There are a million ways to show love, and, perhaps even more importantly, there are a million ways to be loved. If you ask one hundred people to tell you a way in which they show love, you will get almost one hundred varying answers. (I got 88). If I had known more people well enough to ask them this question then I would have, but even such a small scale offers an idea of the creativity within people when it comes to love. Love manifests in gestures, words and movements. There are so many ways to tell somebody that you love them without ever having to say it explicitly. It is easy to love, for most of us it is built in and is as natural as breathing. We love without even ever trying. To be loved, on the other hand, is inherently more difficult. Accepting love from others isn’t black and white, and there are often things that stand in the way. Self acceptance and loving yourself are necessary factors in allowing yourself to be loved, but even with waves being made in the push for self-love, it is easier said than done.
One of the most important things that people can do in their short lives is to learn to love themselves. It is a long journey to take, because as humans we are complex and confusing. Just as we think we have figured it out, have come to love some part of ourselves that was previously despised, another problem arises and we discover yet another part of ourselves that needs to be loved. It is exhausting and can get more than complicated along the way. Sometimes it can feel like a natural remedy to simply squash down those elements that are stopping you from loving yourself fully, but all that is happening is core parts of what make you special as an individual are being suppressed. It’s a difficult urge to fight, but remind yourself that you are hiding these pieces of yourself away from your friends and your family, people that may love these things about you more than you can comprehend. If you can’t love the entirety of yourself, then at least start by trying to accept it.
Valentine’s Day is speeding towards us as obnoxiously as ever before. It is a sweet holiday, one intended to make love airborne, to share it with everyone that’s able to understand what is happening. It doesn’t always go this way, however, and often it serves a bittersweet reminder that some individuals aren’t being loved the same way as others are. It is dangerous to let yourself believe that just because you are not being kissed or held, that you are not being loved properly, especially when some of the most enriching love you will ever receive will come from the people you least expect. As February 14th approaches, try taking small steps to recognise the things that you love about yourself; the way you feel when you make somebody laugh, your ability to hold on to useless facts, how easily you can put a stylish outfit together and even the unusual parting in your hair. They may seem like small things, but all small things amount to something greater in the end.
The people that surround you in life will all feel love for you in some way or another, and once you are able to recognise the individual ways that people show it then you open yourself to being loved, instead of just being someone who loves. We all need love, we need it in order to thrive as unique people, we need it to let our personalities and creativity blossom. It is food and sustenance and without it we would find ourselves in a very bleak place. So, remember to remain ingenious and outstanding in the way that you love, always, whether it is for everybody else, or even just yourself.