Happy Valentine's Day

For this challenge, I wanted to share some writing I did in late 2021 that I still come back to when I feel low. Love comes in all kinds, but the hardest kind to do is loving yourself.

Loving others can become loving yourself.

When you see who you used to be, what do you think? If you could talk to them, what would you say?

I know the answer is different for everyone, but I’m proud to say that I’ve reached a point where I can look at my past self, look them in the eyes, and say “You make it through. Things get hard, and people leave, but that is not because you aren’t a good person. It is not because you’re unworthy.”

It’s ok that you are sad. It’s completely natural to be unhappy, even if you know there’s people in worse situations than you. Whether someone drowns in 7ft of water or 200ft of water, they both are still drowning and need to be saved.”

You are not unloveable. Just because the relationships you’re in don’t fulfill you entirely, doesn’t mean you aren’t loved. They care about you, many just don’t say it. You’re going to impact so many people because of nothing more than being yourself. You are growing into someone beautiful and someone who is good to others and to themselves.”

I can take her hand in mine and as we connect through space-time, I would tell her not only is she loved, but that I love her. We reach a point where we love us, and we have enough love in us to share with others.

And I know, in my heart of hearts, my 7-year-old self would agree, if a bit confused. And if we saw 17-year-old me, we’d comfort her together, remind her that just because she cannot see it doesn’t mean we’re not there, loving her, living her, being her.

I can turn to my future and know my 20-year-old self, my middle-aged self, my old and creaky self, are looking back at me with that same fondness, that same longing to be in the previous time just to remind ourself that we are loved. That just because we fail, we look stupid, we make poor decisions, doesn’t mean we are not loved.

And if you can’t get there yet? Maybe you love other people. Love your friend for their laugh, your sibling for their wit, your family for their acceptance, a stranger for their outfit. And that’s beautiful too.

Being a person who loves is to be a person full of life, of respect, of vibrant exuberance and soft appreciation. You do not need to love yourself yet, you will work up to it one day, and your future self will love you for how hard you try, even when you don’t feel like trying at all. Those around you can love you enough in the meantime, for your laugh, your wit, your acceptance, for you.

Because you are love, in and of itself.

How do I know this? Because I love you, just as much as I love my past and my present and my future. Because you are a part of that. You are a part of me. Fleeting or forever, know that in this moment you are loved, you were loved, because I love you.

Just, love.