This is the month of February when we are celebrating love on Valentine’s Day. I am moved to write something about self-love as I have been surrounded by issues that really challenges the existence of love itself. Today, I am going to tell you stories about myself, my struggles and what Valentine means to me.
You probably thought that my life is perfect -when you see what you saw in Facebook, Instagram. People always think I had it easy: I was a top student, with medals/awards, landed a fancy job, married the best man on planet earth (this is true), travelled to 23 countries (and counting). And yes,I am able to afford most things that I want or like, although they might not be in my priority list at present moment. But, the actual truth is my life was far less than perfect.
Let’s go back to where it all began. 1994.
I was fourteen. I had the same clique of friends throughout high school and we just happened to be the top 3 of our class. We were each other’s competitors and cheerleaders. But I was a rather awkward teenager then. I don’t like to make small talk and I don’t feel like I need to impress everybody hence I looked rather sombong (proud). Of course, having a serious RBF (resting bitchy face) doesn’t help. People called me names, all the times e.g. Sup babi (pork soup). They gave me sarcastic remarks when I passed them by and commented right in front of me, deliberately of course -what a lowly human I am. Most of these were done by girls and some boys too. Their words, they thought, are just a form of sentences that were made by alphabets. That couldn’t possibly hurt, could it?
At times, I do come across snobbish. I followed things by the book and gave no second chances. I was really focused on being the best of the best and I can see why some people might think that I was a self-absorbed girl who solely cares about herself. Nobody knew in fact, inside that very tough exterior lies a very fragile girl. Who almost breaks up everyday but the only thing that keeps her going was school. And her books. The only thing that was kind, were those times when she was on the stage and conquered her fear. There (on the stage), she was someone else.
While at home, she questioned about self-worth. That maybe, if she tries harder to be the best student, the best speaker, the best presenter -her parents will stay (together). If she doesn’t try, how would she knows?
Never judges. You never know what shoes God puts her in.
Self-love is not an easy thing to do but it can be done. It may appear selfish but you’re responsible for your own happiness and no one, give a shit, if not yourself. I love myself by keeping only good friends around me. Friends who are willing to give me more than what they have (I just need to ask), friends who talk about moving forward, achieving dreams and treat my time as precious as theirs. Having good friends are like having treasures in life. For the same reasons, keep away people who only knows how to complaint day in and out, who breathes negativity and sucks you out like a dark hole.
You live this life once so live it well.
I love myself by knowing my self-worth. I was able to acknowledge what I deserve and what I don’t. I deserve a man who will treat me like a woman, respects my spiritual and personal growth, protects my individuality as a human and allow me to stand up for myself -as much as I will for him too. I don’t deserve a man who needs to be ‘the man’ of the family to justify his manliness, man who uses physical strength to reflect power and man who uses his cock as his brain. Sorry for the strong language but women need to be more aware that men who are worth keeping are those who are not afraid that you’re becoming a greater version of yourself -because he is sufficient just having you.
Finding love is never easy. Keeping in love is even harder. But neither of them would work if you don’t love yourself first -even if you have Dalai Lama trapped in Hugh Jackman’s body. Because when you don’t love yourself, even if you have the best things in your life, you won’t see or feel it. You reap what you sow. You create what you focus on. In keeping with the theme of self-love, I do still having ME time on almost weekly basis. I reflect, I write, I read and challenges myself to always look at life in several different ways. This in turn helps my relationship and upgraded my happiness.
What does Valentine’s day means to you?
For me, it used to be about receiving all sort of gifts and lined them up on my table and evaluate which one is the best. It also meant I have to go through a pile of love letters, some of which were quite squeamish. After I got married, Valentine is very different. It is not anymore about chocolate, roses or fancy dinners.
It is understanding in absence of words, loved in absence of gifts, warmth in absence of embrace, completeness in absence of each other.
Happy Valentine’s Day loves! xoxo