Mary J Blige once said, “How can I love somebody else if I can’t love myself enough to know when it’s time to let go?” Have you ever held on to a situation with someone, but you knew it was over? You’d known for a while that it was over, but instead of letting it go, you kept trying to breathe life into a dead situation. It’s the idea that something in you could carry whatever this is on your back long enough for it to be something more than a complete waste of your time.
People like us do it all the time, and believe it or not, while doing it, we sacrifice ourselves every time. I’ve concluded that it’s not us, but it’s the fact that we become so caught up in the romanticized fantasies that we create in our minds. It’s like damn, I’m not asking for too much, am I? I’m just asking for things to go my way for once!
The problem is, almost nothing ever goes the way we want it to. It’s our expectations that leave us feeling like we’ve been cheated, when in reality we were just settling for less than what we deserved. The truth of the matter is, if we loved ourselves adequately, then we wouldn’t have been caught dead accepting anything less than what we deserve. In no way am I saying that differentiating between what you have and what you deserve is an easy process, because it isn’t. Honestly, that 15 minutes of bliss and temporary consistency can feel like everything, but what happens when it disappears? I’ll tell you what: We begin to question ourselves and wonder what we did wrong. IT’S YOU… IT’S ME… IT’S All OF US! We settled for way less than what we deserved, and in turn, we were shown that those scraps were just scraps. After we accept that, then finally we’ll see everything for what it is and realize just how much more we deserve.
With all of that being said, I have one question that deserves an answer: How much do you love you? At first glance, the answer to this question would be something like: Too much! A lot! Then there would be plenty of ways we’d describe how much we “love” ourselves, but do we? Do you love yourself so much that you stick to your set boundaries? Do you love yourself enough that you don’t sacrifice the self you’ve built for over-romanticized expectations?
Now, when we put it into those terms and then break it down, how much do you love you? Don’t be embarrassed or stung by the obvious answer. You are not perfect, as none of us are, but you have the tools at your grasp to fix what is wrong. We all do, but it’s up to us to take the necessary steps to learn to love and care for ourselves the right way. That way it won’t be us next time—we’ll encounter and manifest what we deserve instead of what we desperately settle for.
In so many, words self-care isn’t what we do for ourselves, it’s how we do ourselves. It’s about how we love ourselves and exhibit it. It’s not so much the money spent on expensive trinkets for ourselves but more so the boundaries we set in place for our sense of self. So, again it’s not him, it’s you… It’s all of us. You haven’t learned the appropriate way to love yourself.
Don’t feel bad—I haven’t either, but I’m willing to learn. This is a new journey for all of us.
Here are two big ways we can all practice intentional self-love right now.
- Stop saying yes when you actually mean no. Be honest, because honesty puts you at ease with yourself. When you are honest, it sets boundaries. Honesty can be the birthing place for boundaries. Stop going home overthinking and asking the dreaded questions like “Why did I do that?” “What could I have done differently?”
- Be comfortable with being alone. How do you know yourself if you can’t be alone with yourself? Who are you when you’re alone? What makes you happy? I mean genuinely happy without having to spend money on things.