Should is used lightly.
It’s actually need. This is about why it is absolutely, unequivocally necessary to genuinely know and understand why it is not only possible, but also very reasonably expected that you will be deeply loved and valued–never by everyone, but by the right people. Believe me, I’m with you if you’re reading this and thinking, “I know this, but how.”
This isn’t me writing from a god-like perspective as if I’ve already achieved something that truly will probably take a lifetime of continuous dedication, awareness and work. In saying that, I think the first step is accepting that self-acceptance is a constant work in progress. Be aware, I don’t regard a “work in progress” as having a negative connotation. A person devoted to bettering his/her self-concept from day to day is a real person I can admire.
One of the best exercises my good friends and I practice is responding with, “If I was saying what you’re saying to me right now, what would you tell me?” I’m not sure why it is that we human beings tend to have an affinity for seeing the best in others before ourselves. What would the world look like if we had the confidence our best friends have in who we are? I’d probably get a lot less phone calls and texts. Maybe we’d see a sharp decline in Snapchat stories because fewer people would feel like they had something to prove on the reg (I’ve done it, too).
Think of the people you love most and how it is so obviously clear that they deserve the goddamn universe on a silver platter. It’s easy for you to imagine that reality for them. And it’s imperative to remember that it is just as easy for them to imagine that for you. The difficulty comes in believing we are worthy enough to live that reality for ourselves.
Through my relationships, whether serious or not, I’ve learned two critical lessons: that it is not unfeasible to assume the intense love I am able to feel for other people is entirely reciprocated. And that this intense love is not solely reserved for other people. With the absence of internal validation, I felt like I was hanging on for dear life. Losing this person was an even greater risk. Toxic people are put on a pedestal, and standing up for the way you feel becomes a daunting chore.
Here’s the thing: stop living your life trying to be in the right place at the right time to meet the “right” person. This way, you probably won’t. Do not live your life as if your sole purpose is to meet someone else. They will not make you. And they actually do not have the power to break you. You will make you, and you will break you. Do things, say things and be places that fill your soul. You will start attracting good people that understand and appreciate every good thing you are rather than tired ones who transfer their baggage onto you.
I think that’s the goal. No matter who you are, being treated unfairly will affect you. That’s human. But it’s about waking up every morning and relearning how to love yourself so that the intensity of the effect is not so terrifyingly strong. Instead, we have the power to create our own truths about what another person’s actions mean. More often than not, it has very little to do with us at all.
Be good to yourself, and you will invite others to do the same.