I know this is a trite, overused nugget of wisdom, but time and time again I re-realize the importance of “love yourself.” People say it all the time. “You can’t love anyone else until you love yourself.” A long time ago, I would ask myself, what does that even mean? For many years, I don’t think I know what it meant. I thought I did, but I didn’t. It took me most of my twenties to really understand what it meant, and moreover, to actually put that self-love to action. I made mistakes along the way. Some were made out of the innocence of youth. Some were just plain dumb. But a lot of them were made because I didn’t fully love myself. I know that may sound very Oprah at first, but I think if we all reflect honestly, we can each make similar admissions. In truth, I didn’t expect the very best for myself. Now, thankfully, I know better.
My first serious relationship left me pretty wounded. We were together over three years and it was first love for each of us. That breakup took me years to recover from. I remember one day, shortly after the breakup, when I thought I was alone at home. I was sobbing, thinking to myself that I would never find another love as true as my first. I shuffled to the bathroom to wash my face and try to get it together, and I run into my dad in the hallway. Of course, this made me cry even harder. “Mi amor, que te pasa?” I collapsed into his arms, racked with sobs, and when I could finally speak, I said, “No one will ever love me again.” My dad gently turned my face toward his and, chuckling, said, “You are so wrong.” And then he hugged me again.
I always look back on that moment, and what stands out the most was his chuckle. He was so positively sure that I would again find love, that he said so with a smile and a soft laugh. He was that sure of it.
Looking back, I am consumed with love for my father. He never ceases to amaze me. He is such a beautiful person in every way, and I know I would be a completely different woman were it not for his selfless love and dedication.
I read this somewhere recently: Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. (Side note: I just googled it and the wise words come from Dr. Seuss.) To all my beautiful single-for-now friends and readers who may wonder from time to time, “Will I find love? Will I be loved?” If any self-doubt fills you, please save yourselves the time and heartache and give yourselves a simple answer: Of course you will.