Love yourself. It’s a common quote. Type it into Pinterest and it’ll appear in a million flowery fonts with several thousand variations on the theme:
Yeah, that’s nice, you’re thinking. It’s a cutesy dose of daily inspiration, and it may make you feel warm and fuzzy for a few minutes or so.
However, cutesy quotes fail to get to the root of the problem.
It is an ongoing struggle to stay in love with yourself.
There, I said it. The Pinterest police are probably on their way to arrest me.
But it’s a good thing to mention anyways.
Any type of relationship requires upkeep. We all have friends that have faded to the wayside because somewhere down the line, we consciously or unconsciously let the lines of communication go dark. It’s part of life. Sometimes you get into fights with even your best friends, or your partners or your family. Sometimes those arguments and irritations heal quickly, sometimes they take a long time to smooth out. It’s never effortless, however, because love isn’t effortless. Sometimes it’s a delicate flame, sometimes it’s a raging fire, but you always have to fed it.
You have the exact same relationship going on with yourself.
No, you are not going to spontaneously decide one morning that you’re perfect, and leap out of bed completely happy with every aspect of yourself, because life isn’t a romantic comedy, and love doesn’t work like that. You have to work at it, bit by bit. And no, I don’t mean you have to go to the gym and wear makeup and look sexy all the time.
I mean you have to make a conscious effort to appreciate yourself, and to not look down on yourself, and love yourself exactly like you want someone else to love you. And then you have to keep doing it, day after day, and know that some days it’ll be hard, and some days it’ll be easy, and everyday it’ll be worth it.
To sum, there’s a beautiful quote from one of my favorite shows (okay, it’s Doctor Who) that perfectly describes what I’m trying to get at:
You know when sometimes you meet someone so beautiful — and then you actually talk to them and five minutes later they’re as dull as a brick; but then there’s other people. And you meet them and you think, “Not bad, they’re okay,” and when you get to know them … their face just, sort of, becomes them, like their personality’s written all over it, and they just — they turn into something so beautiful.
Turn into something beautiful, blackbirds.