Loving yourself is the hardest thing you could ever learn to do, but it is also the most important.
As a young girl, I remember hearing that I needed to love myself, but more often than I heard that, I saw and experienced differently.
I was 8 when a boy first told me that he liked me. He did so by pushing me down at recess in front of all his friends. I fell into the rocks, cut my knee open, and bled all over my cute socks. I remember telling my mother about it and she sort of laughed and said something like, "he must really like you." Even at 8, I thought that made no sense.
He disrespected my body... because he liked me?
He physically hurt me... because he liked me?
I was expected to allow it...because he liked me?
Today, I am 29, I trace the scar on my knee, and know it makes no sense. I have been on a journey of self love for many years now, and it is still difficult to unlearn all I have been taught and relearn how love should work. It is hard, I will never say its not, but it is vital.
Yesterday, I was scrolling through Instagram when I saw a video of Eartha Kitt discussing how silly it is to be expected to compromise for a man. She laughed and then repeated over and over, "for what?" each time the question got sharper as it left her lips, but after a few seconds, her voice softened as she uttered the words "I fall in love with myself, and I want someone to share that with me. I want someone to share me with me."
Now, that makes sense.
I made this graphic for myself, to serve as a personal reminder of how love should go, because I struggle too. That was all this was meant to be, but then I thought of you, and I wondered if you were taught as I was taught. I wondered if anyone ever told you that you deserve more. I wondered if you ever had someone tell you that love starts with you. I wondered if you were struggling to relearn love, and I wondered if you needed this reminder too, so here it is, just for you.
Download it, print it out, hang it up, put it on the background of your phone.
Use it however you need to.
Self love is hard, but it is important, and it makes sense. Let's figure it out together.