We are always taught that we first need to fall in love with ourselves before other people can fall in love with us. And I know that that isn’t necessarily going to be the case. I have experienced for myself the kind of love that transcends many others. There’s no denying that not all loves are created equal. Not to say that some loves are more valid than others. All forms of love in this world should be valid and accepted. It’s just that no two love stories are ever going to look alike.
No two loving experiences are ever going to be completely similar. And I know that the kind of love that I was privileged enough to experience for myself was a special one – it was an amazing one. I was lucky enough to have met a person who loved me even though I never really learned how to love myself. I was lucky enough to have met a person who saved me from my own dislike of myself.
I was lucky enough to have met a person who opened my eyes to the fact that there’s nothing wrong with loving yourself – and how it’s perfectly possible for another person’s love to teach you about what it really means to fall in love with yourself. I was stuck. I was in a very dark place.
And it was this person’s love that showed me the light. It was this person’s love that proved to me that there was light beyond the mere darkness that I knew.
And it’s not like I had never tried up until that point. I tried my absolute hardest. But I always failed somehow. I could just never find the fulfilment and the meaning that a lot of people talked about when they managed to find love for themselves. I just couldn’t find the right person to make me feel giddy in all the right places. I couldn’t find the person who could love me the way that I wanted to be loved; the way that I deserved to be loved.
I was looking for a certain sense of satisfaction and completion in all of the relationships that I was in but I could never find it. I felt like I was a failure to myself and to the people I was dating. I felt like I was a big screw-up. And it diminished my confidence and self-esteem further and further. I felt like I was the common denominator in all of these disastrous romantic experiences. I grew to believe that the problem lay with me. I grew to believe that I wasn’t worthy of falling in love; that I wasn’t worthy of being loved by anyone.
I lost my faith in love. I was slowly starting to lose my belief in it. But I tried my best to hold on. I didn’t want to come to terms with the idea that love was false; that it’s just a figment of our collective imaginations. But I knew that I was just being foolish. I knew that love existed. I could see love present in the world all around me.
I could see love in the way that my parents stayed together for decades without ever growing tired of each other. I could see love in the way that my couple friends would look into the eyes of their significant others.
I could see love on the faces of strangers I would pass on the street. So why is it that I could never find love for myself in my own life? Was I doing anything wrong? Was I approaching love wrong? Was I really not worthy of falling in love for real?
Truth be told, as destructive as it might be to have that kind of mindset, that was my reality for so long. I hated my life and I hated myself. I hated the world and how unfair it was being to me. I hated the fact that I could never find the love that I so desperately wanted for myself. And just when I was about to let the black hole of despair consume me entirely, that’s when you walked in. You stepped into my life and you saved me from myself with your love.
And from the moment that you saved me, I knew that the love we had was the real deal. I knew that the love we had was the kind that people spend all their loves looking for. I knew that the love that we had was the kind of love that was worth fighting for. I knew that the love that we had was the kind of love that was going to last; the kind of love that was always going to pull through. I knew this because you managed to fall in love with me even when I couldn’t love myself.