I was in love with my last partner. For three years, we were together and I proposed to him on his birthday. His calm personality played off of my nervous energy, his logic focused my passion, and his love of cooking balanced my love of eating. Moving out of the home we shared – the life we built together – was the singularly most heartbreaking thing I’ve done in my adult life.
We broke up last March and I’ve had to relearn being by myself. I had become comfortable leaning on my partner, reflecting and sharing the burdens of life with him. Now I live alone in a new city.
A lot of people make their new year’s resolution to “fall in love,” or “open themselves up to love.” If falling in love with someone else was my resolution for the coming year, I would have to find someone who likes me, whom I like, who wants to see me naked, and chat with me about everything for hours on end (or something like that). Frankly, so much of that resolution hinges on chance and being in the right place at the right time.
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What can I actually do that will ensure this love resolution?
The only kind of love I can actively work on building in my life is – love with myself. I no longer have this external reminder in human form that, hey, since this one individual is super in love with me, I must be kind of alright. I’m left to navigate my healing by myself, for myself. And, maybe, working on taking better care of myself will lead to a more loving relationship with … well, me.
This isn’t to say that individuals need to love themselves before loving anyone else. That idea implies that you have to be, at least, in-like with all of you, all of the time, or you’ll be alone for the remainder of eternity. Loving – or even liking – one’s self is an ongoing process. Sometimes you will doubt who you are, what you are, and where you’re going.
After the life with my ex-partner shattered into a million tiny, pointy pieces, my self-image hasn’t been too cute. I tell myself, “Soy basura”, which is Spanish for “I am trash”. But I’m not trash, I’m actually pretty spectacular. I can make mistakes, feel weak, be emotional, and at the end of the day those realities are human.
I feel as if my expectations for my old life are like a tub of glitter that spilled over and no matter how much I vacuum there will still be flecks of shiny disappointment found in my carpet six months from now. What I want from this new year, is to pick up those glittery flecks, one-by-one, and allow myself to mourn without allowing my past mistakes to hinder me from falling back in-like and in love with me.
I deserve love and so do you!
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