I know it’s been way too long since I’ve posted and it’s because I haven’t felt right doing all these inspirational and fun posts without addressing the elephant in the room. I haven’t discussed it for a number of reasons, but it’s officially time. I can’t duck and dodge it anymore. Nor do I want to.
I’ve learned more than I ever thought imaginable about love this year. And I learned it while going through a divorce. Yes, you read that correctly. I will give you details on that at a later date because I need to organize the information in a way that’s beneficial to the people reading. Today we are not talking about the details of mine. But we are talking about something major that I learned. Going through a divorce is like being an expensive porcelain vase and then being dropped onto the floor. Shattered into a thousand pieces.
While you are on the floor, at your lowest, you can suddenly see yourself fully. All your innards are out in the open. Your lies, your secrets, your denial, your mask. You can’t hide it. And while you are on the floor you have a decision to make. You can take the easy route, and pick up the pieces you can find and try to put that same vase back together. If you do this, there will always be pieces missing. You’ll always have holes. You’ll always be cracked. A shell of what you used to be. Or you can take the hard road. The hard road is sweeping up all the pieces you can, grinding them down to dust, adding water, and creating a whole new pot. It’s taking what you were already made of, all that you’ve experienced, and turning it into dirt to create something beautiful. Something new. That’s what I chose to do. And let me tell you, pulverizing your own heart because it’s what’s best for you is nothing to be glamorized.
People like to tell you about the empowering part of it, and it is, but they don’t like to share the hysterical crying, the crippling insecurity, the anxiety attacks, the tossing and turning at night, the constant questioning of yourself, the self sabotage, the isolation, the paranoia. I’ve had to be picked up off the floor. I’ve had meltdowns in the grocery store. I’ve cried on vacation. I’ve been out at 3am trying to find anything to do so I didn’t have to go home. Home haunted me. Maybe people don’t share it because they don’t want to discourage people. Or maybe it’s because the reward is so great that it dulls the pain of the hard part.
Going through that changes you. Hopefully for the better. It changed me. And it taught me something invaluable about love. Something that could have saved me from all the pain in the first place (although,in hindsight, I needed the pain because it was my teacher). It taught me that it all starts with me.
I’ve taken for granted the saying “love yourself first”. But now I get it. I get how crucial it is. And I’m not talking about that basic bubble bath and take yourself on a trip self love. Im talking about something much deeper than that. I’m talking about loving yourself in such a way that other people’s nonsense is so foreign to you that you are repulsed by it.
If you want someone who is honest, be honest with yourself. Stop hiding who you are and what you want. Accept the awful parts of yourself and own them. And then work on them. But stop pretending that you aren’t jealous of Perfect Patty. Stop telling yourself that you want to be a doctor to save lives when you really just want to feel important and impress your parents. If you want someone who is consistent, be consistent. If you say that you are going to work out three times a week, do it. Every week. If you say that you’re going to get together with your friends once a month for a girls night, then put the date on your calendar every month and follow up with your girls. And follow through. If you want someone who helps you to become your highest self, then stop bottom feeding. Stop complaining about the things in your life that you have the power to change and CHANGE them. Hold yourself accountable. Make yourself better.
These things are not guaranteed to find you a great partner. But they will make you better to yourself and to the people you interact with. They will also teach you what you deserve. When you stop BS-ing yourself, you stop tolerating other folks’ BS, which raises the caliber of people you entertain. And, well, you know the rest.
So, it does start with you. And you do need to love yourself first. Not in a cheesy way. In a pragmatic way. I’m not saying it’s easy. In fact, it’s exhausting. It requires endurance and commitment to constant progress. But you know what else requires those same things? Sustaining a relationship. I know you caught that.
Happy loving, y’all!