I’m going to encourage you to feel the deepest depths of your emotions. I’m going to assure you that there will be bad days ahead. I’m going to tell you that self-love and a positive attitude aren’t ingredients to a magic recipe that yields immediate results.
Over the last year or so I’ve noticed a trend in prescribing self-love and positivity. At one point, even I thought that self-love and a positive attitude were the only ways to make it in this cold world. As I’ve given myself space to explore what these two definitions mean to me, my outlook has changed.
Positives CAN be found in life’s darkest moments, but they aren’t immediately accessible or available to all. For example, my friend’s passing. I cannot immediately take on a positive attitude, or think on the brighter side of things. It fucking hurt. And I let it.
When I was diagnosed with herpes, all I knew was what it represented (perceived stigma) and how that impacted my identity. Not only was there physical pain, but emotional pain, as well.
Having an overall positive attitude to one’s life is a great foundation, but it can serve as a distraction from the present moment and the capacity for emotional connection. A mask to emotions that serves as a convincing strength to peers.
Self-love isn’t a facial expression that we can slap on an open wound. It’s not a mood that we can switch on and off as we please.
The real premise of self-love is accepting ourselves enough to sit in moments of discomfort, ambiguity, and sadness. Knowing that one day, we will feel the sunshine come across our cheeks, and a smile spread wide.
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