If there was something wrong with you, you’d be dead.

But you’re not. Which means you’re fine.

In fact, this means you’re absolutely fan-freaking-tastic.

I’ve been wrestling with this idea for awhile now, and I figure it’s time to put an end to it all.

See, there’s a part of me that can’t separate love from productivity for the life of me.

Yet, I know that the world works in such a way that you need to earn things - you can’t just demand stuff without being productive.

The voice in my head telling me I suck can be so fucking loud sometimes.

I have a hard time holding it back for other people too.

Early on, I learned that believing love will be withheld if I am not productive is a great motivator.

Almost some sort of hack.

While there was definitely some short-term gains to be had, this wired me in a pretty destructive way for myself and those around me.

Basically, if I’m not perfect all the time, I won’t be loved.

And since being perfect is never entirely in anyone’s control, I feel unloved plenty of the time…

And there’s nothing I can do about it.

Perhaps you feel the same way: undeserving of your own love without a clue how to get it.

Maybe you feel the same way about receiving love from other people too.

For a long time, the strategy was: desperately try as hard as you can to be exceptional all the time in every way, tiring yourself out in the process, so that when you fall short for whatever reason, you’re too tired to face your imperfections.

In my personal relationships, this has translated to mostly superficial ones.

I’ve had plenty that have felt deep, only to be cut off by me stopping them entirely in moments of massively failure and self-loathing.

I try to fix others in order to feel good enough to be around them. I do this because the unfixed version of my friends isn’t good enough for me. Just like the unfixed version of myself isn’t good enough for me.

It’s a brittle, lonely world that I’ve built for myself. Relationships are where life happens, and to have built the habit of cutting out all parts of them that aren’t perfect or being fixed makes for a sad life too much of the time.

The main way you generate bodily tension is by turning your attention back on yourself in self-concern, curling into yourself so tightly you feel all knotted up. Therefore, the main cure is to give yourself to others.
— David Deida, The Way Of The Superior Man

Give yourself to others and everything else will follow.

It need not be perfect, you must only try.

The initiator gave him a task and he failed at it three times. But he receives a gift anyway each time. The failures arose from the pain he felt and his human inability to keep attention. But the gift came from the water, with whom he had somehow established a relationship.

We deduce that accepting an initiatory task is more important than succeeding or failing at it. We guess that the boy has done all right.
— Robert Bly, Iron John

Oh, how incredible it would be to be able to know one has done ‘all right’.

Even as I write this, there is a part of me that doesn’t want to give up the power I know I’m able to create over myself and others by withholding love.

I like control. Control feels safe.

What isn’t safe is giving love at the mere acceptance of a challenge. Dishing it out freely, abundantly.

It’s much easier to withhold it, saving it only for those special moments.

But this is all based on one idea:


Let’s take a second to look at this: is it true?

If you give love to people, do you feel less empty, or more full?

What about when your receive love?

How about when you show yourself love? Buy yourself a new toothbrush, vacuum your car, or go to a movie?

Do you feel more or less empty?

Love is contagious. It’s the gift that keeps giving. And the less you hold onto it, the more of it you will have to give.

You need it. Your friends and family need it.

Since entropy is a thing, if you don’t get the love you need, you will die.

So no more of this conditional love tied to productivity bullshit.

You’re living, you’re trying, and you’re accepting the challenges of life.

Love yourself no matter what.

Love others no matter what.

And when it’s tough, dig deeper,

because there will always be more love waiting for you give.