An emotion every child should grow up with, teen should experiment with, adult should live with, and grandparent should die surrounded with.
A four letter word. A hope filled word. A word inspiring change, direction, and a set assurance of at least one constant in any equation.
Love is something every girl should feel, have, express, know.
Love of God, love of family, love of friends, love of *superfluous* things, and love of that special someone.
Love is an emotion that should be free of charge, free of consequence, free of disappointment. Love should be given and never taken away. Love should be unconditional. Love should be unbreakable. Disney jokes about how love is the greatest force of strength; well, it should be. From yourself, from your family, from your friends.
My life has been FILLED with love. Continuous love. Predictable love. Unchanging love.
From everyone around me. Friends, family, acquaintances, and, let's face it: boys.
In a moment of pure weakness tonight, I decided to trace back every pain, every sadness, every trial, to a moment where I felt a break of love. From someone.
When I was sexually assaulted, I felt isolated and alone in my family. I felt that no one heard me, no one cared for me, and no one would ever treat me with as much "love" or "respect" as my perpetrator.
The evening in the hospital proved to be different. Family and friends everywhere sent love and support, telling me they cared for me or loved me and wished they'd known so they could've helped.
Except for one.
The month that a combination of trials occurred, first with my "boyfriend", then my father, then myself proved to start no different. I felt a lack of love from this man (who is today the best friend I've ever had aside from the Savior himself) in numerous and uncountable ways. At the time he made me feel like complete and utter trash. Then with my father I felt attacked and misunderstood. I didn't understand how someone could treat me in such a horrible manner, and later felt a sense of complete abandonment like id never felt from him. And with my own lack of love drove me to places I'd never been, lows id never felt. I truly thought that no one on earth would ever love me, could ever love me. Once again I was proven to be wrong. The forces of love from unexpected sources came and quite literally carried me to safety.
Time and time again in my life I feel a sense of hatred or disappointment when anyone in my family says something about school, my hair, or my future plans. I have felt unending hatred, shock, betrayal, and deep and unrelenting disappointment from them in ways words could never explain. The feeling of complete self worth is a familiar one, and it often bubbles to the surface with an unintendedly painful statement from someone.
It was after tonight that I felt all of this, all of my trials or feelings of worthlessness were based on lack of love from someone, when I realized I was sorely mistaken. My trials are based on a lack of love, yes. But it's the lack of love I have for myself, and for my savior. I don't have really tough times or endure really painful things when I'm close to the savior and really and truly can look myself in a mirror and see past the wig, the stretch marks, the non-existent thigh gap, the short stature, all of it. When I look at myself and only see flaws, my family can only look at me and see my weaknesses. If I feel confident, and really and truly love myself and love what I have to offer and what I've done and what I'm trying to become, nothing really seems so bad.
The importance of self-love is as important as gas to a car or internet to technology. Without it, you really can't do much, and you'll feel hopeless and alone. When you stay caught up, and you are at a good place in your life with a positive outlook, that's when you'll truly be able to love yourself for who you are. If your loved ones are capable of rallying around and loving you when you're at your worst, why can't you?