REFLECTION: SELF LOVE

“Don’t let what he wants eclipse what you need. He is very dreamy, but he is not the sun. You are.” - Cristina Yang

 

    Everyone says that life without love does not let you truly live. This statement seems high strung, but I agree with it on a different perspective. Being surrounded by friends and family who warm your heart is an incredible concept that many are not fortunate enough to experience. Always having someone to turn to in times of trouble or when wanting to go on a late night adventure for ice cream fills the gaps of life that can sometimes feel lonely. I do not think, however, that this is the value of love that is vital to living. For me, if you do not find the time to love yourself, you are leaving your life out in the open to be taken over by someone else.

    I love helping others, and making sure that others feel loved. I go out of my way to do favors and give to everyone that is in need. I feel obligated to always make sure that others are safe and happy before I work on myself, and I’ve learnt that all that ever leads me to is disaster. I’m famous for stretching myself thin, and still performing with full efforts. I am not one for settling, and always seek perfectionism. When I am not able to complete every responsibility I’ve adopted onto my to do list, I feel like a failure. Taking a break to help myself is something that I avoid too often, and am beginning to learn to change my ways.

    Over the last year, life has brought me down unconventional paths that I never saw myself riding down. I made some incredible friends, and lost some just the same. I let myself get used and tattered, and am just starting my journey to getting back on my feet and learning from my mistakes. It is a struggle to not put myself down for being so naive, as I had a weak feeling in the pit of my stomach through it all that what I was hoping would be the best case scenario turned out the be the anticipated worst. I always see and hope for the best in people and situations, and to my disappoint, not everyone has the same intentions I see them having. I do not ask for pity, as it is solely my fault for putting myself on the line. Life is all about learning from every moment, and I am now learning to love myself my needs first.

    I have decided that from this point forward, I cannot punish myself for needing a break. I cannot feel guilty for breaking down, or for needing just a moment to have a negative thought. I always try to put only positive thoughts out into my environment, in order to encourage others to do and feel better. These feelings quickly became artificial, and only made me feel worse about the way I was living. I learnt that trying to avoid anxious and negative feelings by compensating with mass amounts of positive and encouraging ideas only led to me feeling more engulfed by the darkness.

    I do not look at others who are struggling, and see failure. So, why should I look at myself and see differently? On this journey of self love, I’m learning to put myself on the same scale that I put others, instead of at the bottom of the ladder. My friends come to me for advice on a daily basis, and yet, I never listen to the own words that I give out. It is daunting to challenge yourself to change the ways you have led your life for so long, but I know that the final outcome will be all the worthwhile. If you fill your life with everything but care for yourself, it is as though you are sitting in the backseat of your own path.

    I headed this post with one of my favorite quotes from Grey’s Anatomy. It is in reference to Cristina advising Meredith Grey not to get caught up in her relationship, and ultimately to remember that she is the ultimate decider of her life, her love, and her self. It is so easy to get caught up in trying to please everyone else and help everyone else and do everything for everyone else that your focus shifts away from your happiness, and to everyone else’s. We have to remind ourselves that we are the sun to our lives. We are the ones who can bring light in, just like we are the ones who can dull that light. At the end of a bad day, as the moon has risen, we have to remember to rise ourselves the next morning, and continue on.

 

Chelsea Triano