While I could go on and on about all the people who played an important role in my journey to self-love, there are two people who I owe the most praise; my two big brothers.
Being the baby, and the only girl sibling in the family, made for an interesting dynamic. While I loved playing dress up and playing with my dolls, there was something about a game of super smash brothers, and fighting each other with wooden swords that just really made me feel at home. There was something about them, my brothers, that always just felt right. And it still does.
Growing up, in my mind home always looked like the big log cabin I grew up in. Home was the five acres we lived on, and the long drive way that led back to our house. But as I got older and the world stopped shining the same way I had remembered it, home just seemed so far away.
Somewhere along the lines I got lost. I lost my sense of safety, my idea of home, and myself. I stopped believing there was good in this world, and I fell completely and utterly out of love with myself. I picked myself apart piece by piece until all that was left was this burning hatred for who I once was. I was so lost, I gave up on the idea of ever being found.
I may have given up on myself, but there were two people who never gave up on me- not for a second. When I thought I was walking alone in the darkness, they were there, one hand in mine and the other holding a lantern to guide me to safety step by step.
There is something about the love between older brothers and their baby sister that even the strongest of hate cannot stand a chance. I didn’t know that then, but I sure do now.
There isn’t one easy answer to explain how they did it, how they brought me out of it, and brought me into their arms. All I know is they loved me. They loved with an unconditional love, and they loved me enough that eventually I decided to take their word for it. If they could love me without hesitation, and I loved and looked up to them more than anyone, then I owed it to them to trust them too.
So, I took a leap of faith, and landed in their loving embrace. And when they caught me, I caught a glimpse of myself. Suddenly the world stopped spinning a million miles an hour, and I saw myself in the reflection of their eyes. I really saw myself, for the first time in a long time. I saw what they had seen all along. I saw a beautiful girl, who was worth loving.
I know that they know I love them. But there is something about expressing that love for others that is so rare yet so incredibly special. We don’t tell the ones who mean the most to us how much they truly mean. How have I waited my whole life to tell my two heroes just how big of heroes they really are?
If there is one thing I learned most from them, it is the power of love. And they loved me so deeply and vastly, even when I was so incredibly hard to love… that I owe it to them to return the favor. For a long time, I didn’t have enough love inside of me to even know that love existed. But they, they filled me up with love to the point where I am overflowing with it. I am filled with self-love, but I am also bursting at the seams with love for others, especially those two. So, if my heroes are reading this, I just want you to know, that your love saved me. And my love for you is always here to do the same. Thank you for never giving up, for being you, and for loving me with a love that only brothers could possess. I love you, and because of you, I know all I have to do is see your smile, and I’ll be home. Because home isn’t a place, it is people. It is you.