Treat Yo’ Self, first.

Sometimes the hardest person to fall in love with is yourself. It is so easy to become consumed in the world and pleasing everyone around, that we forget the most important person in need of attention. Our hearts are spread so thin trying to love everyone that we don’t save anything for ourselves. The most important person we can love, we neglect. We push ourselves to the bottom of the totem pole, to chase after that one we can’t catch. We obsess over the idea of being in love; to the point that we think we love someone. But we don’t. We love the idea of being in love.

As a society, we love the idea of being passionate, deserving, and bonded to another person without working for it. We focus on the possible outcome of one night together and day dream of it turning into forever. We focus on what we did, not what we didn’t do. We focus on the superficial features we find in someone upon our first impressions rather than the rawness of their hearts that could be found, if we ever stopped to look at them deeper.

We settle into a pattern of letting mixed emotions depict our moods when we shouldn’t be letting the exhaustion of this stuck in the middle atmosphere mean anything to us. We are so consumed with the idea that if someone is interested in us, but doesn’t want to date us then we should settle for that. We use up the entirety of our heart to make these half way lovers decide that they want to coast in the middle. You should love yourself more than those people who only want to shift from side to side in your life, you should love yourself so much that you don’t give people the choice to sway as they please, because you’re so enchanting that you radiate their days and they just can’t help but to fall madly in love with your soul.

But how can you expect someone to fall in love with you if you are not in love with yourself. How do you expect someone to face your fears when you’ve not yet accepted your own flaws? How do you expect someone to fall in love with your guarded heart that you hide from yourself? How can you expect someone to love every part of you, when you haven’t even loved every part of you? How can we open our hearts to let a stranger in, if we don’t open our hearts to accept the reflections we see in the mirror? Asking someone to love you, when you haven’t loved yourself, is like asking for a rainstorm in the middle of the desert. It rarely happens, and when it does, you begin to think it’s a beautiful thing. But in the end, it was just a quick drizzle that faded to grey and when the sun came back out you were right where you started. Still trying to find some shade to protect you from the only person you need to love more than anyone- yourself.

I’ve been there. I’ve been afraid to let myself into my heart, because it seemed selfish to treat myself better than I had ever been treated by someone I thought loved me. I didn’t want to openly fall in love with myself and my life because it meant that I would be going the journey alone, and fighting through the madness of this life in a one woman army equipped with a lot of self-doubt and a lot of people trying to hold me back. But I took the chance at falling in love with myself first, and finding out that the greatest you ever expect to be treated, can only come from how well you treat yourself. Don’t wait on someone to come sweep you off your feet, go get your own damn treat and know that you deserved it because you are you and that’s all that matters. Stop waiting for someone to treat you, the way that you should already be treated by yourself.

Open up to the ones around you. Let your friends know your thoughts, fears, dreams, and desires. Let your mind wander into new places, and find the courage the experience things alone. Go out by yourself, travel alone, sit in a hammock while reading your favorite book, take care of yourself for once before going out of the way to do something for someone only half deserving of your time and affection. Allow yourself the room and space needed to grow into your own; allow yourself enough depth to tread water on your own without looking for the closest life raft you see. Allow yourself to struggle and experience life as an independent unit. Discover yourself within your journey, instead of trying to find yourself in others. Fall in love with yourself, the route you took to become yourself, and the flaws that make you, you.

If you don’t love yourself first, you cannot expect anyone else in the world to love you in your entirety.

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