You Must Love Yourself Before All Else

So if you read my post a few days ago, you'll know I wasn't in a good place.

But then I got a massage.  And something clicked.  

It wasn't that the knots are slightly fewer in my back (because I'm sure there are still a ton.  When the masseuse tells you "Duuuuuude, your back is JACKED brah" you know you should have done this much earlier.)  It wasn't because I had a relaxing and zen experience. (It actually hurt like hell and I'm still incredibly sore.  Feel better, but boy oh boy sometimes I couldn't speak the pain was so bad.)  

It just really hit me all of a sudden that it felt good to indulge myself.  No wait, it wasn't indulging myself, it was simply taking care of myself– something I should be doing every single day.  

I'm not the energizer bunny, I need down time too.  

I've always been an overachiever; the kid who pushed herself to get straight A's and work harder at dance and put in more and more hours until I felt I had no room to breathe.  And I haven't stepped back off myself even an ounce in college.  It's one thing to push yourself, but something else entirely to be relentless and not give yourself a break every once in a while.  I get pissed at myself for getting B's, beat myself up when I am not perfect in my relationships, and put all of the blame on myself when literally anything goes wrong.

But why?  

We're all human, we've all had to learn that we can only be our best when we treat ourselves as though we are the best.  Tearing myself to shreds is not going to help me improve.  My best pal told me during one of our very therapeutic phone calls "there are enough people in the world to pull you down, why would you do it to yourself?"  If you're not going to be an advocate for your own worth, you cannot expect anyone else to do it for you.  It strains relationships which just strengthens the pull of the self loathing tide.  

The problem is that I was doing this without even realizing it.  I wasn't listening to others telling me how much I mean to them because, honestly, for the last few months I haven't thought of myself as having any real worth.  I was under so much pressure to be perfect , but I was convinced it was coming from everyone around me, rather than myself.  I felt like I was letting everyone down, but ultimately it was my own impossible expectations that I couldn't live up to.  That I don't need to live up to. 

But I scheduled a massage.  I took the time to relax (although it was more painful than relaxing), to get the knots out, and to have some great conversation with an insane masseuse.  Afterwards, I honestly felt like I had been reborn.  Suddenly I didn't care whether I turned in perfect papers– it's only a grade.  I shed a layer of stress and felt like I could breathe for the first time in a very long time.

I no longer want to be perfect...I just want to be me.  Because this iteration of myself is already the best Madysen possible.

And I discovered that when I embrace the mistakes and problems and flaws all tied up in Madysen, well...I feel all the love of the universe radiating in towards me.  The loving looks pierce my soul and the words no longer bounce off of the cloud of darkness surrounding me.  I get it when my dad tells me how awesome I am and when E looks up at me from across the table in the cafe.  The change is so sudden, that I almost feel overwhelmed with emotions.  There's still a part of me that doesn't quite believe that I deserve this, but there's an even bigger part that wants to absorb it all into myself.  

You don't have to love yourself for others to love you, but you have to love yourself to feel that you are loved.  

I feel it.  I know it.  I love it.  
Thank you.  


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Meet The Author

I'm Madysen, born and raised in Nebraska but now living out my dreams in New York City. I moved here to go to Columbia, but living in New York has become so much more to me. This blog is a space where I can share my experiences of reconciling my midwestern upbringing with the life I live in the city. But even bigger than that, this blog serves as a space where I can try to understand where I fit into the larger social world, where I want to go in life, and how I want to go about pursuing all of these endeavors.

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