Happy Day 13 of Love, my friends! Today’s entry comes from my friend Emma. She is such an incredibly passionate and gifted writer and human being, and I treasure any time I get to hear or read her words. She has such a fierce, resilient heart, and it’s been so cool to see her work to honor that heart more and more. She is so good at pursuing things she loves and just honestly sharing herself – she recently started a Bookstagram (@quietmountainreader) and I LOVE seeing her all her posts. She is hilarious and so good. I absolutely love the perspective she brings to self-love and receiving love.
“I am. I am. I am.
I don’t like the sentence “nobody will love you until you love yourself” or “you can’t love someone until you love yourself” or any of the variations. How inherently cruel are these thoughts? I know they are meant to be said in a helpful way to encourage self-love, but for me they have always done more harm. I’ve found this sentence to be false over the years too. I have never NOT loved myself. I have disrespected myself, held myself in low regard, treated myself with apathy and disdain, but never was I without love for myself. I love myself so much it brings me to tears. That’s why I cry when I remember the pain 18 year old me felt or when I remember the first time I kissed a person I loved. I can see little Emma in sepia in my brain and I love her to bits. I have just been too unkind to her.
Instead of thinking “you can’t love someone until you love yourself” what would happen if instead we said “if you don’t recognize your own value, you are not doing your beautiful self justice. You are more likely to put up with you don’t deserve, my darling. You deserve more.” The first is more negative self-talk. Feel that breath in your lungs, going in and out? Feel the blood rushing through your heart and filling you up with red hot love? That’s proof of how much you love yourself. You keep yourself alive—you love yourself.
When I started therapy late last year, we discussed these thoughts. I am so fully aware of my capability to love. I love hard and I always have, but I don’t let myself get enough love. This is the year that I will. I will embrace my friends. I will check in on them and tell them they matter. I will stop settling for relationships that don’t do me justice or make me remember the vitality I feel in my veins. This is the year of embracing self-love.
You are so deserving. Love like crazy, recognize yourself, listen to what your body needs and what your soul needs. Never be ashamed of loving yourself.”