LOVE WEEK - Self Love

7:31 AM

I don't have enough time or space here to talk about Alexon. He's one of Randy and my best friends, and he's an absolutely gem of a human being. He's the cutest uncle to Graham, is so non-judgmental, will ALWAYS have your back even if you've let him down a thousand times, and just loves to have fun. He's done a million little and big things for us, is so insanely loyal to his friends, and is so smart and has a great work ethic. I know, you're all wondering HOW IS HE SINGLE. LADIES. SNATCH. HIM. UP.
 Lots of people know the goofy side of him, but I'm lucky enough to have seen the deep, serious, side. You'll get a glimpse of it here. He's got a soul that you just want to know. He draws in everyone around him. I'm so insanely lucky to call him one of my best friends.

You've seen a million of these. Articles around the internet about "loving yourself" or "self care" telling you that "you're beautiful" or "you are special." Written by people how have "been through it all" and how they "know how you're feeling." But in all reality what are the chances that an online internet article written by a complete stranger is going to "change your life" or going to make you "love who you are"?

I'm here to tell you that this isn't any different. I am (probably) an internet stranger who has (probably) been through a lot who (probably) isn't going to change your life. But I urge you to keep reading.

My name is Alexon Tiem and the Lows are a couple of my very best friends. You have maybe read my firstever blog post a couple years ago when Maddy did her "Lessons on Love" series where I guest-wrote a little piece about struggling to find love. Seriously, check it out. Or not. That's fine. But here I am again writing again. Idk why but here I am.

I’ve had a long run with a lot of things in my life that some may constitute as detrimental. I’m not going into any detail, but experiences overcoming things such as mental illness, suicide, and substance abuse brought me to where I am today. But more importantly, experiences with love, trust, and understanding shaped me to who I am today. I have been broken down and built back up more times than I can count. But what does all this mean to you? You don’t know me, and I don’t know you. What qualifies me to tell you about what you should be thinking of yourself? Or how you should be treating yourself? Or anything really about yourself? Absolutely nothing. Maybe that’s why you should read this. I’m not pertaining to you, I’m not pertaining to even me. I’m just writing my thoughts for the hope that I can help someone out there understand why they're feeling the way they’re feeling. To tell you that no, I don’t understand how you feel, and I haven’t been through what you’re going through. But I’m here to offer my words. Anyway.

I absolutely hate the term “self-love.” I feel the term itself is disingenuous. You pull up any internet article and 99% of proclaimed “self-love specialists” instantly start writing about eating ice cream, or eating cookies, or eating cake or eating candy or pie or whatever the hell people eat to be happy nowadays. However, out of my experience with myself and others, progression is never about indulgence, rather dedication. Dedication isn’t necessarily about extrinsic motives such as going to bed early, or eating healthy, or going to the gym, or anything of the sort. I’m not saying those things won’t help you in your life. They 100% will. I’m talking about something deeper. I’m talking about understanding the extent of control that you have over your life. Expectations unfortunately play a tragic role in the trajectory of your wellbeing. Comprehending how to handle this encompasses much of how you perceive yourself, and with perception comes understanding who you are and how others will love you. Understand that your perception of others is a direct reflection on who you are as a person, but also by understanding our relationships with other people, we can best understand who we are. Essentially, the way we think about ourselves directly defines the potential as to how you can love yourself.

So where do you build from there? The answer therein lies the type of person you are, and the type of person you’re trying to become. For me, by surrounding myself with others and developing close relationships with those who have attributes that I, myself love in turn teaches me and is a direct reflection on who am I to love as a person.  That has to come from within. Who you choose to surround yourself with plays a huge role in how happy or far you will go in life as compared to anything else. But that includes yourself. Maybe you have to surround yourself with and become the person that you want to love to be able to love yourself. I hated myself for a long time. I felt that every negative aspect of my life was the world out to get me. Gaining maturity and accepting responsibility- knowing the extent of how much I can affect in my life- was the biggest influencer on my self-perception. Knowing that sometimes the events that happen in your life does not directly define you as a being. However, if you recognize that you are your own problem, you are also your solution. So before you start asking yourself, “what’s wrong with me?” Realize this-

Unfortunately, it is not always the case that the amount of love you give is in turn what you will receive- and this may hold true to yourself. More often than not, the amount of love you give yourself is not equivalent to the perception you may hold of yourself. We may not be worthy and seek negative components that reflect exactly the opposite of the life we are trying to convey. Sometimes we may choose to be ignorant in the views of how others exude their lives. We may not deserve and we may sabotage or the love we receive from others.

But you are only human.

You will go through shit. You will break down. You will cry and get mad and get angry at the world. You will cry and get mad and get angry at yourself. This isn’t weakness. This is feeling. This is expression. This is forming a basis of which to build yourself upon. It’s okay to have moments where you don’t fully love yourself. Expecting to love your whole being in its entirety is to exhibit a sense of predisposition.

Loving yourself isn’t a full image of perfection. It isn’t supposed to be. It’s making strides that everyday you’ll progress to be the better version of you. To be the kinder version of you. Nothing you do with good intention will be wasted. We as humans will never achieve the level of perfection we strive to attain. Be smart enough to know why you feel the way you do. Acknowledge your emotions, your grief, your sorrow. Go ahead and live the life you’re meant to live but understand that in the end, life keeps moving on. Life will never wait for you, but as long as we’re satisfied about who we are, maybe that’s enough for today. 

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