How You Learn To Love Yourself

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The first time i had my heart broken, i was convinced it was the end of the world. Of course there was a lot of crying and wailing in the first few primal days that slowly led to convincing myself if i could change a bit of this or a bit of that, the one that got away would return. Then when that didn’t work, the series of drunken days commenced to extended hours of black outs whose details were later filled in by my friends utterly shocked with all I had done that I didn’t even recalled. It was only falling off in a concrete floor (literally!) and hitting my head (that thankfully didn’t bleed) to make myself realize that my break-up shenanigans had to come to an end. Besides, after quitting my last job, i was in a dire situation to get a new one.

Giving out CVs, applying various job vacancies and interviews, i finally got a call from a daily newspaper. It was one of the highly prestigious newspaper and had selected me for the post of a trainee journalist. Surely it was a big thing for me. I didn’t have the degree of journalism (I studied science all my life); clearly there must’ve been suitable candidates then me and yet they had selected me. Quite amused and trying hard not be swept away with vanity, i reconfirmed my selection with a positive answer. The position was to write for the business section and although that didn’t appeal me at first, the interviewer reassured that I would go through training to write for the newspaper and if they thought i was ready, i could do what i wanted – a featured writer. Sounded as a great deal and having been a clandestine writer all my life, i thought this would be a great offer. So despite having no knowledge on business, accounts, banks and trade, i was all excited to write, and moreover, to be employed again.

Yet something held me back. Although i wanted to accept the offer and reply, “I cannot wait to start,” i couldn’t do it. It didn’t feel right cause it wouldn’t be me talking from my heart. But that’s where the confusion resided; this had been my heart. I had wanted to write for so long and i needed a job too. So, when got both in one, why was i hesitant to accept the opportunity? I don’t play hard to get. I am the person who placed self-esteem at the lowest, so that when opportunities like these came to me, i’d be standing, ready to take it. I don’t walk around believing that something better awaits for me out there, i had always been the one who looks up in the mirror and say to myself, “There might never be better things coming, so grind yourself with whatever you receive and get on with your life.” So… why was i trying to tamper my beliefs by asking the catastrophic question “Do you want this?”

Was it because of that damned break up? Was i still unable to use this tool called brain that had rested like a souvenir inside my skull all these months? Hadn’t i tried so hard to put myself and my heart back intact? And even if i was still affected by the break up, what was this indecisiveness about? Going through a break up was my personal life, and i was never the person to embroil my professional life with the matter of heart. So does that mean that i am now a vulnerable, lost, desolated person in need of help? And would that mean that i gave the ultimate superiority to someone to displace me to the extent that i wouldn’t recognize myself no more?

As i pondered through all these questions, i did get an answer to one query: my brain was not a souvenir. It gradually started feeding my heart the answers to my uncertainties. Yes, it was the break-up for sure and no, my efforts to mend my heart wasn’t all futile. In fact, it was because my heart had fixed itself that i was unsure about making the decision.

You see, when my heart broke, it didn’t break like, “Aw! That’s broken. Perhaps we can fix it with a super glue.” It was more like, “Damn! I wish we could fix it with some super glue but there are just so many pieces that fixing it might be even messier.” But despite the mess, i had managed to fix those million pieces; only to have placed them differently and thus it no longer looked like the heart before. And because the parts of my heart had altered, it decided to beat a different tune. My heart chose to stand on its decision on not letting me adjust to anything less than knowing it was worth everything. Indeed it had known the value of love. And so once it had fought blind, battled for the love it had believed would endure everything and gain victory. But some battles cannot be won fighting alone and when my fragile heart shattered, along shattered the self-esteem, the confidence, the strength and the ground i once stood high and mighty.

So what happens when you loose all that in a blink of an eye? You drink and cry. A lot. And then you heal and eventually you learn. You learn that you no longer are the same person anymore. You might’ve been okay in settling; adjusting to something you were not sure about and worked hard to make it “the one” before. But this new you is no longer willing to do that. Your self-esteem no longer wishes to hang low, your confidence has no room for skepticism, your strength does not want to be someone else’s backbone and your ground wants you to stand up for yourself. You have the strength to say what you desire and if you are offered anything less, you would rather stay empty handed then just be “okay” with it. So when you look in the mirror, you say, “Grind for something you… and only you… truly believe is worth fighting for. Or else, vanity is always there by your side.” Then you go and love yourself.

There are people who are born with the ability to put themselves forward everyone else. Often they get misunderstood as being selfish and self centered. But that too requires resilience, something many of us can only achieve by going through pain. Only when something is completely destroyed you can make something new. When you have your trust broken, you learn to trust wisely, when your confidence is shaken, you learn to strengthen it firmer, when you realize that enough wasn’t enough, you strive for more and only when you acknowledge that “okay” isn’t best, you aim for the best. As harsh as it sounds, the truth is you only learn to love yourself completely when you have no other option but to love yourself.

And so, i politely rejected the offer. The man asked if there were any specific reason.

“I wouldn’t say a specific reason, but a series of reasons.”

When he sounded confused i just replied “I am sorry, but although your offer sounds very appealing, i don’t think it is the best for me.”

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