Learning to Love Yourself


To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
What happens when you are known for being single and enjoying that life? Well people start to assume that you never think about relationships and never want to be in one. And that's only partially true for me. I LOVE my independence and freedom that comes from being single, but I wouldn't mind having someone call to check in on me once in a while.

I was recently talking with a good friend about my lack of a "love of my life," or what normal people call relationships. I asked her to be honest. I always prefer honesty even when it makes things ugly for a minute or two.
She told me that she believed I was too selfish for a relationship. She said that I tend to think of how things make me feel and what I want to do and that is that.
I was devastated. Who wants to be told that they are selfish? And worse yet, be told that you are too selfish to care about another person in a relationship? I didn't like the sound of the person she thought I was. I don't want to be seen as selfish. I pulled back a bit after that comment, not really sure what to do with it. We spoke a little more on the subject and then moved onto other things. I honestly can't remember a single thing we talked about after that. My mind was preoccupied.

Have you ever been called selfish? No, okay well let me tell you IT SUCKS. Now I take everything very personally and straight to heart. I was hurt to say the least. I had asked her to be honest and she was. But it didn't make me feel any better. With this still on my mind, I waited a few days and sat down with another friend. This time with someone who hates to hurt another person's feelings. I needed someone to help me sort this through and feel better. So again I asked. But differently this time. I first said that friend A told me I was too selfish for a relationship. Friend B said she wouldn't say that at all. She didn't see me as a selfish person. She said I have standards and I know what I want. She said that I am fiercely independent, a trait that a lot of people would kill for. She said all of these things like they were great qualities and that guys probably love me for them. Problem is where are those guys? I can sit on my throne of standards all day, but I'm still here alone?

I felt better after sitting with this friend for a few hours and discussing everything from boys to shoes and hairstyles to what to make for dinner. But I left the conversation still confused. Why am I alone? Is it because I'm selfish? Too picky? Too independent?

Then my girl Hannah Brencher went ahead and wrote "Drop the mic & go find Sarah." Gosh it is amazing how that girl understands just what I need to hear when I need to hear it.
Our self worth isn't defined by the relationships that we have, it is defined by the person we are on the inside and out. Those are my own words.
My girl Hannah, I feel like we know one another and she's my friend... We don't but I think we could be very best friends if I was ever given the chance to meet her. Anywho Hannah wrote about singleness and how much it can tear you apart, especially being single in the south where if you aren't married by 23 you must be doing something wrong? Hannah I hear you! And I'm just 23... A baby in the eyes of some. There are days when I long for the north and the "New York" idea of single - You are young and successful and exploring all your options.

"In New York City, you explore a lot of religions. You meet a lot of opposition. You learn to be accepting and open and real. You mess up and you pair up and you break up and you grow up."

I could sit here and retype everything I found important in her post but we'd be here a while and I'd rather you just go read it for yourself. The jist of it, being single doesn't have to be this awful thing. There is more to this life than having someone to fill in the gaps for you. Because at the end of the day, we shouldn't need anyone else to fill in those gaps for us. You hear it time and time again, but sometimes in the right context the words finally make sense. You have to learn to love yourself before you can love anyone else. 

"We all miss chances when we are digging ourselves into the trenches of self-pity just because we think we should have found someone by now, lived somewhere different, accomplished more."

So here am I complaining about being alone and basically being, dare I say it, selfish. I'm thinking about myself and throwing a mini pity party. But I got my wake up call after reading Hannah's post. I realized, or remember because deep down I always knew it, that life isn't about me, me, me. Life is a shared experience and to get that full experience you need to be open to other people. You need to let other people into your life. You need to go out and find those people. I need to go out and find those people.

"We are all looking for the same thing today. We all want to belong. We all someone to see us. We are all so hopeful that our lives will not be an accident."

We are so caught up in the idea of belonging and being liked that we forgot we have a voice, we have a say in the matter. Our generation is obsessed with the attention that comes from "likes" and "shares" and "notifications" sitting at the top of a screen. We have forgotten how to speak for ourselves because we are constantly being told to chase a new dream, to keep looking for something else. It's really hard to be happy when you are constantly looking for it elsewhere.

CONVERSATION

2 thoughts:

  1. Nice sentiments.. Love yourself....

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don't think you are selfish at all boo. You do you; as our girl Taylor says "haters gonna hate"

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