Love.. such a small word with such a large meaning. Some have far more than they know what to do with, others have too little. Some take while some only know how to give.
I tend to give all of mine away. I let it flow through my veins and seep out into the universe, as if I’m watering a garden, but I’m not watering my own.
If self love were a flower, mine would be a black rose with far more thorns than petals.
The once soft petals would now be wilted, frail, and falling. What once stood tall and strong, now hunched over as if it were carrying the weight of the world. But instead of the weight of the world, it’s carrying the weight of my thoughts. My criticisms. My self doubts. And I believe those are perhaps far heavier than the weight of the world.
I love many things. I love the way the moon lights up the darkness of the night and the way the stars twinkle as if they were complimenting it. I love gloomy days filled with reflection. I love the way the rain kisses my skin in a storm. I love the ocean and how it reminds me that I am so small. I love certain people…but myself, well, I’m not sure I am a person I love.
It’s as if I have a love hate relationship.
Physically, I hate almost everything, except my eyes, for if you look into them, they tell a story. They tell my story. I also have a love for my long, dark hair and my tattoos, because they paint a picture of things I hold dear to me. But I’m still learning to love the other things that are me. My short legs, but large thighs, the way my tummy curves and the stripes that adorn it, my broad shoulders, my bottom that I wish were bigger, the way my breasts hold no perkiness after years and years of constant sports bras due to national sports 365 days a year. The list could go on. To bare my physical body to a person requires so much trust, for it leaves me very vulnerable, but if I bare myself to you, you have my deepest trust.
Now, my old soul is a different story. I have a constant need of travel, to always be going, I lack roots to anywhere or anything particular. I have a certain fondness of that, perhaps because it keeps me going, even though at times I long for rest, not just physically, but mentally, emotionally, spiritually. I have a love for old things, they make me feel. I feel things on a deeper level than most people, it is something I have learned to love, perhaps because it has made me more kind, more empathetic, and more understanding. I always look at both sides of things and try to see them both with clarity. I love how fiercely my passion burns for the things I believe in, for it will lead me to do the job the universe has bestowed on me. I love how much I love, regardless of the pain I have felt because of it..
I love the fact that I am a kinky, gay woman. When I was a child, I struggled with that. Knowing I was different, knowing I was into different things and I wasn’t “normal.” However, now I see it as one of my strengths, because I am different, I believe it has helped mold me into the open-minded, understanding individual that I am today. It is something, I claim, something I own. It also fuels my fire in my plans to work with human rights, because after all, we are all human, no matter how different we may be.
However, there are things that I wish I could, things I have not learned to love at this point in my life, perhaps one day I will, though.
I am a perfectionist. I am my own worst critic, no one can say anything to me that I have not said to myself and I assure you, I’ve criticized myself far more than anyone possibly could. Due to this, I put things off, I redo them and redo them, and get harder on myself with each time. My National Coach was perhaps one of the greatest players I had ever seen and he was known across the country for being one of the hardest coaches on his players. He was known for the phrase, “it was good, but it could be better.” Everything could be better and that is a phrase I have now taken on when it comes to everything I do no matter how good it may be, “it could be better.” Part of me loathes myself for that and perhaps him a bit, too, for sticking this idea that no matter what I do, it will never be good enough in my head. I’m learning to try to love that part of myself, though, because it will either make me or break me, and I refuse to be broken in that type of way.
You can learn to love the things you once hated, though. Perhaps, love is not the right word, but appreciate. I suffer from anxiety and depression. The first bad phase I went through I was 13. Looking back at that point in my life still makes me cringe. I was young, I didn’t really understand what I was feeling or why I was feeling it at that time. Now I do, and I have gone to battle with this ugly disease many times. There are times it cut me down, leaving me so wounded, I wasn’t sure that I would ever heal, much less survive, but I did. He stuck his sword into my heart and it bled into my soul. Instead of letting it poison me, letting it kill me, I used it. I used it to make me strong. I know I will have dark days, but on those days, I remember the darkness can only consume me if I let it. I refuse to. Most days I may be caught in a place between the light and the dark and I have learned to appreciate both that take place inside me.
Self love is important and it is something I still work on every day. There are parts of myself that I am still learning to love, still learning to clap for. But one day, I will clap for all of me.. maybe not today.. but someday..