Blog

Jul31
2014

Because Love Is The Story.

By Melissa Boles

Do you ever wonder if you are telling the wrong story? Like maybe the story about the girl who was bullied and didn’t know how to find herself is just part of the story? I’ve wondered that for a long time, if maybe the thing I’ve been holding as my story for so long is just a part of my story. The big picture, if you will, is all about something I still don’t totally understand.

Love.

As a kid, I wavered between loving everything about me to wanting to fix all of the broken pieces. By the time I reached middle school, I’d left all thought of loving myself behind. Friendships and relationships felt contractual: if you do this or that, I’ll be your friend. If you dress differently, you can hang out with us. If you help me with the class I’m failing, I’ll talk to you in the hallway. If you behave or look a certain way, I’ll love you.

I didn’t fulfill a lot of those contracts. I didn’t know how. And I felt alone a lot of the time. I wanted my relationships to be different – I wanted to be different – but I didn’t know what that meant.

When I was a freshman in high school, I really wanted a boyfriend. I’d never been in a relationship before, and I assumed that having a boy to love me was exactly what was missing in my life. It became an obsession for me, and I never really learned how to build relationships with men that weren’t based solely on my (very bad) flirting.

I never got a boyfriend, and I assumed it meant that there was something wrong with me.

I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you that my lack of a relationship thus far in my life does not mean there is something wrong with me. And, if you’re where I am, there is nothing wrong with you. I know that can be hard to see, but I’ll tell you now that you’re wonderful just as you are.

Though I’d likely been depressed for a long time, it began to really manifest itself in high school. I continued to let the opinions of others influence my opinion of myself, and I dealt with it through self-harm and disordered eating. I gained weight dramatically, which just fueled my depression. It became a never-ending cycle that I’m just now learning to monitor.

I was a mess for a long time, but in 2009 I reached my first major turning point. That year, my uncle died. I learned of his death by suicide when I returned home after a week abroad, and it shook me. I’d contemplated suicide before, but I’d never thought about what it would be like for others. His death sent me spiraling; I didn’t want to end my life angry and sad, like he did.

I wanted to live, and love, happily.

That was five years ago. And here’s what I really want you to know: love is a long, hard road.

Over the last five years, the thing I have learned the most is that loving yourself is the first step. And it’s hard, so hard. And I wish I had secrets for you. I wish that I could send you a care package with special teas and chocolates that would make all of this easier.

There isn’t any of that, though. As far as I know, there’s only a lot of journaling, listening to good music, talking to people who have gotten through it, and waiting. There is so much waiting. But all of that waiting is so worth it when you finally start to see your own worth in the mirror.

One of the things that helped me the most was loving other people. And watching people love other people. The love you give to others will fill your spirit in a way you never expected. And it will be hard, but if you love just one person every day, your heart will grow that much stronger.

If you’re reading this, and you’re struggling, take a moment to focus less on the immediate and instead look at the bigger picture. In what places can you find the love you are seeking?

If you don’t see it, go find it. Go love someone else for a day or let someone love you. Don’t be afraid to ask for the love you need.

It’s never too late to love yourself, which is something I wish my uncle had known.

I hope you know that your story is about so much more than what you’ve been through or what you’re going through. It’s about how loved you are, by others, by yourself, and by me. Because even if I’ve never met you, I know you’re worth an exponential amount of love. And I hope you know that too.

Melissa Boles is a Student Affairs professional based out of Vancouver, Washington, who believes in love letters, coffee dates, and magic. She is learning to cook, to keep a plant alive, and how to love herself and others. She is available on her blog, twitter, and via email at boles.melissa@gmail.com. She would love to hear from you.

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Comments (24)

  1. Anonymous

    Beautiful. Needed that. Thank you

    Reply  |  
    1. Melissa

      Thank you, love!

      Reply  |  
  2. Kim

    Thank you.

    Reply  |  
    1. Melissa

      Thank you, Kim. <3

      Reply  |  
  3. Loren

    Absolutely true and beautiful Melissa.
    I love you.
    Dad

    Reply  |  
    1. Melissa

      Thanks, Papa. Love you!

      Reply  |  
  4. Courtney M.

    I loved, loved, loved this blog!! It is so touching! Your blog opened my eyes and gave me a new perspective on life. These words changed mu attitude and I absolutely in so inspired by your writing! I am so glad that you chose to write about personal situations and thoughts. I hope one day,I can have that abundance of confidence in myself (:

    With love,
    Courtney M.

    Reply  |  
    1. Melissa

      Courtney, thank you so much for your kind words. I hope you are able to use your new perspective to be as amazing as I already know you are. That confidence is already within you, you just have to dig it out. And I know you can do that!

      Reply  |  
  5. Jen

    I wish my son had read your story. My beautiful angel Sebastian took his life April 22, 2013. He was only 14 years old. He was EVERYTHING to me. He was AMAZING. He was VERY loved. I thought he knew that. But I wasn’t able to save him. I really had no idea he was planning anything that extreme. He left no note. So I really don’t know why he choose to leave us. But by doing so, he has left complete wreckage behind. Since his passing I myself have attempted to end my own life. Obviously I was unsuccessful. I am blessed to have the world’s most patient, loving husband. He just refuses to let me go. I just am having great difficultly finding “purpose” here now. Not just in my life, but even in simple daily tasks, cleaning the house, making dinner, shopping, etc. But I just want you to know your story gives me some hope. It was very touching. Thank you for loving me. I am glad to see you “made it through”, or at least can see some light down the road. As I said, it gives me hope. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply  |  
    1. Melissa

      Jen,

      Thank you for sharing your story – I’m so sorry to hear about Sebastian’s passing and your loss. It was hard to lose a family member, but I can’t even imagine how hard it would be to lose a child. I’m blessed to know that my story gave you some hope, and I want you to know that your story is one people should hear. Keep sharing your story – perhaps that is your purpose now. To make sure others know they are loved and to share Sebastian’s story.

      Keep going, beautiful. I know you will find your way in this difficult time.

      All my love,

      Melissa

      Reply  |  
    2. Izzy

      Jen, I’m so very sorry that you’ve had to deal with such devastating turmoil in your life. a good friend of mine just experienced the same thing with her 18 yr old son, on 7/28. Those of us left to deal with the pain and the loss look for something that explains their thoughts, explains their actions. what I can tell you is that the inner turmoil and torment that they suffer with every day is just sometimes too much. there are times that no matter what, they are unable to find peace, INNER peace. They don’t always show it. what I can ask of you is to NOT go and be with him right now. Please try and focus on yourself, and the love of your husband, and nuture and build on that, as a positive energy from your son. Find a simple beauty in each day, take that as a sign from him that he’s watching over you.. a sunrise, how a butterfly sometimes comes by to “greet” you… look to signs that show you he’s found the peace he’s been looking for, and use that to share with someone. Forgive yourself for “not seeing”. we aren’t always meant to see… You have so much to live for, to carry on his spirit. blessings to you for strength.

      Reply  |  
  6. Debra

    Thank you for writing this. I have been in the throws of self love for the first time in my life at 39. It’s hard. It’s a weird feeling. I am still here.

    Reply  |  
    1. Melissa

      Everyone’s understanding of self-love comes exactly when it is supposed to for them. I’m glad you’re working through it and I can’t wait to see you realize how amazing and wonderful you are! <3

      Reply  |  
  7. anita a

    So very true dear! Wonderfully expressed..,something that all of us need.
    Wish you happiness and love!

    Reply  |  
    1. Melissa

      Anita, thank you so much! All of my love to you. <3

      Reply  |  
  8. Anonymous

    Thank you for support, even though we’re strangers.

    Reply  |  
    1. Melissa

      Always. <3

      Reply  |  
  9. Lena

    One of the most beautiful texts that ive ever read! Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

    Reply  |  
    1. Melissa

      Lena, thank you so much for your kind words – they mean a lot to me! <3

      Reply  |  
  10. Anonymous

    Thank you for sharing, I really needed this right now <3

    Reply  |  
  11. Susana

    Thank you so much for share your experience and your deep thoughts about your life and yourself. It was really comforting. It was weird to accept your words “I love you” because as you said we don’t know each other and maybe we’ll never met but at the same time was very nice to read it. So, thank you so much and I love you too. Keep loving and living.

    Reply  |  
  12. Fiona Yoon

    Thank you for this. Truly needed this tonight!

    Reply  |  
  13. Mobark

    So beautiful, but you don’t know so beautiful, and you should know, your words touch my heart, and took me to the paradise, make me feel more a life, Your Magic open my eyes, Melissa tell me more about a love, how you can trust and how you never lie, how you can take a less and give them more, how you can be brave and you’ve been broke, and how you be a life when nobody by your side, I know you can know all my answer because I can see in your eyes Like a moon touching the sky. Thank you Melissa!

    Reply  |  
  14. Anonymous

    Thank you.
    Thank you so much.
    You made me realize that I have to start loving myself. You made me realize that people actually do care about me. I’m always telling myself that I’m worthless and not beautiful. I don’t see myself having any worth. I wonder why I’m still living. I believe that life is pointless. I have fallen in that deep hole again, and I haven’t even bothered to get out. But right now, you have shifted my point of view. You are my helping hand in getting out. I need to start thinking positive. I always look at the negative side. I need to let the light in. I will now strive to change. I’ve been living in the darkness for too long. I need to let myself be loved. I will let myself be loved. I cannot thank you enough. Thank you. I love you.

    Reply  |  
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