“Love Yourself First, or Nobody Will”. We all remember hearing this lyric when J. Cole came out with Crooked Smile. But aside from it being posted on memes, retweeted millions of times, and used for Instagram captions, what did it really mean? & what does it have to do with you?
Let me ask you.. Who is the first person you picture when you read this:
All of us at some point will love. It will be different for each of us, and will teach us many, many different things. It will be a type of feeling that when people ask us about it, it will be hard for us to put in words. It will have us take a longer look while thinking, "Wow, you're just..everything." We will be elated, and unapologetically in love.
Maybe you pictured your current boyfriend/girlfriend. Maybe you pictured someone from your past. Maybe you pictured someone who you dream of being with at some point in the future.
But.... Why didn't you think of yourself?
Too often do we think of love solely as something we get to experience from someone else - and it absolutely is. But love is so much more than that. & as we get older, we realize that in order to experience that love, we must give it as well.
Love is, and always will be, about giving, not getting.
There is no way for you to give love from an empty vessel. If you are not right with your mindset and your heart, you will enter a battlefield any time love crosses your path.
A lot of us fear being single, or fear being alone. Or we fear someone
truly getting inside of our most vulnerable states. We fear being heartbroken. We are scared to be taken for granted. But we cannot allow fear to hinder us from anything.
All of these are voids that can only be filled with YOU.
What are you doing while you are single? Or, when you're heartbroken? Are you looking at old pictures reminiscing the old feelings you used to have? Or maybe looking at pictures of other couples thinking of "relationship goals"? Or maybe you're entertaining yourself with people to fill a void?
Use your time wisely. I urge you to take time each and every day to find what you love about yourself. Look in the mirror every morning - as soon as you wake up, and tell yourself 5 things you love about what you see right in front of you.
Fall in love with every, single, little flaw on the body God gave you. Become satisfied with the continuous opportunity to grow mentally and emotionally every day you open your eyes. Smile at yourself often, and compliment your existence. While you're listing the things you love, put ANY outside voices on mute. Everyone on this planet has their insecurities, but they do not define you.
Take your time with love. Once you truly love yourself, wholeheartedly, filter-free, away from comparison, without the opinions of anyone around you, you will understand what true love really is. Your future you and your future spouse deserve the type of love that is given effortlessly. Not the type of love that constantly looks for reassurance, is doubted by opinion, or is questioned by insecurity. It is overly-satisfied with the raw and genuine you. It is undeniably happy with what is in front of them, and doesn't search any further.
So, be fair to yourself. Instead of searching for likes and approval from strangers on social media, be fully content with the loving self-talk you do with yourself each and every day.
I urge you to love YOU, unapologetically. Know your worth, fearlessly. And never settle for a love that does not match the love you give yourself already. Be able to look at yourself, and say with no remorse, "Wow, you're just..everything," because you are and you deserve that much.
"Dear you, make peace with the mirror, and watch your reflection change." -Malanda Overlyxclusive