I have already written this post once but it didn’t feel right so I scrapped it. It had the title “Be Good on Your Own Before You’re Good With Someone Else” but that didn’t feel right either. Mainly because “good” is pretty synonymous with “alright” and that just won’t do. I’m not annoyed that I have to rethink it and I don’t feel like I’ve wasted my time because I’ve learnt and I love to learn. Learning from your mistakes is an important part of your growth and learning to love yourself is a part of that.
Whenever I write a Dear Lacey, it’s usually because I’m going through a weird patch and I want to give you a heads up for your future if you ever get yourself in the same positions I’ve been in by passing on the lessons I’ve learned. This post is no different. A few months ago, I (once again) had to learn to love myself again and to handle my problems head on rather than pushing them to the side and hoping they pass in their own time and it’s honestly been anything but easy. I suppose anything that aids in your growth and shift in mindset isn’t going to be a walk in the park.
However, there are always things that make situations, like the one I was faced with a little while ago, easier to process and get through. For me, that was the puzzle theory.
Let me explain exactly what this is.
Naturally, people are usually socialised into the notion that you can’t be “whole” or “complete” unless someone else introduces you to your value, i.e you have a significant other. This isn’t true and can be damaging to have a mindset where you believe you deserve love only when someone else is willing to give it to you and because of this, you begin to settle and force puzzle pieces that don’t fit.
I’ll put it like this – we all have a puzzle. The corners and sides are friends, family, career and hobbies and you work your way inwards when you build on them. A lot of people are under the false pretence that the only way you can fill the middle is by having someone else complete the puzzle for you and so you desperately search for someone else with a puzzle, trying to see if their puzzle pieces fit yours. You might start jamming the wrong pieces in, just to fill the empty space rather than keeping the bigger picture in mind. You start settling for toxicity and low standards. You start to just accept anything.
When you force the wrong pieces to fit, they change the picture and it isn’t as good as it could be because… well, it’s not right. It’s not the picture you were setting out to create to begin with. In reality, you can complete your own puzzle and find someone else with their own puzzle and exist separately, together, building a different puzzle with each other but still keeping your own because you shouldn’t expect people to change for you, they can grow for you and with you but they cannot be expected to shape their pieces to your puzzle or your pieces to their puzzle just because they want a finished puzzle. It will fall apart, shapes with buckle under the pressure to fill a space that wasn’t made for them and the picture will crumble.
The last thing you want to do is settle just to feel temporarily complete.
Raise your standards by learning to love yourself and completing your own puzzle because if you only love yourself 25% and someone else comes along and loves you 40%, its going to feel like a lot but in reality that’s not even half and you deserve and owe it to yourself to demand more than that. You have to know how to love yourself so you know how you want to be loved.
So, before you try and complete your puzzle by cramming other people into it, be aware that you are more than capable of completing it by yourself because other people should be an extension of your happiness and self worth, not the deciding factor.
I love you, Moosh.