Sitting in bed eating tortellini and watching Gilmore Girls this morning I read a seemingly insignificant (and incredibly cliche) tweet from someone I don’t even follow (proof I was hardcore lurking).I thought to myself that it was the most simplistic cheesy tid bit of information. I thought “this particular phrase has probably been tossed around all over Pinterest for its complete lack of originality and the general 14 year old girl inspirational vibe it carries” but I read it. And then I reread it. And it resonated with me first on a very superficial level and eventually somewhere deeper.
Stay away from people who make you feel you’re difficult to love.
I’ve spent an absurd amount of time coercing people who don’t want me to want me. And it’s funny because I thought I’d given that habit up awhile back. I told myself I was no longer chasing boys who weren’t interested in me…and it’s true I quit cold turkey! If a boy didn’t text me I didn’t sit around waiting for him to call-one in the hand two in the bush…on to the next one. But then at some point you let people into your life. You get lost in their eyes, you drown in their stories of sorrow and triumph. These people-their laughter gives you a sense of purpose, their smiles somehow make you feel fulfilled and suddenly it doesn’t feel like chasing anymore, it feels like loving. When you love people in any manner it can become difficult to also love yourself. Weird how that works sometimes right? I am so concerned with the happiness of others. I am eager to please. I feel as if it is my duty to make those around me happy, even if it means sacrificing my own happiness in the process. To be on bad terms with anyone makes me incredibly uncomfortable. I lose sleep. I toss and turn. I cry at random less than ideal times throughout the day.
It upsets me because when someone does something wrong, I don’t forget everything they have done right. So I assume that those around me extend the same grace. Here’s the thing though-not everyone does. Not everyone can forgive you for little things like crying in a bar even if some people can forgive for BIG things like cheating and lying. When you make a mistake and you’ve genuinely apologized and done everything in your power to make things right and someone still can’t forgive you, it isn’t a “you” problem anymore. You aren’t the problem now. Release yourself.
I read a quote in Lena Dunham’s book “Not that Kind of Girl” a few months ago that for whatever reason stood out to me. At the time it wasn’t really relevant to my life but the words sort of shone on the page as I read and whenever words shine like that I write them down, in this instance I saved the phrase in my phone. Lena said:
When someone shows you how little you mean to them and you keep coming back for more, before you know it you start to mean less to yourself too.
Continuing to grovel at someone’s feet after you’ve apologized, after you’ve done everything possible to redeem yourself is lessening your value. Hating yourself for a mistake dismisses your humanity. YOU ARE A HUMAN AND EVEN GOOD PEOPLE MESS UP! Messing up sometimes is okay. Allowing a mess up to define your perception of yourself is not okay.
I have a tendency to inflict pain upon myself when I feel guilty. I punish myself because when someone is mad at me and is holding a grudge I start believe I deserve to be punished and I reason that if they won’t do it then I need to. It’s a very masochistic way to live. It’s the reason why silence is the ultimate form of torture for me. I’d rather be yelled at or hit then ignored. If I’m ignored I beat myself up mentally non stop. Which brings me back to my original point (I know, thank God right?).
Stop looking for love from people who make you feel like you’re the worst. Chances are you aren’t the worst. Chances are you’re actually pretty decent and wasting your love and kindness and energy on someone who doesn’t want to love you…eek, it’s a little hopeless.
I want to love people which is why I forgive over and over and over again. I want to like them which is why I fixate on all the quirky little details that make them unique and beautiful rather than on the handful of mistakes they are bound to make. You aren’t difficult to love even though you mess up. I’m not difficult to love even though I occasionally drink too much champagne and cry in crowded bars. And we need to stop allowing people who don’t want to love us anyways to devalue who we are because it’s just really really stupid. We deserve better.