I believe that every one of us is loved, or at least deserves to be. It’s so often not someone’s fault that they are surrounded by people who don’t value them as they deserve. But the fact is, if you’re a person in this world, you are a valid person worth loving. You may have been told all your life that you aren’t worth loving, and that would have fed into your sense of self-worth. This starts a vicious cycle where you can become increasingly bitter, and decide that if you’re not worth loving, then you might as well fight back. Which makes it hard for people to love you… and just makes it worse. I think we all know someone like that.

Love defines us as we are growing up. It gives us the stability to find out who we are, ideally without the insecurity that makes us twist and force and fight our way into being someone else. When you were a baby, you did absolutely nothing to determine whether you would be loved or not. That was someone else’s choice, and it wasn’t about how deserving you were. And if you weren’t loved enough, or even if you didn’t feel loved in a way that made sense to you, it does not mean you are not deserving now.

Whether you had the love you needed as you grew up, or whether you didn’t, I want you to know that right now there are people who want you to be OK. Even if you think there’s something you’ve done that discounts you from being able to be loved, real love means that someone wants you to be whole, and for you not to have to live that way any more. You might even think nobody cares whether you exist or not, but I can tell you that there are plenty of people who do, but they just don’t know you yet.

It’s really hard to give a one-size-fits-all answer here, as people’s situations are so vastly different. But I do think that being loved and accepted is a fundamental part of being alive, and it can really hurt us when we don’t feel that this is happening. Maybe since we know how much this affects us, we could make a special effort to let some people know they’re loved too.