I can’t let someone treat me this way. I know my worth and I would never let other people treat me any less than what I deserved.
When you realize your real worth, you would stop giving other people discounts. Loving yourself means that you would put yourself first above anything else not because you are selfish but because it is necessary.
Don’t hesitate to remove toxic people in your life. Yes, it would cost you several lonely nights in your life where you want to take that person back because you thought you cannot live without him but trust me it will be fine. Once you have finally moved on from this gloomy chapter of your life, you will taste sunshine again, my dear, and you will be happy.
So to my ex-boyfriend, thank you for helping me find myself. If it weren’t for you, I would not be in this level of high woman empowerment and of increased self-worth. Thank you because in losing you, I found myself. And it was worth it.