It is such a scary thing to think that if you ask anyone who is head-deep in their depression how they got there, to point out the exact turning point, they will never know. What is scary about this is that if you ask anyone deep in love how they got there, to point out the exact turning point, they will never know. I have come to realise that the process for these two experiences are the same: Gradually and then all at once.
I am no expert when it comes to love but what I do know is that self-love is one of the most important relationships you can ever have. People are so caught up in trying to find somebody to be with. It seems like not having someone in your life is not a cool thing. I am sorry, but I cannot conform to such behaviour. I embrace my solitude. I urge you to do the same as well. Focus on your life, your goals and focus on yourself. Do not think you need someone to complete you. Become comfortable in being alone so that when someone does eventually show up, you will be choosing them out of love and not out of loneliness. At the same time, I realise that this is easier said than done.
That is why you need to take it one step at time – learn to love yourself in parts. “Falling in love” describes an ongoing occurrence. Therefore, it is important to understand the art of falling in love with one’s self and then later on with another person. What is important to realise is that falling in love is a choice more than it is a feeling. When you wake up in the morning you have to make a conscious decision to choose yourself. Learn to choose yourself every day. Learn to find things to adore about yourself, even on your ugliest days.
Falling in love with yourself is an ongoing process, not something you just arrive at over-night. Things like depression and anxiety get in the way of you really reaching this level of self-love and appreciation. There may be times when you find it difficult to function like a “normal” human being, times where you are numb to everything and other times where you are completely consumed and overwhelmed by it all.
You become exhausted because you feel like you have to carry the burden by yourself because it is easier to do it alone than to try and explain to someone else what you are feeling when you yourself do not even know what the hell is going on. So you find yourself pushing people away and hurting those around you and hurting yourself in the process too. You reject the love given to you by those who claim to love you all because you feel you do not deserve it. At night you can feel your bones straining from the burden you carry.
You are exhausted. You do not want to get up in the morning because then you will be expected to make it through the day. On days when you do force yourself out of bed and out of the house, you try and be as quiet as possible so that you do not attract the attention of anyone in public. You do this because you know that you do not have the strength to hold a full conversation and even the usual “Hey. How are you?” small talk is too much of a challenge that day. So you walk around in silence within the shadows. Before you know it, the floor is more familiar than the ceiling and you have misplaced your happiness.
How do you find your happiness again? Retrace your steps and see where you started, where you went wrong, how you got here and how to move on from this place. Go back to a time when you were living and not just existing. Shed your old skin from the past. Forget whatever made you like this but do not forget the lessons it taught you. You are not your mistakes. You are not defined by who or what made you this way. We are all entitled to emotions. We are all entitled to hurt. We are all entitled to heal.
When you look in the mirror, it’s hard to find things to love about yourself sometimes. Just because you do not look like someone who you think is beautiful does not mean that you are not beautiful yourself. It has been said that flowers are pretty but so are Christmas lights and they look nothing alike. You are not ugly. What created the stars also created you. You are every bit of light in all this darkness that surrounds us.
Love yourself in parts until the whole is finally bigger than the sum of its parts. Learn to love yourself so much that you eventually arrive at a place where you can look at yourself and be able to say “I love you. I love all of you.” Practice self-love until you are confident that you love all of you enough to promise yourself that you will love even the parts you have yet to discover.
As important as it is to love people and spread love, it is important that you practice spreading love within yourself too. How does one spread love within themselves? It is an ongoing process. You are learning to love yourself in parts. You do not owe anyone a “Good morning” message. You do not owe anyone a “Goodnight” text. You owe yourself a “Well done” and “Thank you” note to self. Congratulate yourself for finding the strength to get out of bed and making it through the day.
Thank yourself for keeping it together while fighting battles that nobody can see you fighting. Feed your soul with positive vibes. Feed your mind with positive thoughts. Feed your heart with love. Learn to appreciate yourself. You belong to yourself before you belong to anyone else. You owe it to yourself to do more than just exist. You owe it to yourself to live. Choose love.
When you begin to choose to fall in love with yourself every day, you will arrive at a state of happiness the same way you arrived at your state of depression: gradually and then all at once. Choose happiness.