To the Daughters of our Nation,
What I’m about to say might seem counter-intuitive. And it might seem like I’m making something big out of something that should come naturally. But I’m pretty sure it doesn’t come naturally to a lot of people.
Learning to love yourself is one of the hardest and most important things you can do in this life. Loving yourself doesn’t mean being selfish. It doesn’t mean putting your needs before someone else’s. And it doesn’t mean doing whatever you think is fun just for the sake of it.
Loving yourself means figuring out who you really are – a process that takes time, if for no other reason than the fact that you change over time. It means self-reflection. Repeatedly. Sometimes you like what you see, sometimes you don’t. And so you have to acknowledge that and figure out what parts you’re okay with and what parts you want to strive to change and make better. All of that takes time.
Loving yourself means respecting yourself. So you won’t put up with the BS of a hookup culture when what you really want is love. You won’t believe the lies of selfish men because you know what the actions of a worthwhile man look like. You’ll stand up for yourself when others put you down, but in ways that treat them with respect regardless.
Loving yourself means figuring out what would make you deep in your bones happy and reaching for it, even when others say you can’t have it. It means ignoring yourself when you say you can’t have it. Especially because you realize that happiness is not in the attainment of things or of money. It is in the stuff you cannot see.
It is a lie that you cannot love others when you don’t love yourself. You can indeed love others even without self-love. But you can love others better and more freely when you love yourself. When you don’t, there is too much need tangled up in the love and it is difficult to see which is which. There are more rules and obligations and less trust. Not so when you love yourself first.
There is more freedom in the space of love when you first love yourself.
All of this I say to you. With love,
What would you tell our nation’s daughters?
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Next week’s challenge: Souls