I have always waited for someone to validate my worth---as though my identity depended on what a second party had to say, as though I could only matter if I mattered to you. I don't know if it's the feminism or womanism or any other kind of ism that has brought me to this point in my life where I can stand in front of a mirror and see beautiful, and say beautiful. I have struggled with self-loathing wrestling in my thoughts and now I can say that it is not arrogant or conceited to think well of myself. In me, there is a lot to think well of. I don't know what it is exactly, but it shines through the pores of my skin and radiates from my fingertips. It's in the blush of my lips that wrap themselves around words like a first kiss.
I've finally grown some self-esteem. After years learning to love myself more, the lessons are finally sinking in. After thousands of empty affirmations, I've finally---honest to the divine, honest to the universe---come to believe it, to accept it.
I am beautiful.
I am human.
I am loved.
I could stand before that mirror, shoulder to reflected shoulder, warm palm to unmoving glass. Never flinch, never shudder, never waver in my devotion to love all that is me---even the uneveness of my complextion or the crinkles under my eyes, the oversized and overwhelming. I can love it all.
Dear friend, I hope that you find this someday or that you're already here. I hope you find a love for yourself---no matter what the magazines and media tells you, no matter how many bad boyfriends or girlfriends or family members try to break you down. No one can tell you that you aren't good enough. You are an entire universe within yourself. You dictate your confinements and limitations. You need no validation but your own. I could sit here writing about how beautiful you are, about how important you are until these fingers of mine start to bleed. But none of my words would matter unless you believe it yourself.
Dear friend, I love you but that's not enough. Please love yourself.