Ever since we’ve barely learned how to walk, we’ve been sending looks to other people we’ve found attractive. I’m not going to dive into sexuality at this stage, as I have honestly no clue on the facts behind LGBT-mechanics, so I’m not going to lie to you. However, I’m going to dive into my experiences. Ever since *I* was five or something, my mom tells me I’ve been sending looks to girls at every opportunity. Even when I learned to walk and realized you could actually lift skirts to have a peek under there, realizing even more: we differ at what we have under the belt line (WTF??? WHAT IS THIS?). Ever since that point of time, I always tried to get attention of the opposite sex. I consider that normal.
However, then somewhere between freshman and senior years, something got fucked up and it all became a whole metric fuck-ton of Complicated(tm). You could no longer send a cute look and your game got on point right there and then. There are suddenly these cliques and coolness and “don’t try too hard, but try SOME, but not too hard again”-scales. That’s when girls stuff socks in their bras, overdo their make-up, and boys start doing push-ups because the school jocks are getting all the attention leaving none to you. Then both sides of these Sex Wars start doing some really weird shit to get the attention they want (from their crush or friends). That’s when shit like “validation” and “status” becomes so fucking important. God forbid if you like collecting stamps or think horses are the next big deal. But I digress.
Point is, at that point we start to become self-conscious. Self-conscious of how we look, sound, behave and how our parents look, sound and behave. Cue the slippery slope. We start doing dumb shit to overcompensate, be noticed and accepted. We start the excessive drinking, partying, saying big, juicy “FUCK YOU” to our parents, or say “yes” to things we might not be ok with in general. These are obviously generalizations to make a point. Not everybody does this, but most of us suffer from this concept to a varying degree.
MOST of us get this stage over with during early 20’s, then we find ourselves (or ditch our The One in order to do so, which revolves around even more of the dumb shit done). I realize that all of this is a natural part of growing up, finding ourselves and writing our values in stone, before we (hopefully) are done with the bullshit at the age of 30+, and start focusing on something else than proving how awesome we are to others on a daily basis. Preferably earlier.
This is where my non-standard-issue-brain wishes things were different. That human nature changed to be less self-destructing, instead of following the same steps over again while growing up. I keep threatening on writing this Big, Great Article of Self-Compassion and Self-love, but I can’t seem to find the right mood to write something consistent with the message I want to send, so I’ll wait. I digress. Again.
Point here is, I wish our parents taught us self-compassion and self-love at the earliest possible age. I wish mine did. I wish people’s-I-Know did. I wish that our parents or our society taught us and valued self-compassion more. You know, so that we, at the age of 14 or whatever could realize that our tits are just fine as they are, and we don’t need muscles to be attractive. I wish that we knew that we didn’t have to jump in bed with strangers at parties or be in relationships with manipulative people in order to get validation. I wish we knew that we could validate, accept and love ourselves the way we are. With our small tits and skinny-fat bodies, morning breath and braces, shitty grades and working-class-hero parents. “Hold the fuck up, man. Are you saying you wish you could bestow decades of experience upon kids not being able to comprehend any of it until they experienced it all themselves?” You’re god damn right, I do. Boy’s gotta dream, right? This is my dream. That parents did their best to be with their kids, show them the love and affection they deserve and crave, the stability, comfort and predictability in their lives, so that we didn’t have to face generations of bullies, people not able to trust, to feel whole-heartedly, to live their lives fully without the need to overcompensate, overcompromise, seek validation, have daddy/mommy-issues and all the other jazz that comes with the years.
This is funny as fuck to me, because I nearly became the asshole. And I saw the cycle that preceded my time too. I also was, straight-up, one bad decision from becoming the asshole because at the point I was so hurt, I wanted to watch the whole world burn around me. Rage so blind, it shattered everything I ever was. Like some mental bone that snaps, and all you feel is numbness created by your own body’s defense mechanisms to protect itself from damage. The moment you break a bone and the adrenaline rush spreads through your veins to numb the pain, to prevent going into shock, so you just walk around with that broken leg of yours for a good while until the effect wears off and you go: “Holy fuck, what is this pain? Did I break something?” and then you see the bone sticking out through your pants, seeing the whole picture, and get hit with the full effect of pain caused by trauma.
I’ve been there. I’ve been there for a good while, for almost a year. What saved me from becoming the said asshole, were two things, that I think, at some point, were interconnected, but not obvious:
- I’m a nice guy, always been. My mom has been there for me as much as she could, and she encoded her values into my brain early on. I knew right from wrong, and this strong sense for justice, kindness and fairness were with me since I became aware of them at the age of 6 or so. I’m not saying I have always been Knight in Shining Armor. I’m human. I fucked up. And recently, I realized that other people are human too, and they too, fuck up. Occasionally. “Nobody’s perfect”, you’ve heard that one before. But in general, my intentions are always good.
- Self-compassion, which to me, was a “never learned before”-art. I never knew what that was. I was brought up with the ideal of being autonomous. I could make food, patch up my own clothes, fix simple things around the house at the age of 12. So, naturally, whenever I fucked something up, my internal dialog have always been: “Get your shit together, we can’t afford new groceries. Do this right”. It’s not until I was broken down to sub-atomic-levels, read a ton of different schools of self-help books, I stumbled upon one book that fixed everything. And by “everything”, I really do mean everything. It was a master key that unlocked all doors for me: Self-compassion, which led to self-love, which in turn led me to a rock-solid self-confidence. The book is called “Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself”, by Kristin Neff. Long story short: by being self-compassionate towards myself, I became much more compassionate towards other people (people I previously didn’t really want to be compassionate towards). It all kind of Zens you out, because you realize we’re all human.
And, here’s the kicker:
If every human being born and raised was taught self-compassion, we would stop the ever lasting hunt for approval, validation and acceptance (like nudes or badly covered tones of sexuality for likes on Instagram). We would just approve, validate and accept ourselves without the need to be cool, to sky-jump or travel the world to discover ourselves. We all would be cool with ourselves just as we are, doing our own thing.
This translates directly into dating sphere as well. We wouldn’t need to put the best foot forward, to put on a mask that we’re sure will be accepted instead of being our truest self. Hell, we wouldn’t even need to be desperate, because having only ourselves is enough, we wouldn’t need a boyfriend or girlfriend to confirm our own attractiveness or set our value. The whole dating advice scene would be rendered useless, because there is really only one valid advice you would ever need and it’s free: be you. Be you, do your thing, no matter how weird, ugly or unpopular you might think you are. I remember the time when I was neck deep into “RSD” (I think I just got brain-AIDS by even linking it in my blog, but whatever, I have a point to make). There is a whole crew dedicated to telling how shit and insecure you are, and how THEIR revolutionary advice (for only <insert a fuckton of money sum here>) will solve all your loneliness/”chode”-problems. As if life is all about how many lays you had, and that’s the sole and ONLY purpose you should have in life: get laid and “HERE’S HOW”. News flash: your high lay count will not solve a single fucking problem you have that is causing you to obsess on lays, attention and validation, which you so whole-heartedly try to avoid. A rude judgement and assumption on my part, but I’m willing to go out on a limb here.
Life is so much more than attention, validation and acceptance of others. It is SO much more.
Here’s a news flash, free of charge:
You are fine as you are. You are enough. You are beautiful, sexy, strong, wealthy, successful , stylish enough as you are. Right here, right now. If you think you are, then you are. There is always someone who will like what you have to offer, and those who don’t are probably the wrong people for you. Take care of yourself, your health, your own happiness (“Do whatever that makes you happy”, you’ve heard that one before), your own success (by your own margins and judgement). I really wish that people were more fine with being themselves. Personally? There are few things more attractive than a person being 100% themselves without any regard of what others might think of them. Even people that are not my style, but are 100% themselves get my 100% undivided respect and admiration. It’s the faking I wish was gone. Fuck any dating advice you ever heard, and be you. Attract the person that will want everything you are and what you have to offer, just as you are. Quit playin’ because: why would you? You are you, this is it. No mask, no pretending, no games. This is you, and you are enough. Accept that. Stop running and smell the god damn roses.