Remember to Love Yourself First

Remember to Love Yourself First

How many times have I done it? Take on the suffering of someone else, thinking that I can somehow fix them? I’m not quite sure if I do it because it allows me to redirect my attention and focus my efforts on someone else or if I do it because it allows me to solve other people’s problems (and I like solving things).

I label myself a really good lover. I love to travel. I love artisanal coffee. I love well balanced cocktails and the ability to sit in a dimly lit lounge surrounded by exposed brick and mahogany furniture. I love falling in love. I love holding hands, hearing people’s innermost dreams and fears, and discovering seasonal produce in some vibrant green market. I love being in an overpopulated park sitting alone, feeling close to others physically, while being able to feel so incredibly isolated from them emotionally. I submerge myself in writing, reflecting on the world around me and my experiences. This somehow brings me a sense of tranquility. As if somehow, I’m one step closer to figuring out some indescribably large puzzle.

I love meeting new people. I love the opportunity to dig my hands into the cavernous spaces of someone’s chest, like a surgeon, searching for the parts of them that need fixing. Only now do I realize that I fix people so that they learn to need me. I want them depend on me because in a lifetime full of nothing but failed relationships, I need someone to need me.

I have been forced on, lied to, betrayed, cheated on, and manipulated yet somehow I keep believing. I believe in the capacity of love and the enormity of its healing powers. But I let myself believe if you love someone enough, you won’t let them leave. I become preoccupied with perspective and (erroneously) make someone’s inability to love about me. I am indispensable. I am not enough. I am not needed. It is this that is the hardest point to acknowledge. h

Hard to think, say, or write. No one has needed me, enough. No one has loved me, enough, not even myself… and this the crucial thought that needs rewiring.

I go around waving metaphorical positivity pom poms. “Believe in your strength!” “All you need to know is that you are worthy!” In reality, I forget to say these things to myself. I accept less than I deserve. How do I do it? How do I lose sight of my worth? I do it by getting lost in helping and loving others before I do it for myself. I give them all the energy and affirmations: “you are so incredible” and “you are amazing” and when I’m done, I have nothing left for myself.

I keep living the same narrative because I have not yet chosen, to break free. I have not chosen to live in whatever decisions build self love. This is the exhausting part, knowing the journey ahead of you; the potential loss that inevitably comes from realizing you are not the best version of yourself, yet.

I remind myself that I am deserving of love. I am worthy. I have given but I need to give more, except this time to myself. I can’t expect someone to love me the way I want to be loved if I don’t choose to do the same.

I am a really good lover. I am good at loving. This time, I’m gonna choose to love myself, first.

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