The Hardest Lessons

The hardest lessons
   i have had to learn
   all involve myself.

  That it is okay
    to not be okay,
    even on the days that
  and i can no longer respond
   to even gentle humor.

That in spite of it being easier
  to blame myself than
  to acknowledge if someone i love
    is to blame for anything,
   i cannot blame myself
   for everything, and that
  the way i'm treated is NOT
    necessarily a reflection
   of who i am.

That i'm allowed to have emotions,
   that no one gets to dictate
    how deeply i feel, or about what,
     and that i'm not fucked up
    just because i react strongly.

That i'm human,
   allowed to expect
  the things the voice
   in the back of my head
   tells me i don't deserve,
  that i should never expect.

That my needs are valid,
   not problems
  and not issues i need to fix.
That i'm allowed to look
  into another person's eyes
  and say "No," clearly,
  and that it is their problem
 if they cannot accept it.

That i am worth loving
  even on the days
  i feel completely unlovable.
That the longing i feel
  is valid
  no matter what.

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