i. Blame the person who hurts you, not yourself. Never blame yourself for not being what they wanted or not being “good enough.” You are made with perfectly flawed traits, stitched together to be loved unconditionally.
ii. Not everyone you love will love you back and the people who do love you, you won’t always reciprocate the feelings. But that doesn’t make them or you a bad person. You can’t love everyone and not everyone will love you. I refuse to blame the people that can’t find it in their soul to give me what I give them. I don’t give to get back. I give because I want to and because I can.
iii. Don’t let one person tell you negative things about yourself. One opinion out of a million does not make you who you are. No one paints a masterpiece for you, you are the art piece. You make who you are. You are the artist.
iv. Don’t ever settle. People always feel safer with things that they are used to and comfortable with instead of seeking for the heart pounding feelings and moments that take their breaths away. I never want it to be easy; I want it to be hard to breathe and suffocating when I give something my all. I want to learn how to survive through that.
v. Learn how to say no. No, I do not want to dance with you. No, I do not want to kiss you. No, I do not want to date you. No, I do not want to do this. No, I do not want to do that. Because that does not make me happy and that does not make me feel comfortable, so no. And I don’t need to give you a reason nor do I need to make up an excuse to say “no.”
vi. There are different kinds of people. Don’t always catergorize people in groups because people are not meant to be labelled. Just because one person hurts you, does not mean the ones in the future will. Just because one person holds a knife doesn’t mean the next one will use it. There is good out there; there is good in the world and there is good in people. Not everyone is a monster. I strongly believe that majority of the population is good.
vii. Do not let the past prevent you from living in the future. Do not let the pain and hurt take over. Don’t close yourself up to others just because you have been broken before. Never allow the demons of yesterday to control the beauty that is to come in the future. Vow to never allow it to always be stormy for the sun does eventually shine down on all things beautiful. I am beautiful, and so are you.
viii. You can swim across the world for someone but they might not even step outside in the drizzle for you. Even if you hold the umbrella for them.
ix. Never give someone the power to rid you of yourself. Don’t ever fall out of your routine or lose who you are permanently. That is so important.
x. Love yourself. Learn to love the birthmark on your face, the chipmunk cheeks, the thighs that jiggle when you walk, the nose you think is too flat, and your fingers that are too short. Learn to appreciate your almond shaped eyes, your skin color, the thin hair that doesn’t grow fast, the beauty mark above your lips, and the small gap between your teeth. Learn to love your sense of humor, your laughter, your emotions, your tendency to trust easily, and how happy you always are. Learn to love the way you love others deeply, how you sometimes fear being lonely, the way you enjoy walks alone, and the radiance in your soul. Learn to love yourself at 3AM when you cannot sleep and can only think of the skeletons hiding in your own closets and learn to love yourself at 3PM when you are cranky and unable to get out of bed. Learn to love yourself and come to terms with the fact that you are you, and that will never change.
For someone else’s comfort -
Do not become small
For people who refuse to grow.
Stop saying “I’m not like” or “I can’t be,” and start saying “I am” and “I can.” I am capable. I can do this. I am more. I am worth it. I can accomplish it. I am me. Acknowledge your weaknesses and limitations, but stop magnifying them. There is more to you than what you lack, both what you perceive to lack and what you do lack. We all have our shortfalls and misgivings. We were not made to be cookie-cutter perfect. But our sufficiency and capabilities should overcome our deficiencies and incompetence. Our capacity to grow has no boundaries. So grow to be the you who love himself/herself.
Indulge in yourself. Put on your favorite TV show and watch one episode after another for hours. Sleep in and wake up to the afternoon light streaming from your window. Eat another brownie. Have an extra scoop of ice cream. Get more of that rice bowl. Drink a fourth cup of your favorite beverage. Take long showers if you want to. Stay in your room and ignore the rest of the world. Worry about yourself for once and find pleasures in the things you used to enjoy. Forget about the demands from others and listen to your inner demands and desires. Sometimes we forget about ourselves when we’re trying to make others happy. Satisfy yourself every once in a while. Pamper yourself. Don’t always yield for someone.
Build a home out of happiness. Allow for your sadness to fill you and give it the time and attention it desperately craves. It’s a resident, so don’t mistake it for a shelter for your own heart and body. Open your door and welcome it with open arms, but know when to stop embracing it. Learn to let go. Learn its temporary residency in your abode. Learn when to allow other emotions in. Remember sadness is not synonymous to weakness. Just because you are on the floor or on your bed with your lungs collapsing, your heart ripped out, or your mind craving for a never-ending sleep does not mean you are incapacitated. Everyone has their bad (worst) days. You have legs - go for a walk and leave crumbs of your sadness with every step. You have arms - hug people and let them shed light. You have hands - grab a book and discover worlds. You have eyes and ears - take in new sights and sounds and allow them to overwhelm you with new feelings.
Take good care of yourself. Find the middle ground between being soft and being hard. Be kind, but know when you’re being taken for granted. Then be a storm. Shower yourself with attention, patience, and care. Look at your reflection in the mirror and take notes of every curve, bump, indentation, mark, and line. Remember the days when you used to not care about them. Remember the days when looking in the mirror didn’t bring hints of weary or disgust. Have some alone time and rediscover yourself without the notions of society’s ideals. Amplify your passions. Bookmark your strengths. Listen to good songs. Dance even if you’re not good at it. Photograph people, trees, buildings, and anything worth remembering. Breathe. Slow down. Cherish every moment. Treasure every blink. Don’t rush life.
It’s not that I don’t love you. It’s the sound I heard when I was 9 and my father slammed the front door so hard behind him I swear to god it shook the whole house. For the next 3 years I watched my mother break her teeth on vodka bottles. I think she stopped breathing when he left. I think part of her died. I think he took her heart with him when he walked out. Her chest is empty, just a shattered mess or cracked ribs and depression pills.
It’s not that I don’t love you. It’s all the blood in the sink. It’s the night that I spent 12 hours in the emergency room waiting to see if my sister was going to be okay, after the boy she loved, told her he didn’t love her anymore. It’s the crying, and the fluorescent lights, and white sneakers and pale faces and shaky breaths and blood. So much blood.
It’s not that I don’t love you. It’s the time that I had to stay up for two days straight with my best friend while she cried and shrieked and threw up on my bedroom floor because her boyfriend fucked his ex. I swear to god she still has tear streaks stained onto her cheeks. I think when you love someone, it never really goes away.
It’s not that I don’t love you. It’s the six weeks we had a substitute in English because our teacher was getting divorced and couldn’t handle getting out of bed. When she came back she was smiling. But her hands shook so hard when she held her coffee, you could see that something was broken inside. And sometimes when things break, you can’t fix them. Nothing ever goes back to how it was. I got an A in English that year. I think her head was always spinning too hard to read any essays.
It’s not that I don’t love you. It’s that I do.
Wholehearted understanding and acceptance of our story is what will set us free, entirely.