There’s just something about love that makes us crazy. Maybe it’s the way we’re wired or maybe it’s the way other people make us feel...either way, I’ve learned that love is a powerful thing; and it’s bigger than me.
I’ve learned over the years that I’m a sucker. No matter how much I try to fight it or act like it doesn’t captivate me, I fall, each and every time. I neglect love at every turn but it always finds me on the next block; it’s my balance. But at what point does that become toxic?
Better yet, why is it easier to love other people more than I love myself?
I could write a list of everything that I “love”: my parents, siblings, my boyfriend, poetry, friends, superheros, movies, FOOD, sex, etc. But, how long would that list get before I named myself? Mind blown right? I know, it blew my mine too. We get so caught up with the external waves of life: our friends and their issues, how many likes our photo got on Instagram and everything in between. What does it take to focus on ourselves? Do we have to almost lose ourselves to regain that focus?
I sometimes question what true self-love looks like; wondering if it’s something I truly give myself or if it’s just something I tell myself in an attempt to make myself feel better. There’s no rulebook to this shit; and I’ve learned that no one taught me about self-love because everyone is trying to figure out how to do the same exact thing. Even the most confident person in the room has low days. Confidence is a daily struggle, some are just better at faking it than others. Am I saying that the love that people have for themselves is fake? No. What I am saying is that self-love would be a lot easier if we were just honest with ourselves. We try to impress those around us; acting more confident than we actually are. Fueling our insecurities with the need to appear “put together” and “just as good” as everyone else. Everyone admires the girl who is always smiling and never misses a beat; everyone wants to be her. The harsh truth is, we aren’t all there.
We often confuse “where we are” with “where we want to be” and then name it “self-love”.
I’ve learned that self-love starts when you can spot where it lacks; when you can be honest with yourself about where you are. We often confuse “where we are” with “where we want to be” and then name it “self-love”. Nah, that’s just being hopeful. There’s nothing wrong with being hopeful but it becomes toxic when we consider that to be truth. We begin living a lie in hopes that we’ll one day be good enough to fill that void and reach that pinnacle. By living that way, we’re constantly chasing something that honestly doesn’t exist; we just want it to. And that ladies, is the recipe for self destruction. When this reality meets our hopefulness, we expose ourselves to ourselves. Some continue living the lie because it’s just easier that way. I, on the other hand have decided to face that head on.
I saw where I was, and I was honest about where I wanted to be. The hardest part? Trying to bridge the gap.
I no longer wanted to “appear” to love myself but I desired to actually love myself and admitting that truth made it so much easier. If I listed all the steps I’ve taken (and am still taking) to get where I am, we’d be here all day. But I will say, it included detoxing myself of other people; what they’re doing is completely irrelevant to my journey. I stopped searching for validation from social media and men.
On days that I felt low, I stared in the mirror and praised the curve of my smile and the brightness of my eyes. I made everything about me. Egotistical? Narcissistic? Call it what you want; but I can confidently say I am no longer living a lie. I went from being the loudest person in the room to being the girl that doesn’t feel the need to prove herself to anyone. I’m enough for me and I need no one to validate that.
All of this is a lot easier said than done, trust me. But if we aren’t honest with the feelings we have towards ourselves, we only make it that much harder to achieve true self-love. Even if you never admit it to anyone else, be honest with yourself. Know the difference between where you are and where you want to be. But most importantly, don’t knock yourself for not being there; encourage yourself to keep going. Besides, the ride is some much more enjoyable when it’s fluffed with peace of mind instead of lies.
Jandeltha Rae is a 25 year old creative from Minneapolis. With a love for words, poetry is her vice; it's her most powerful outlet and biggest aide through her journey. Outside of poetry, she has a love podcasting as host of If Anyone Cares (If-Anyone-Cares.com), modeling and photography. She enjoys making connections, making people laugh and just vibing with other beautiful souls. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter: @jandeltha_rae
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