I will be the first to admit, I find a lot of my happiness in approval from others. No, it isn’t right, but it’s how I’ve always been. All my life, my biggest fear is disappointing others, or simply not being enough of what they need. I strive for approval in anything from a professional standpoint, to guy and his feelings for me. I have found, in my most trusted friends, that a problem for women of our generation is the fear of being alone.
We always feel this need to have a guy in our lives, whether he is anything from someone who offers a flirting attention, to a long-term boyfriend. This leads to falling in love with the IDEA of someone, not the reality. And that’s where heartbreak begins. We keep someone around who is toxic for us, simply because we are afraid of being without them. I let myself “deal” with the consequences of an unhealthy relationship for years, and I did that because I didn’t know how to be without him. I jump into things too fast, because I felt that I was nothing without someone telling me otherwise. In the end, whether it is a realization or heartbreak, it works itself out.
What I’ve recognized though, as a girl about to hit her 20s, is that I need to find peace, gratification, and a certain confidence on my own. We need to learn to love ourselves before we look for love; we are more than approval from a boy. We are more than getting led on. We are more than the tears, and the sad breakup songs. We are more than waiting for the read receipt or looking back through old texts. We. Are. More.
Somewhere and someday, your prince charming is out there. He’s waiting to love every part of you, to try his hardest never to send you home in tears, and do everything he can to never have you questioning your self worth. But the only way we find this guy is when we learn to find happiness in ourselves. He is not our happiness. He will not come into your life until you find that happiness. He’s waiting for you, and perhaps you’ve already met him and just don’t know it yet, and maybe he’s not ready. But know that this man, whether he knows it or not, is simply waiting for you to love yourself first. My best friend, Allie, put it like this; “I think God is saving up somebody really special for me so right now I have to be happy by myself.” And that right there makes me feel okay again.
I’m no expert- quite possibly the farthest thing from that- on how to find this contentment. Some have found it in Jesus, and I still look for that. I believe I have found some of this bliss in my own talents, as I thrive on my passion for my major. To find something you can pour your heart and talent into is a blessing, and I have been ever so grateful to have that, because it has saved me countless times. Life without passion, that’s simply not life at all.
Proverbs 19:8 says, “To acquire wisdom is to love oneself; people who cherish understanding will prosper.” The bible does not promote selfishness or egotistic attitudes, but rather an understanding of who we are, and learning to love ourselves. One cannot have any sort of wisdom or true understanding until you love yourself; cherish whom you are- beautifully and wonderfully made. Another point to think about is when Jesus says to love your neighbor as yourself, and that implies that we must first love ourselves before we even try to love anyone in the first place. This isn’t to appear to be preachy, as I have no credibility in that; however, coming across this scripture has helped me start on my find self-worth.
It would be wonderful to know where our lives will take us in the years to come, to know that it’ll all work out. I believe it all works out the way it is suppose to, however, that means that in those years you will find yourself lonely in certain parts of your life. There will be times that all you want to do is cry or call your ex-boyfriend, and that’s called being human. I would be a complete liar if I didn’t admit to crying on this beautiful Sunday because of a broken heart, but I know I’ll be okay. I know that there are so many better things to come. In those times, where you sit there and cry your eyes out, the only way to grow from that is to lean on your own confidence.
That’s my goal for this year and for the rest of my twenties- to be content with myself, to learn to love myself, to feel confident. That should be every young woman’s goal as I can attest to self-worth being the steam of many problems. So here’s to loving yourself, and being strong even when it hurts the most.