“True love finally happens when you by yourself”
I was driving back from Pasadena to the South Bay yesterday on the infamous, congested Los Angeles highways. Per my usual way to pass the time, I jammed out to some music blaring through my Prius speakers, windows rolled down, and zero care given for anyone that saw me.
I’ve been really into Lizzo lately — her straightforward, empowering messages of self-love are right up my alley. In fact, you could say I’m a bit obsessed as of recently.
A catchy song of Lizzo’s came on that I never heard before: Soulmate. Of course, the first thing I think of when I see the title is, “Ug, I hope this isn’t a sappy song about finding that one person in the world that you’re meant to be with.” That was a clear indication that I have some familiarizing to do with Lizzo’s music.
I was pleasantly surprised when lyrics of loving yourself and being the best possible partner to yourself that you could have came roaring through my speakers. I loved it — it felt like every message that I try to convey through my writing, all wrapped up into a catchy, new-age hip-hop song.
But one line really stuck with me — the title of this article. The idea that true love comes when you’re by yourself.
I know some of you out there are believers of the soulmate notion. That there’s one person out there for each of us that we’re destined to be with. And after listening to Lizzo’s Soulmate, I’d say I agree with that.
We are all destined to be with a specific person in our lives, and that person is ourselves. But now the question is: are we in love with ourselves?
With incessant messages continually bombarding us that say we’re not good enough, we need to change our appearance, get a better job, or find love, it’s difficult to really feel in love with ourselves.
But it’s possible — the love is in us. Though possibly buried deep down, self-love is always lingering, waiting to be unleashed. And I truly agree with Lizzo; true love for ourselves comes when we’re finally alone. When there’s no one else around, everyone has gone home, and we find ourselves with only our thoughts.
That’s when the magic of deep acceptance and admiration for ourselves kicks in.
But falling in love with ourselves is a process
As I said, a lot is working against individuals accepting who they are. A new, questionably dangerous workout craze seems to pop up every week, dieting lollipops adorn the side of our city buses, and the Bachelor is a looming reminder that we must fight for love at all costs — even if that means putting on a persona.
These messages, even when we’re alone, are subconsciously engrained into our psyche. We may not even be aware of them sometimes, but they shape the way we think and feel about the world; especially ourselves. That’s why a lot of us look in the mirror and see an almost stranger-like being staring back at us.
Finding true love with ourselves, like any other relationship, is a process; one of re-writing stories, ideas and beliefs. We have re-wiring of our brains to do. We must re-teach ourselves what self-love looks like, feels like, and why we even do it in the first place.
It’s not an easy feat: learning how to love ourselves “flaws” and all. But it’s one that you’ll eventually have to take on if you ever want to live a life that’s true and unique to yourself.
When you’re alone, you have time to spend doing things you love
Not what your parents want you to do, not what your partner wants you to do, not your kids, your uncle, your boss, your co-workers, or your constantly prying neighbor.
This is time for you and you alone. Do you remember what sparks joy in your life? I’m not talking about cleaning out your closet and giving a positivity-infused eulogy for old clothes, I’m talking about the things that make you feel alive. The activities that put you in a state where you don’t even realize time is passing.
Weirdly, people quickly forget what they actually love to do. They’re so caught up with work, family, and other obligations that their interests get deeply buried under it all.
Uncovering those parts of yourself again is magical. It’s a chance to get re-acquainted with the best version of yourself. And who couldn’t fall in love with that?
You’ll give yourself time to think
With all the hustling mentality we have in our society, do we ever just stop and think?
When was the last time you reflected on your life? The last time you gave yourself a chance to consider any changes you want to make? Whether or not you’re happy with how your journey on this planet is going?
Being completely by yourself gifts you that time. You’re gifted with an opportunity to consider which parts of your life are and aren’t working for you. You’re able to figure out a future for yourself and set goals towards them if you choose to.
And that kind of thinking can really only be done when you’re by yourself.
You’re the person you’ll spend the most time with
Spend it well.
Out of all the people in the world, the person you are always guaranteed to be around, no matter what, is you.
If you’re trapped in a mind that constantly criticizes and ignores your needs, that’s going to be a pretty shitty way to live your life. I’d actually argue that it’s a sure-fire way to go crazy. Think if you had a friend, always by your side, saying the same words to you? It wouldn’t take long before we’d want ever so slightly to deck them in the face.
Now re-imagine what it would be like to hold unconditional love for yourself. What it would be like to wake up in the morning and see an exceptional human being staring back at you in the mirror. One that you love to spend time with and you know will always take care of you.
That. That’s the kind of person you want to be with. And spending time alone to cultivate true love will create that person in yourself.
When you come home at night, completely alone and sit down in a chair, how do you feel? Lonely? Like you’re a prisoner to your thoughts?
Or do you feel solitude — a chance to focus on yourself and do what you love?
That’s probably one of the most important questions you could ever ask yourself. Because that state of being alone is inevitable: the feelings that come from it are up to you.