I was in 8th grade when I got my first girlfriend. To make a long story short, it didn’t work out. To me she was beautiful and fun and I cared for her deeply while being overly ambitious about how our relationship would last.
After a few months of phone calls, text messages, and seeing each other as often as we could, I discovered that she had cheated on me at a party with her ex. She had been caught making out and all of her friends proceeded to tell me in front of everyone at school.
The reason I tell the story is not because this is a life altering thing. I’ve learned a long time ago that this is something pretty much everybody goes through in school relationships and learn from it and continued on.
The reason I told this story is because of what advice my mother gqve me after this happened. This advice is something that I have told countless people whenever they are going through gigantic breakups with huge, heart-wrenching pain. It is the single most important thing my mother has over told me and it is changed my life forever.
I was downstairs in my basement and I was bawling my eyes out over my heartbreak. I’m sure I was listening to some All American Rejects, or the like, at a volume that was completely unnecessary. My mother came downstairs to check on me and saw me sitting there. She did not run to my side to check on me. She did not put her arms around me and hold me. Instead, what she did was look me flatly in the eye and say “It takes a greater love to forget the last”. Then she turned around and walked upstairs and left me alone.
I was shocked. It hit me hard and straight forward. It hit me square in the heart and mostly, it just made sense to my core. In my darkest hours, I have held onto these words and their truth. I have proclaimed them from the rooftops and have spread the word as a true disciple. It gives a sense of hope and truth and also gives you something to look forward to: to find somebody who will take all the pain away.
There’s just one problem: she left a part out. In this journey I have discovered a new alternative, yet potential option, for this scenario. I did not know this at the time and it took me almost 15 years to figure out this alternative. For the phrase should go, “It takes a greater love to forget the last, so make sure it is self-love.’
Relationships are not here to fix you. Relationships are not here to make you into the person you want to be. You do not need to have someone else in your life to inspire you. If you live like this, you are a drain on that other person. If you truly love someone, then you need to be self-reliant and self-assured. Become someone that you love and others will flock to you. Become yourself Love in essence. Become an embodiment of love. This is not easy and this will take time, as I can vouch for. But I have never cared more for myself than I have during this project. I have never blatantly and so completely looked out for myself and cared for myself and love myself as I have through this project.
It is an exhausting process that it took me over 15 years to realize that what I’ve been looking for and waiting for I could have been doing myself. My mother is right, as always, but was waiting for me to find the final piece. What is important is that she needed me to learn this myself. By learning this myself, I’m no longer dependent on others to make me feel loved and cared for.
I’m working towards the radiating self love. I don’t want to be alone anymore, or I should say I don’t want to feel lonely when I am with myself. I want to be happy with who I am, but in order to do that I am the one that needs to do the work. Showing how much effort I put in has always been the way that I show people how much I love and care about them. I go above and beyond and jump through hoops for others because that is how I show and prove that I care for them. Now, it is time I show that for myself by putting in the work and the effort to become the person that I would love and care about and also to make sure that I take care of myself.
I’m going to start right now. I’m going to take myself out for dinner.