I had an ex boyfriend, who once told me that we shouldn’t be friends if it made things ‘harder for me’. I found this statement in itself quite an entertaining one; there was such an assumption that I would be the one, out of the two of us, who would somehow find the fact that we were no longer a ‘we’, harder to cope with. I also found it strangely ironic that the relationship had actually ended as a result of his own fears. Even more amusing was this idea, that the solution to my alleged hardship, was to remove another layer of the relationship. Strip it bare. Rip it off and leave nothing in it’s place.
I was not always so confident in how I viewed my role, and my place, within the above interaction. I believe that we too often brand ourselves, and build a picture of how we think we are perceived, based on our interactions with others. I know I have certainly done this – often to my own detriment. But I have learnt, that this picture is too often a distorted one … and this distortion is no fault of our own.
Nevertheless, this distorted reality shapes us. It changes and shifts our sense of identity, and where we perceive our place to be in the world. It hugely impacts our mental health. This concept is aptly summarised in the quote below;
“When you depend on people to build you up, they’ll have the same power to break you down. You don’t need their validation to know your worth.”
– Kush and Wizdom
I see so many girls on advice pages, asking for their peers to tell them whether they should be worried about their partner looking at another girl, or watching pornography, or talking to his ex. I see so many memes on social media condoning and actively facilitating this idea that a relationship should be defined by jealousy. We seem to have lost sight of relationships that are grounded in a foundation of mutual respect and understanding. Too often, these traits are traded in and ‘love’ becomes some warped and ugly version of the term. “Perhaps we should love ourselves so fiercely, that when others see us, they know exactly how it should be done.” – Rudy Francisco
The reality is, that the allusive ‘they’, don’t need to understand, or like, what you are doing with your life. You should be living for you. Doing things every day that make you happy. You don’t need to broadcast every high, and you definitely don’t need to hide every low. As a beautiful friend once told me, “depression, anxiety, and all other mental illnesses, are flaws in our chemistry, not our character”, and they are nothing to be ashamed of.
You’re trying to live. Not convince, justify, or clarify your existence for anyone else. I think one of the biggest lessons I have learnt whilst doing this ‘life’ thing, is that if they love you enough for who you are, then they will make the time, and they will put in the energy, to discover you. Every piece. On every level. Because you are worth it.
Make the changes you need to, to make you happy. If you find that someone is no longer in your life after you have done that, then perhaps they were one of those changes. To adapt how Amy Poehler so articulately puts it, “you attract the right things for you, when you have a true sense of who you are.”
Be your own fierce beholder #lovingmefiercely