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What you need to hear

It’s no secret that the hardest pill to swallow has a tendency to be the one you need to hear the most.

It takes form in the unpopular opinions of your friends or those quiet thoughts you’ve forced to the recesses of your mind because you don’t believe you can stomach facing them. These harsh truths are ever-present and typically unpleasant. Worse yet, they have a tendency to be things you could change if you were willing to accept them as reality.

When most experience different hardships or unfortunate circumstances, they attribute the blame to themselves instead of accepting the situations as they are.

These individuals let failed romantic relationships or she-said-he-said scenarios rule their self-image. Heartbreak becomes a reason to close them off to the world and become cynical. Pining after someone who doesn’t reciprocate their feelings becomes an all-consuming ordeal that makes the latter feel worthless at the end of the day. When others don’t give them the love they want, they are devastated. Then they blame themselves.

Sound familiar?

But, here’s the thing: people can only make you feel what you allow them to. Contrary to popular belief, you are in charge of your own emotions.

Someone else may have broken your heart, but it’s up to you to determine if that destroys your self-worth. You may feel unattractive every time you open your Instagram explore page or when someone seemingly perfect passes by, but no one else can give you confidence. You might take things like someone not liking you back as a massive blow to your self-esteem, but you decide if someone not wanting you will make you not want yourself.

Newsflash, ladies and gentlemen, the person hurting you the most is yourself. You might want to blame the people who didn’t say what you wanted to hear or left you on read, but they owe you nothing. You, however, owe yourself a lot.

All of these thoughts and beliefs don’t stem from getting rejected or being alone. They come from the preconceived notions you’ve allowed to permeate your mind and take over. You are the dictator of your own emotions and it’s become a hostile environment that needs a revolution.

Let’s face it, it doesn’t matter how many positive affirmations you do or the amount of uplifting books you read about self-love if you don’t start buying in. Believe it. Accept your role in your own happiness and watch how quickly things can change.

Instead of obsessing over those who don’t want you and ignoring the rest, show your worth and wait until someone sees it. When you find yourself alone and wishing you weren’t, learn to see the beauty in spending time with yourself until it dawns on you how lucky someone will some day be. There are a million things that won’t go your way when it comes to love, and a million more that will. But neither of those instances have to change how you feel about yourself.

It’s not going to be easy, but nothing worth it usually is. And it isn’t to say that it’s wrong to embrace when you’re sad or hurt. Emotions are a part of what makes us human, and we shouldn’t try to stop ourselves from feeling them. At the end of the day, it’s healthy to recognize our aches and pains. But, they do not have to control us.

You control how you feel. You decide how you see yourself. You cannot change anyone’s mind but your own, and that’s the only one that matters. If someone doesn’t see in you everything you want them to, then it’s their loss. There will be a day when you are recognized for all the wonder you possess, so start making the change to stop letting someone else’s view of you degrade your opinions of yourself.

You owe it to yourself to set you free.

Every year, we publish a Valentine’s Day edition of our Voice section in order to bring the spirit of love to campus. We’re excited to bring you a number of articles (some serious, some satirical) dedicated to sex, relationships, the history of Valentine’s Day and more.

Should you plan to celebrate this day of romance with someone, be sure to stay safe and practice healthy sexual habits – and if you’re planning on cuddling up alone or with friends to watch movies and eat discount chocolates, that works perfectly, too. Whatever you decide to do, be sure to have fun.

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The Scout is published by members of the student body of Bradley University. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the University.