Love is a More Than a Battlefield
How Learning to Love Someone Else Helped Me Reach Major Milestones in My Mental Health Journey
I almost started this post with “okay, I won’t go there again.”, but I mean come on..it’s me..I will...I am. So drumroll please...let’s talk mental health! Woo-hoo, my favorite topic and if you have been keeping up with my content, you know that. Mental health is the backbone to just about everything that we do. In my opinion, a mentally healthy individual excels at many things and is aware of their self-control. If you’re a social media buff like me, you’ve probably come across the occasional “you can’t love someone else until you love yourself” meme, but I’ve got to say that I respectfully disagree. Love is patient and kind but one thing it definitely doesn’t do is discriminate. Anybody is capable of loving and being loved. While it’s healthier to have the emotional space and mental capacity for another human being period, sometimes love just creeps up on you with its sneaky ass. Damn, you. 😏
Recently, I boarded a rollercoaster. Not the theme park version but you know, the emotional version. The one that takes you up to happiness, down to sadness, around through the confusion tunnel and through the loop to healing and understanding just to let you off feeling nauseous and shaken up yet oddly invigorated. Yea, that kind. If you’re subscribed to my posts, I ain’t even gotta tell you why I’m saying that, but if not, I’ll sum it up. From healing from PTSD due to unhealthy relationships to starting a new business, quitting a toxic job and dealing with life in general, I’d been on a rollercoaster of emotions and just kept getting back in line to board the ride all over again.
“You Always Gain By Giving Love” - Reese Witherspoon.
Words to live by, right? So special and true. A lot of what I have been writing about lately has had deep emotional undertones, but what I’ve left out of these stories is that during all of this, I had fallen in love...well, back in love with someone who I’ve known for quite some time. Despite how busy my life can appear to be, the two things that I always promised to make time for were myself and the chance at love. I mean, who wants to build this beautiful life, do all of this spiritual work, create an empire and retire on the beach only to sip piña coladas and watch the sunset alone? Shit, it’s been complicated, but NOT ME!
So, about this love. When I was at my most vulnerable, I realized that I was more open to my potential partner’s flaws than I was my own. I noticed that I saw a lot about this person over the course 6+ years of an on-again-off-again friendship. I saw that I was capable of seeing the good, the bad and the growth of another person and accept it so easily, but I questioned why I wasn’t able to see myself in the same light. I used to constantly beat myself up for not being emotionally stable, falling victim to my anxiety and making mistakes learning lessons. Truth is, I was, and it was being honest about the love of someone else that made me see that. Sure, there were a number of other factors that ultimately made us come to a premature halt, but understanding that I was capable of being honest about loving him, made me see that I was even more capable of loving myself that much harder.
Months later, I came to this realization. I stopped beating myself up for my imperfections, for my drunk nights slumped over the couch, for making a left when I probably should’ve made a right and I stopped the internal judgment that left me feeling like not fitting into this impossible image of perfection made me a failure or unworthy of being loved. I mean, hell, if I could do it for this person time & time again, why not do the same for myself?
So while my hiccups in showing this love were apparent, it wasn’t because I didn’t fully love myself. If anything, I found my strength to love someone else from that empty space of mine. Sometimes, I wonder if these things happen to me so that I can write these beautiful pieces and own my truth, but umm let’s pray for no more self-inflicted soul stabs moving forward, okay? 😊Then again, who knows, I could sell out a few bookshelves decades from now with all of these stories that I’m lucky enough to tell.
Until next time,