I am more confident than I ever was. Admittedly, it would still be a stretch to say that I love myself – I still have a long way to come – but I no longer see myself as an irritation to others. I don’t worry that people find me annoying, that people don’t want me. Because I’ve realised two key things.
1. I am amazing and unique
Yes, I’m aware of how arrogant (and cliché) that sounds, but realistically, when it comes to self-love or even self-acceptance, a bit of arrogance is okay for everyone. And it’s not just me; everyone is amazing in their own way. Everyone has those things which make them sparkle, and their character shine through no matter how tough their outer shells are.
For a long time, I compared myself to other people. I looked around me and saw other people, with dozens of friends, interesting hobbies, gossip to share, knowledge of politics and the world to discuss. And then I looked at myself. I had few friends, few hobbies, and very little interest in detailed discussion of current affairs. So… what did I have to show for my worth? I didn’t have what other people had, so I assumed I had nothing… that I was nothing.
But recent events mean that I can now see that that’s not true, and these things make me someone who I should be proud of:
- I love with all my heart. I would never abandon any of my friends if they needed me, no matter what. If you open your heart to me, I will feel your pain like my own and drop what I’m doing to hug you and cry with you if you want me to.
- I would do anything I can to help you and make you happy. If you have a slight problem, I would do anything I could to fix it or scour the entire internet to find a solution, whether you ask me to or not. All I want is for my friends to be happy.
- I forgive. I don’t hold grudges; anger doesn’t come naturally to me. If you did something bad to me, if you wanted me to forgive you, I would. I’m not petty. Why make us both unhappy? I just want us to be friends.
- I don’t forget those I love. If I loved you once, I will love you forever. Even if we fall out of touch, if after years you come back to me and you need me, I would be there for you as though we’d talked every day, because I still love you. I don’t forget.
- I’m a poet. Yeah, my poetry might not be all that great, but not many people have the courage to express their darkest secrets in verse and share it with the world.
- I can get passionate about anything. A character in a book, a moment in history, a particular figure, if you wanted a debate I would debate with you about anything and get very passionate about it. (Oh, and I’d win, of course.)
- I trust. If you prove to me that you’re worth it, I would let you in entirely. I would tell you everything, so that you could know me completely. I wouldn’t hide anything from you or lie to you, because you are important to me and I value you. Don’t misuse my trust.
- I would never let you down. Enough said.
This may not seem like much to you, but for the past year I looked inside myself and found nothing. I found nothing about myself that was worth sharing, nothing that made me worthy of having friends, of having people who cared about me. But the last few weeks, I have been finding myself again, and this is what I have found. I know that there’s a lot more to find, though, and as cliché as it may sound I’m looking forward to future challenges which reveal to me and to the world who I really am.
2. If anyone treats me less than I deserve, they don’t deserve me
I hope that you’ve come to see now that the thing that I am most proud of when I look inside myself is my kind heart. I am not horrible. I’m not perfect, no, but no one is. Occasionally I get overwhelmed and I might say something I don’t mean. I will apologise profusely, do anything I can to make it right, and hope that you will forgive me. But if you can’t forgive me for an accident, you clearly don’t value me the way that I value you. If one moment of recklessness outweighs everything you liked about me, I clearly didn’t mean enough to you.
If you don’t value me, then you deserve my unreserved love.
As much as I want to, I can’t give my love out for free, because I will only get pain in return.
So, when you look inside yourself, what do you see that you love the most?