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November 22, 2012

this is how you love yourself. you listen.

earlier this week i got a phone call. i had a decision to make. and i made it within the first five seconds of listening to the message that was left. this is called listening to yourself. people rarely do this anymore. my gut told me what to do, but it wasn't enough, not in that moment. because i needed more. for better or worse i always want more. that's what happens when you spend so much of your life wanting less, wanting nothing. you wake up one day and feel true desire. want is hunger for more, for life.

i pray that feeling never goes away.

i listened to this voice mail. i felt my body tense. i did what i do when i feel lost. lost but worse than that, full of doubt. knowing, truly-knowing-in-my-bones-what to do but doubting myself.

i asked for help.

i called ben and shared the news of this voice mail, news that would've made me happy and yelp for joy had it been right, had it felt right. i called and emailed the girlfriends i trusted. i received a resounding response: you have to listen to yourself. listen to your gut.

while saying and typing these words to them there was no yelping. there was crying . there was no joy, no excitement. 

these are signs. if your first instinct is to say no that is all the sign you need. if you hear every part of your body saying no to something you had better learn to listen.

when we don't listen to ourselves we break our own hearts. i've built my own back up enough to know i never want to do it again.

when you don't love yourself, at seventeen, you find yourself eating roast beef sandwiches in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant. you find yourself crying and shaking and playing music so loud your head hurts, loud enough so you don't hear anything else. but the thing is, it can never be loud enough. you find yourself throwing up in a grocery store parking lot later that day because you ate too much. again. you ate to fill the void food was never capable of replacing. you find yourself at 293 pounds.

when you don't love yourself, at twenty-three, you find yourself hearing one of your best friends say, "birthdays aren't a big deal to me." when what she really means is "your birthday isn't a big deal to me." you spent years at the helm nurturing and making the plans and cooking the pasta and baking the chocolate cakes and hanging the streamers. you hear these words and you tell yourself, this is not enough. this is not true friendship. 

things change and sometimes friendships fall apart and it's a sad thing, this breaking of a family. but this is life and sometimes it's better to have things break for the sake of one part of the unit growing stronger on her own.

when you don't love yourself, at twenty-six, you find yourself on the front step of a hardware store sitting next to a boy who has nothing to offer you. you finally say the words you should've said months prior. the words you continued to push down and ignore. you sit there and wait. you like to wait. you are happy to wait for everybody else because it makes you feel good. it doesn't make you feel good at all, but this is the lie you tell yourself. you think of all the waiting and settling you did, not just with this boy but with those that came before him. with the hollow friendships with people who only cared on their terms, who never cared enough.

you say to yourself, this person was never enough. i ignored that and in turn, felt like i wasn't enough. i am enough.

i am enough.

love yourself enough to say these words, the words that get stuck in your chest and sit there getting heavier as days and years pass. the words that keep you awake at night and distracted at work and at the gym and on the train and in the shower.

when we don't listen to ourselves we settle. we settle and accept the measliest offerings from people. because that is all we think we deserve.

there are small signs, whispers, that are messages from the universe. and you reach a point when all of these tiny signs you've spent more energy than you knew you had pushing down finally become screams that will no longer be ignored. you do not love yourself if you ignore how you feel. listen to your heart. stop ignoring it. this is how you love yourself.

i have come far enough in the past three years to know that i deserve more than what that voice mail would've given me.

we find ourselves in these sad and hollow places and then we find ways to save ourselves. it can be done. i am proof that it can be done. we must lose ourselves, often in the most desperate ways before we can go about being found. finding leads to fixing. believe that you can do this. this is how you love yourself.

loving and listening are two big parts of an even bigger puzzle. they belong together. you can't do one without the other. 

when you love yourself, at twenty-seven, you find yourself in a dark movie theater sitting next to a man who wipes away your tears, who does ten million tiny, beautiful things for you and to you every single day. as this man sleeps in the other room you say a quiet prayer that you found him. and that you found yourself first.

you listen. to your heart, above all other voices. this is how you love yourself.

1 comment:

  1. Loving yourself is effing hard! I am on the same journey right now....