Two months ago, Miss J and I were sitting in her apartment when a friend suggested we start a blog giving love advice to young people. We each swept the idea under the rug in the beginning, but as a few weeks passed, the two of us decided to give it a shot. Miss J has always been passionate about love and giving advice, while I typically just gave advice because I enjoy talking and like the sound of my own voice. Miss J and I brainstormed a name for the blog, did a bit of research then BOOM – July 13th came and Love Jays was born. I had never written anything about relationships, dating, love or any of the other topics we discuss on this platform, but I quickly realized what we were doing was something people actually enjoy! If you look back at all the articles, we have touched on various different topics relating to “all-things-love”, but we have never really touched on the most important love topic – loving yourself.
Loving yourself sounds easy enough, but the act of truly loving ourselves is one of the most challenging quest all of us will face or are currently facing. Up until about a year ago, I couldn’t be convinced that I didn’t love me some me. Everywhere I went, I was the loudest person within a 10 mile radius, always wanted to be the center of attention and couldn’t wait to talk some sh*t with my friends. I was an absolute clown, but I was convinced I loved that person everyone grew to know. When I graduated college, everything changed.
My basketball career was over. My closest friends were no longer around the corner. I was no longer “the man” on campus. I didn’t have a job. I had to move back home. I was alone. I was depressed. I was confused. Who was I? For the first time in my life, I was forced to be alone in my thoughts and spend time reflecting on the Justin I portrayed to the world. For so long, I led people to believe I had it all together and was living a happy life.
My girlfriend (Miss J) was one of the most attractive women on campus. Captain of the basketball team. President of the Black Student Union. Outreach Assistant for the Office of Admission. It appeared I had what everyone wanted. But despite how put together it may have looked, I was completely broken inside. I lashed out and attempted to be the “cool” guy, the “hard ass”, the “I’m better than you” because I didn’t know what else to do. I struggled and I struggled. I made more enemies than friends, but I didn’t care. I loved me some me, right? Wrong.
I write this blog as an open invitation into my struggle of figuring out who I am and how to really love and accept that person. I don’t have it all together. I, like most of you, am continuing to seek my purpose in life and am working towards becoming a man of strong moral integrity, love, passion and respect. Strip away the Love Jays and Mr.J. I am You and You are me. We struggle together.
So, what does it mean to love yourself and how do we do it? I don’t have all the answers, but I can say that it is imperative that you spend some quiet time bi-weekly or monthly reflecting on the person you are in your heart of hearts. Embrace it all. We have talents and we all have shortcomings – that’s what makes us special and unique. We don’t need to be anyone else, besides ourselves. Let’s focus on becoming the best version of ourselves and not worry about who/what others think we should be! Besides, how can we love someone else if we don’t love ourselves, first?
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