In 30 days I will be 41, and I plan to spend every day from this one to that one learning how to love me. I am at a point in my life where I can honestly say that I have spent the better part of my adult life not knowing how to love or be loved. I have to admit that as a child, I did not always observe healthy love. I saw a lot of hurt. And even now, I struggle with recognizing what healthy love looks like. With that being said, in many ways I have been just going through the motions. Now please understand that I do not say any of this to hurt anyone, I only say this to be honest with myself, and to say that over time, I have learned that people love others the way they want to love them–be it healthy or not. I saw this firsthand. And for many people, myself included, just being loved was enough. This used to be the case for me. But it isn’t quite that simple anymore.
Recently, I came across a quote about love from Iyanla Vanzant that resonated with me and made re-examine the complexities of loving and being loved, she said, “I always say you don’t get to tell people how to love you; you get to choose whether or not you want to participate in the way they love.” Her expression made so much sense to me. What if the way I’m being love isn’t good for me? What if it isn’t love at all? It was then that I realized that I have a choice in whether or not to accept the way others love me, but to do so, I first need to figure out how I need to be loved, and the best way to do that is to love myself.
Check out Kendrick Lamar shouting “I Love Myself”
Something we should all do.