Timeline Tidbit: Falling In Love

Self-love is asking yourself what you need — every day — and then making sure you receive it
— Unknown
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Falling in love is joy.

Falling in love is colorful.

Falling in love is adventurous.

Falling in love is dark.

Falling in love is vulnerability.

Falling in love is heavy.

Falling in love is heartache.

 

Falling in love is art and art is born from joy and pain.

I’ve been fortunate enough to experience falling in love with someone else 4 times in my life. The first time was strong, soul searching and overwhelming. My second brief and passionate. My third, toxic. My current love, beautiful and warm.

Different types of love brings a new brush stroke to my canvas. A variety of colors for different milestones, feelings and lessons. You’ll find yellows for happiness, black for those moments where I feel completely lost, red for anger and definitely different shades of blue for the obvious sadness.

I gave my all to the people I fell in love with. Gutting myself just to keep them happy. My thought process was this, “keep everyone around me smiling even if it that resulted in me shedding tears.”

I put myself in toxic and emotionally damaging situations just to keep the other party happy. I’ve been broken down by those I’ve loved and served the hurt right back with a full Serena Williams swing. But in the end, I was the one who always felt like I had to make it better. I was using MY paint to create and complete someone else’s art project. I had to make a change.

I wish I could tell you guys that one day I just woke up and it was like “BOOM! I get it now. I’m going to put myself first and that’s that!”

But that is not the case.

Genuinely loving yourself is a process. It’s hard man let me tell you. You need to take all the energy you used to put into everyone else and bring it back onto yourself.

And just because you want to love yourself more doesn’t mean you have to love everyone else around you less. Having a support system is necessary. Whether it’s your best friend, your second cousin, significant other, your parents or your therapist. Cherish the people who are soul food and drop those that are junk food. (Metaphorically speaking of course. Keep enjoying those Double Stuffed Oreos boo!)

My personal “detox” started my senior year of college and really took off the summer after graduation. People whom I had so much history with, it could fill up a couple of textbooks, were no longer moving on a positive path, either with me or in their own lives. I had to make a decision for myself. Again, THIS IS HARD. I slowly began to shed the old, flaky skin to reveal shiny new scales.

Everyday is a challenge. And sometimes I think about the good times I’ve had with the people in my past and want to reach out just to check in and make sure they’re okay. In doing that, I set myself up to be sucked back into a situation I fought so hard to get out of. Whenever I get into that space I ask myself these main questions:

  1. Why did I stop speaking to this person?

  2. How did I feel after I stopped speaking to them?

  3. Does it benefit who I am or who I am working towards being right now?

These questions help me evaluate the situation in order to make the most beneficial decision for M-E. ME!

After the “detox”, it was time for me to feed myself.

Positive affirmation, trying to take small (healthy) risks, reading books, covering myself in the softest blankets at night, lighting candles, rewatching Harry Potter movies (for the 20th time #noshame), hosting my radio shows and surrounding myself with as much positivity as possible are some of the ingredients to bake the perfect #LoveYoself cake.

Create your own recipe. Think of all the things that make you happy. Write down all of the things you love and don’t forget to put yourself on the top of that list.

Everyday isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. I’ve rained on my own parade plenty of times. I'm glowin' and growin' every single day. One brush stoke at a time.

Falling in love is happiness.

Falling in love is carefree.

Falling in love is bravery.

Falling in love is scary.

Falling in love is messy.

Falling in love is art.

Falling in love with yourself, is a masterpiece.

If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me?
— Maya Angelou