At some point, somewhere I learned that there was one kind of love and it was conditional, performance-based love. And really, it doesn't matter where I learned it or how I learned it. It's not about who's "fault" it is. It's about how I've spent the last few years trying to unlearn it.

I'm still trying to grasp that love is given freely and not earned. And even though I know that, there are days, weeks even, where I can't fathom why anyone would love me, when I am so obviously flawed and unworthy.

I don't know if I'll ever fully comprehend that I can mess up and it's okay; I'm not sure if I will ever completely understand that I can not be good, yet still be loved.

I get in over my head, and what's worse is that sometimes I get stuck in my own head. I get caught up in the thoughts that if anyone knew how weak I was, that they wouldn't think I was so great anymore. That if they know how small and fragile and unknowing I was, that I couldn't be wanted. That once they found out I wasn't superwoman, they'd realize they didn't need me and move on to the next superhero.

I remember being scared to tell my mom about my mistakes at 14 and when she asked why I didn't tell her sooner and I said I thought she wouldn't love me anymore. I wasn't afraid that she would be mad, I was terrified that she wouldn't love me anymore. (and let me be clear, this was in no way based off of the way she treated me)

I remember leaving home and hating my new job and crying every night, but thinking I couldn't go home because then I'd return a failure and no one would want me. Then one day, almost three years later, my sister told me a story about that time and how our mom said she didn't want me to leave, but wasn't worried because I knew that I could always come back. And I tried not to cry on the phone, because I didn't know.

So I guess the moral of the story is: you are loved beyond measure. And no accomplishment or failure will change that. You are loved. Completely. Entirely. And there is not a thing that can change that.

Even when it's hard to remember and even harder to believe, it doesn't stop it from being true.