I am learning to love myself

When I was in my early teens I had a mad crush on a boy.

The subject of my love (the boy) changed pretty regularly.

What remained constant was the mad crush.

I felt like I would do anything to make him happy. I loved every little thing about him, even his quirks. I wanted to give him everything.

Until I lost interest, met another boy and began again.

The thrill and devastation of the mad crush roller coaster.

One day, in that vast, cold, gray, dry, empty expanse between one crush and another, I wondered if I had ever felt that mad love for myself.

Would I do anything to make me happy? Could I love every little thing about me, even my quirks? Would I give me anything?

I decided it was time to set aside the boy crushes and instead nurture a new kind of love. It seemed like a better investment of my time and energy to love someone I would always have by me, who would never neither bore me nor leave me.

Thus began a shift in my perspective.

I wasn’t dieting because a boy wanted me to be thinner. I was eating better because I wanted to be healthy. I was taking care of myself.

If someone wasn’t sure how they felt for me or wanted me to be someone I wasn’t, rather than wanting to cling and desperately figure out how I could make them love me, I instead felt I deserved better.

I stopped being interested in those who weren’t interested in me.

Instead of wondering how on Earth I could be good enough to deserve someone’s unconditional love I became pickier about who I loved. This selectiveness did not come from a place of arrogance but from a place of self esteem.

I became more comfortable with uncertainty because I trusted I could probably figure out how to deal with whatever happened next.

I began to believe in myself, because that’s what you do when you love someone.

I have learned the importance of spending time alone because I need to reduce background noise so I can listen to myself. How am I feeling? What do I need? What is it that I’m trying to tell me?

I recognize where I need help and give myself the space and the tools to bolster those areas without judgement and without being hard on myself. For example, I have a tendency towards anxiety, so I search for things that calm me (I try to go to yoga several times a week and pay attention to how I’m breathing.)

I try to be what I am looking for. I want to be loved with a love that is true and deep and stable. I want someone who will always want what is best for me. I want someone I can count on.

That’s what I work on becoming for myself.

Shared by Dushka Zapata on Quora

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