This I Believe

Daphne - Strykersville, New York
Entered on April 28, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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“I Must First Love Myself”

It’s been my experience that everyone is in a hurry to fall in love. People seem to want the fairy-tale ending; the need for that enduring, beautiful love that is portrayed in movies and in books is often so powerful that one important detail is overlooked—to truly love another, people must first love themselves. As comedian Lucille Ball once stated, “love yourself first and everything else falls into line.” Although I now understand the meaning in these words, it wasn’t all that long ago that I was trapped in a time where I had no love for myself; I call these years high school.

I’d be lying if I said that I hated high school. I didn’t hate it; but while it definitely had its moments, but there was always something missing. I wanted more than anything to have a boyfriend and to be loved. When all of my friends had boyfriends, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t help feeling jealous. I tried to ignore it, but deep inside I began to think that maybe there was something wrong with me and that boys found me undesirable. My thoughts became consumed with trying to make myself better. I wanted to look like the movie stars I saw in movies. As time went on, I felt that nothing about me was beautiful or worth loving. The more I tried to “fix” myself, the worse I felt. I realize now that the reason I felt so terrible was that I had no love for myself.

Through my experiences, I have found that the worst times in my life came when I didn’t love myself. However, that makes the feeling of loving myself that much better and I consider myself lucky to have learned a lesson at a young age that some women never learn: loving myself is the most important kind of love. Without it, it is impossible to love another. I think that Lucille Ball was right when she said, “everything falls into line” because it really does seem that my life has fallen into place. Also, I feel that now I can conquer anything because I am not holding myself back. That’s not to say that I am now overconfident and too proud because I’m not. I recognize my flaws and shortcomings and realize that everyday I have to work at loving myself more. In the end, I believe that no matter how many people love me or how many boys I date, I will be all right on my own because, no matter what, I love myself and that is all I really need to succeed.