If you’re over the age of 20 and have any sort of a social life, the odds are you’ve spent a giant chunk of your money and time on your friends getting married. Since you’ve been to a wedding, you’ve likely heard the term ‘in good times and in bad’. It is a vow couples repeat to eachother when they commit to a lifetime of looking at eachother’s faces, fully acknowledging that they will be there for eachother until the end of time as they know it. Through thick and thin, through the tunnels-even when there is no light in sight, through the grey clouds and the torrential storms-all of it. And while making this commitment to another human is the pinnacle of loyalty and love, we need to also make these vows to ourselves. Afterall, if we can’t love ourselves, who will?
Nothing can be perfect all the time. It just isn’t possible. Trust me, as someone who considers herself to be an over achiever and part-time perfectionist, it’s a real gut puncher. So if you’re going through a slump, it’s okay. You’re not alone. Things get hard and convoluted and not everything is going to go your way all of the time, and that’s life. There is grief, disease, loss, rejection, depression, bullying, insensitivity, gossip, mistakes, regrets, you name it! Everyone goes through it. Everyone. Your neighbor, The Victoria’s Secret runway model, your co-worker, the quarterback, the woman who looks like a walking monogram, the person mindlessly throwing your groceries in a bag and the wall street millionaire.
I have always had a tough time with loving myself. I think most people do. You are your own worst critic and I don’t know about you, but I am a harsh one. Add that to the heaping pile of advertisements telling us all the ways in which to fix our flaws and it’s really no wonder that self-contentment is a rare anomaly. There is something about being happy with yourself or loving yourself that comes off as being narcissistic. Narcissism, we have been taught, is a negative quality found in self-absorbed ego maniacs. Confidence is no longer something we can innately have because being your own biggest cheerleader is frowned upon. Loving yourself is essential and yet we are conditioned to believe that too much of it is unhealthy. Consequentially, we seek validation from others because we are all some kind of an idiot and hearing someone else say what we think ourselves makes it alright. Can we all agree how ridiculously insane this is?
We post pictures because we think we look good in them. #Fact You do. Confess already. No one posts a picture because they think they look hideous. That’s just not how it works. And yet we still get a high from every like and comment…even though we already know we look good because that’s why we posted it in the first place. We could tweet something we find hilarious…but unless someone likes or retweets it, the validity of it is lost in our minds. Social media thrives solely on the reactions and “thumbs-ups”of others. Our society is very much driven by social media and yet we constantly remind people to stop worrying so much about what other people think. HOW DOES ANY OF THIS MAKE ANY FLIPPING SENSE?!?!
Life is not what I expected. Turns out, Clarissa did not explain it all. And for my younger people reading this, that’s a Melissa Joan Hart reference, also known as Sabrina the Teenaged Witch. It’s not fun all of the time. There will be days you aren’t very happy with yourself. There will be days you feel very let down by others. There will be days you just wanna eat cheese and chocolate bars and watch rom-coms in bed all day. There will be days you don’t feel like adulting…because adulting (let’s be honest shall we?) sucks from time to time.
Loving yourself is not a bad thing. There’s a fine line between a healthy dose of self-love and Kanye. We have to take our sense of worth back from everyone else. We have to stop seeking it from others. Seriously. Stop it. It takes away from your relationship with yourself which is crucial. Obviously certain opinions can be held at high regard but yours should always reign supreme. Your thoughts, ideas and views are not obsolete. In fact, they are the foundation upon which you carry yourself.
We are all out there fighting, so let’s at least try and make it easier for each other. Shower people with love. Compliment often. Build people up for no other reason than you can-just do it sincerely. Stop slaving away on social media and focus on YOURSELF. You are in the midst of a life-long committment, and it’s with yourself. That’s the face you will, without question, see every time you look in the mirror. Make sure you’re kind to that person…in good times and in bad.