Learning to Love
Through writing and through this outlet I have been so graciously able to speak my truth and to talk about my inward struggles. And as I learn and as I grow in this life and with the, for lack of a better word “baggage” that I carry with me, I think it’s important to tackle the outward struggles that I too have faced in dealing with my disordered eating/thinking. We’ll start here, with love–
“How you love yourself is how you teach others to love you.” Rupi Kaur
For so long time I sought acceptance from men who would tell me the things that I wanted to hear, filling my head with compliments I desperately searched for. They threw the temporary validation hook and I bit the bait time after time. I so badly wanted acceptance for who I was and for what I looked like no matter what the cost. Every validation came with a new high that inevitably turned into an even deeper low. It took a long time before I learned how to decipher between the compliments out of lust and the compliments out of love. I used my body as a means to an end hoping that maybe if a man would fall in love with it, then maybe I too would be convinced I loved it the same.
I won’t carry on without saying that I don’t blame (nor do I regret) a single moment or frog I kissed along the way because I believe in the lessons and I believe in the growth and now, for the first time, I can honestly say that I believe in love both from another human and more importantly, for myself.
After some time (and I’m talking years), I learned that if I wasn’t willing to respect myself, I could never expect someone else to. How could my heart be open to love another’s when it was filled with so much hatred for myself. It was time to be better for ME. It was time to stop using and abusing the body that was worthy of so much more. In order for someone else to love me, I had to first learn to love myself.
So, to the woman that doesn’t feel good enough, to the one that feels like she doesn’t have anything more to give other than the precious body that she’s been given, know that you are worthy of love. Know that it’s not too late to start anew, to walk away from a life that keeps taking you back to the lonely place of use and abuse. Know that you are strong and courageous and there is a man out there who will reignite your flame when you feel like it’s burning out but it’s up to you to light that spark. But until then, I encourage you to wait.
Wait for the day that you no longer need the validation, but instead seek a companion that brings out the best in you. Keep waiting if you haven’t found someone who supports your dreams or you haven’t yet discovered them for yourself. Learn who you want to be and forget the lies that tell you who you think you should be. Wait until you believe the man who tells you that you’re beautiful and know that without a doubt, you alone (or with another) are perfectly made in the image of the creator that sculpted you into the amazing being that you are.
You and only you have the ability to set the standard for own life and know that there is a heart out there waiting to compliment yours but first you must seek to fulfill the one that’s beating in your own chest.
Carry on warrior.