I spend a lot of time on my own. Hours of alone time in the studio, in my car on a long commute, or even in crowded rooms with friends. No matter where I am, I am always in my thoughts and having a constant conversation with myself. Recently, I began to analyze who I am now in comparison to who I was a little over a year ago. I asked myself, “What was different? What has changed?”
First of all, you should know that right now in my life, I am very happy, so these questions weren’t coming from a place of disappointment or disgust. Rather, from a place of pride and happiness. Plus, asking questions to myself about myself is kind of my style.
Then, it clicked--I saw and felt that I finally loved myself, completely. And I’d like to share what that means to me.
I was once buried beyond neck-deep in insecurity, embedded so far into my existence that I didn’t even recognize how much I didn’t love myself. I was constantly in pain. I always felt like I was getting the short end of every stick. I felt like there was a continuous pattern of losing the things that meant the most to me; the things that made me complete, the things that made me happy, the things that gave me the feeling of love.
I later learned that this came from a backwards outlook and understanding of love.
Something we’re taught as children is that love is this deep and constant affection for and from someone or something else. We’re given this fairy tale version of something that is actually much bigger and more powerful than anything our minds could ever imagine.
Have you ever heard the saying that says ‘God is Love’? Regardless of your religion, the idea of God can arguably be seen as the most powerful entity in the Universe. It is, in some theories, the Universe itself.
So, if God is Love, and God is the Universe, then wouldn’t it make sense that the Universe itself, something we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of when it comes to its exploration, is actually love?
My happiness comes from love, much like everyone else, but for my entire life my happiness was conditional. It was based on and fed by the good things that were happening to, for and around me. So, while in many moments I was undeniably happy with life, I was not truly happy underneath it all, because my happiness was defined by the circumstances in my life, instead of being cultivated within myself.
That was proven every time my circumstances or surroundings would change. If my girl and I got in a fight, or broke up, I became miserable. If something unfortunate happened in my life, I became so unhappy that I actually couldn’t remember what it felt like to be happy, because it wasn’t real.
I had to change that. I was tired of running. I was tired of pacifying my unhappiness with happy circumstances. I wanted to find and discover the true healing to this resurfacing wound in my life, and I did.
Sure, maybe I was forced into solitude. But for the first time ever, I had decided to play my cards in life instead of crying about the hand that I was dealt. See, these were the facts: I was tired, I was alone and I was in an indescribable amount of pain.
Just like other people, and just like many times before, I was tempted to move in the way of quick healing. Every part of me wanted to reach out to people to come keep me company and take the edge off of the discomfort for a couple of hours. Sometimes I did just that. But, every time they left or I was alone again, the agony would hit me like a ton of bricks.
So I had to ask myself a new question: “Is this really fixing anything?”
I had been here before, so was it just time that was going to heal me? I needed something more permanent.
That’s when I decided to turn away from the aid of distractions and, instead, give myself some much needed isolation to fix the root of the problem. I was wise enough to be conscious of my emotional and mental health. I was focused on not allowing myself to slip into depression again. I invested energy into understanding every single emotion I was feeling at any given moment.
I went for many walks, I worked out a lot, I read books, I took long rides, and I worked on lots and lots of music. But I made sure that I wasn’t using these things as an escape to what I was going through. I made myself feel the reality of the pain I was always so scared to face.
This was my new life. Embracing what is.
Imagine this: You’re in the gym, and you’re 8 reps into your last set on any kind of lift you want to imagine. Your muscles are completely shot and the pain seems unbearable. A part of you feels like it’s logical to quit, but you don’t give up, you don’t drop the weights. You do everything you can to muster up those last 2 reps, because you know that by doing so, it makes you stronger. You’ve accepted that this pain you’re feeling is just part of the important circumstance you are currently facing.
So in life, why is it that we run from pain? Why is it that we tell our friends to, “Go get your mind off of things”? Does this actually make you stronger? Or does it just distract you long enough for the circumstances to change, so that you don’t actually have to face the pain?
I chose to co-exist with the pain I was facing. I found purpose in every “unfortunate” thing in my life. This was the beginning of true love with myself, and with my existence. When you love someone or something, you typically learn everything there is to know about them. There isn’t anything you don’t know about your partner or even your favorite hobby. So learning about myself, and constantly asking myself questions that led to discovering every single little detail of my consciousness, and even my subconscious, could be translated into me loving myself in its purest definition.
I began to feel true happiness, because I was no longer feeling like I needed something more. My happiness was no longer conditional or dependent on the outside factors in my life. It was unconditional; because I realized I had everything I needed within this beautiful soul of mine. This doesn’t mean that I don’t want to continue to grow and evolve as the seconds pass, and as the circumstances change, but it means that I do not focus on the escape, I do not focus on the better days, I focus on the now, whatever is right before me.
I’ve been blessed with revelations about myself that will make me a better human forever. It will one day make me a better boyfriend, husband or even father. I constantly pay attention to my actions and I am honest with myself about my flaws and faults. I praise myself in silence for my accomplishments and I keep God, love and the Universe at the center of my vibration.
I finally love myself, in ways that I had never thought possible. I’ve never even loved another person the way I love myself now.
Someday I may come across someone who has also reached this place of self-discovery and awareness. If we choose, we can then stand in this love together. We can continue this journey we’ve embarked on in our own lives, but also have the pleasure of sharing the moments with one another. Even if we grow apart from one another for whatever reason, we would ultimately be fine because we, as individuals, supply our own abundance of love.
I wish I had the secret to how I came to where I am now, and a way to make it easy for you. But I think that’s the point. There is no strategy, just the mere fact that true strength does not come in the form of attacking or even evading your opponent. There is only accepting your adversities, accepting the challenge in front of you and making the decision to face it instead of escaping it.
Embrace the pain. Co-exist with the discomfort.
You will learn secrets about your Universe that only you could ever describe.
Love, Just Love.