Your Whole Self

Melissa - Jacksonville, Florida
Entered on March 14, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

In order to love someone else, you must first know and love yourself; and only then can you truly be yourself in their presence.

Aside from the obstacles they face in their journey to find love (dwarves, evil stepsisters, and sleeping spells) all fairytale princesses have one thing in common: they marry their prince charming and live happily ever after. Influenced by these stories, I was convinced as a young girl that I too would someday find a prince. We would get married, have a family and of course, live happily ever after. This belief stayed with me throughout my childhood until I discovered a disturbing truth: “Boys suck and they certainly don’t look or act like prince charming!” This caused confusion and anger; wasn’t everybody supposed to find that perfect somebody? This teenage revelation was eventually modified and I grew to understand that ALL boys don’t suck and love is not something that stems from a glass slipper or a magical kiss. Instead love is the ability to be your true self at all times. However, unlike the love portrayed in fairytales, the most important kind of love does not depend on another person. The most important kind of love is the ability to accept yourself for who you are with no conditions. I have held this belief for many years but only recently have I come to respect its truth. After spending nearly five years of my life with someone, we decided we would be better apart. In the wake of this breakup, it has been difficult to remain positive. I may have even reverted back to that idea that “Boys suck!” for a while. However I have come to the conclusion that I have been given an unexpected opportunity. I have the chance to become comfortable with and accept who I am separate from anyone else. While this was not a welcomed change at first, I think that it is important. Many people loose themselves in serious relationships; but my experience has reminded me that I must love myself before I can successfully love someone else.