Sometimes I like to listen to the Top Songs on Spotify to try and stay relevant with the kids and to find my new jam. And one day, lo and behold, a song came on and I began to sway a bit at my desk, getting excited. Could this be it? Then I looked down.
Oh no. Oh, please no. Its Justin Bieber.
As I reached to change the song, on sheer principle, I stopped myself. I….I, oh double no, really liked this song.
Beyond the fact that I enjoyed the stripped down feeling of the music and vocals, the words themselves really arrested me. Its called “Love Yourself,” and its a song about Justin leaving someone because she thought only about herself in their relationship. She tried to change him into another person, what she thought he should be, and eventually, seeing how everyone around him, and eventually he himself, were so unhappy with her, he ended it. But this song’s message was more than just a “Forget You” type of song, where it calls the other person names and wishes them the absolute worst.
Instead, Justin seems to have realized something important from his time of pain: when we don’t love ourselves, it comes out in how we deal with other people. Someone as broken as this girl actually needs to learn how love herself. She needs to learn that she can’t project her own insecurities on others and demand that they fill that hole in her life, or that others are not just an object to make her feel better about herself, by making them her project and changing them into what she thinks is best.
Having been involved with people like this, I know this to be true: I (and Justin) may have been ready for a relationship, but the other person wasn’t. If they can’t love themselves, then they can’t love you. Signs of not loving themselves can come in many ways: putting the other person and themselves down, trying to change them, constantly seeking the other person as their fulfillment, being very possessive, and the list goes on. It doesn’t mean they are incapable of love, but it means that fundamentally, they haven’t learned to love and find worth in the one person who needs it the most in their lives: themselves. And maybe your role in their life is to be just their friend, until they are ready to start a real relationship, that has respect and real love. Either way, do not try and fill that lacking in their life, because you can’t.
So, crank up the Biebs and let them love themselves.