“I used to float along in all of this, like a leaf on a coursing stream, but I am heavier now, less easily moved, more resolute and steadfast. I am no longer in pursuit of happiness. As I stand here at my front door, key in hand, I think it is just possible that happiness, at least for now, today, this hour, may be in pursuit of me.” ~ Anne Giardini, The Sad Truth About Happiness
“You are the most dangerous kind of female the world can ever know. You carry the seeds for your own destruction and the destruction of everyone who loves you. And a great many will love you for your beautiful face for your seductive body; but you will fail them all because you will believe they all fail you first. You are an idealist of the worst kind – the romantic idealist. Born to destroy and self destruct.” ~ V.C. Andrews, Fallen Hearts
It’s a bit late in life, but I found a great love this year. The most important love of all. And even more special, I discovered this great love at the end of the year, during the holidays, when I am typically a pathetic mess.
I did not go home for Christmas this year. It’s the first year in a long time that I will not be celebrating Christmas with my family in the Philippines. But I felt it important to stay here, and cultivate this new-found love of mine. I felt it important to keep the momentum going. Taking a long, arduous trip to Asia would have exhausted me, and I really just wanted to plant my feet firmly on the ground before I think of taking flight again.
This great love of mine?
The thing is, I finally fell in love with myself.
After living most of my adult life despising myself and regretting most of the choices that I have made, I have finally forgiven myself for all the blunders and debacles I have created, and I have come to the realization that I am not such a despicable person. And the truth is, I am actually quite of a jewel. A bit tarnished maybe, and chipped on some surfaces, but I still carry value in general.
I can finally look at myself in the mirror and not hate what I see. I don’t mean that I see physical beauty in my reflection, but I can finally see into my own soul — and what I saw was a person who just wants to love those around her and be loved by those same people.
The problem was that I was allowing my relationships to define who I was. I was attracted to those who were toxic and who sought pleasure in making me feel less than who I am. I was attracted to incomplete men whose deficiencies manifested in their unfair and even emotionally abusive treatment of me.
They always made me believe that I was so undeserving of anyone’s love, and so I became addicted to seeking their constant approval, and when instead I would get their rejection, I felt as though my whole world would fall apart.
But no more.
I am who I am. I have flaws, and many of them. But who doesn’t?
Love others, but don’t forget to love yourself. It’s the best gift of all.(Photo credit)