Using Love as a Carrot

— I'm not a horse. Or am I?

Love yourself. What does it mean?

In my twenties, loving myself meant indulging in cake.

I’m surprised how many sayings are thrown out without explanation.

‘Patience is a virtue’

Okay, so I’ll wait for a better dessert to come along. I assumed virtue comes with tangible rewards.

Cheesy advice only makes sense with age. As I reflect, I see how my younger self would have difficulty understanding.

I’ve discovered that I use love as a carrot. Just like a horse, I throw love in front of me as bait to move forward.

I learned to see myself as ‘unworthy’ of happiness. I can only get my treat when I reach the destination.

I learned it from my parents and they got it from theirs. I’m not allowed to play unless I do my homework. I’m not allowed candy until I finish my meal. I’m not allowed to do what I want with life until I do something ‘respectable/responsible’.

The horse gets a break. They get to eat carrots. But for me and my family, we continue to withhold the treat thinking the destination will be further, grander.

Instead, I get hungry and desperate. Without nourishment, it’s easy to lash out, make poor decisions. I’ve become weak and I look for love in all the wrong places. I start looking for recognition from others because I don’t have enough from me.

paradise It’s time to enjoy some carrots.

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