Love yourself, even when you’re a basketcase

Lately I have been an absolute basket case.  

I want to be happy so much, but can’t figure out how to do it.  I waffle back and forth between trying to be happy, and verging on tears.  I put on the smiling face – following that maxim that if you physically smile and act like you’re happy, then you’ll make yourself happy.  Physically smiling releases the same chemicals even if you don’t really mean it, and you’ll start to feel happier. It hasn’t worked all that effectively. I try to smile and be cheerful around people at work, and I just feel like a paper cutout of myself. I have nothing to be sad about, I have a stable job, great friends that really care about me, I live in an exciting fun city, my life is pretty good. Except that it all feels hollow. 

Why can’t I kick this feeling? Its so easy to focus on something external, to blame it on the outside forces in my life.  But I know the reality is that this void won’t be filled by anyone else, friends, family, a lover.  The feeling of emptiness is coming from somewhere deep, deep inside me.  Lovers will come and go, but this unhappiness will stay whether they’re there or not. Until I do something about it.  

I have to learn to love myself before I can expect anyone else to love me. 

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