Right before my last year of college, I found myself sobbing on a random friend's couch a couple days before I was going to head to Kazakhstan. I felt that all the clothes had been stripped off of me and I had been left with nothing but my own sad soul. For the first time in my life, I had finally come to the realization that I was alone. Society enables us to cover ourselves with material things, people and statuses to make us feel as though we are more than we are. But at the end of the day, each and every one of us is still just a bag of bones and a sac of flesh. At the age of 20, I had to accept this.
For years, I tried to fight the idea of being alone. I fought my hardest to try to integrate myself into families or even start families of my own. I knew how to love so I figured I could find someone to love me just as easily as I gave my love away. But, eventually, I found that most love was short term and only lasted a moment. This kind of love was beautiful in it's own temporary way.
I also found another kind of love. This love promised to last forever. It agreed to be family with no end in sight. So I gravitated towards. I fought for it. I craved it.
Today, I find myself sobbing for my current self. For the first time in my life, I have experienced true and deep unconditional love through the hearts of a couple of very good friends. When I had finally came to accept that I was alone, I found that I wasn't. However, if I had never accepted that I was alone, I more likely would have never realized that I wasn't. Learning to love myself as if no one else ever would unlocked the most real and true side of me. I suddenly found myself empowered and unstoppable. Dreams and goals I had for years were suddenly coming to fruition left and right. I started meeting the people I had only previously dreamed of meeting and had the opportunities coming into my life that I thought were impossible. Life was suddenly unlocked and I was finally unhindered.
It was in this moment, that I had people fight for me. Not because I was suddenly more valuable for my talents or because of who I knew. But because they had seen the most broken and worst side of me. They hadn't seen what I had been through, but they saw glimpses of the effects. Most people would give up on me as soon as signs of my traumatic past began to show. But for the first time in my life, I finally found family that chose to accept me and all my brokenness and flaws.
To those who have been broken, self love first and the rest will follow.