It’s the hardest when you don’t love yourself because you’re too busy giving to other people, trying to please other people, and you don’t know why you keep doing it when all it does is keep you from caring for yourself. Maybe it’s habitual. Engrained. Somehow a part of who you are.
Maybe a toxic relationship forced you to give too much, trying to save what was already gone. Maybe you feel a personal sense of loss when things aren’t going right for the ones you care about. After you clean up the mess from the night before, the party’s over, your mind is clouded over, you’re alone in your room – in dead silence – sitting on your bed, thinking, “I wish I loved myself as much as I loved others.”
You look in the mirror at 2 in the morning. Mascara is running down your face as you wash it, and you wonder how and when everything got so tangled up. You notice the circles under your eyes, and try your hardest to think back to when you didn’t look this tired, and alone, and vulnerable.
As soon as one bad thing ended and you finally felt okay again, your loneliness threatened to fill the room, echo against the walls, cut you open again. You realize that finding yourself isn’t so easy. It’s all fun and games until you realize you lost yourself somewhere trying to give too much of yourself.
In your mind, you play it all back to yourself, every interaction, every relationship, every failure. There you are, searching to find yourself in other people. It’s the same pattern over and over again. You look in the mirror again, but you know no amount of makeup can cover up the dull, empty tiredness that reflects back.
You have layers upon layers of tape stitching your very being back together, but you know full well that it’s ripping at the seams. It’s just not strong enough. All your struggles and all your tribulations have pushed you to your limits – and while you’re still here, you’re being tested. You know there’s no one who can help heal you, except yourself. You know that only you can fix yourself now.
No amount of trying to put yourself out there when you’re not ready to, trying to validate yourself with other people, trying harder than you know you can give, trying to find someone to fill that void, none of that will get you there.
What you can do in this moment is accept that life doesn’t come without struggles. Emotions are complicated. People will come and go. Things don’t always go the way they play out in your head. I’ve learned that certain experiences will hurt, but it’s all a lifelong learning process. If you learned something new about yourself or became a better, stronger person as a result, then it wasn’t in vain.
Don’t be so hard on yourself for feeling the way you do right now. What’s more important is being honest with yourself, asking yourself why, understanding that there’s likely a deeper-rooted reason to your emotions. After all, our past experiences are what shape us, and it’s okay to feel a certain way because there’s something that our past has taught us. Don’t forget that.
So be yourself. Live for you. It’s been hard, I know. Take care of yourself, and love yourself.