Contributed by Tanya S.

“Why am I still single? Why is it so hard to find true love without conditions?”  The answer is simple, but difficult to implement—you cannot love anyone else unless you learn to love yourself first.

Why is it so hard to look truthfully at oneself and accept who we are?

Without accepting ourselves, how are we going to belive in ourselves enough to follow our dreams? Throughout the movie, Lesson Before Love, each character had to struggle with this question.  As four friends reunite and renew the bonds of friendship, each has to find themselves and accept the “people we are afraid to fix.”

Looking at myself and figuring out the patterns I had that were controlling my life was a difficult journey.  I had to face up to the reality I created and hold myself accountable for who I am.  However, once I was able to face myself and my patterns, I was able to break them.

One such pattern is the facade I created to everyone around me.  Since there were aspects of myself, I did not like, I supressed them and hid them away from others.  This lead to a constant fear that someone would find out.   Once I was able to give up my safety net of my facade, a weight was lifted off of my shoulders – I no longer had to live up to this impossible image of strength and perfection.   Eric, played by Kenneth Brown, Jr., asks “What is with the facade? Who you are is sufficient.”

As you can see this movie really hit home with me.  It was not just the message from the movie but the way the movie was put together.  Each step of the way, the movie kept my attetntion.  The script, as writtten and directed by Dui Jarrod, contained conversations that I have had with my friends.  The actors were able to portray thier characters so that I felt like I was getting to know real people.  My favorite performance was from Kenneth Brown, Jr..  His mannerisms, intonation and way of emoting captured his character perfectly.  I believed everything he was saying was coming from his heart and not from a script.  Even the details, from the variety of sets to the choice of the main colors for each character’s wardrobe, ensured that the movie was believable every step of the way. “Before true love, each person needs to learn their own lesson.”

What lesson did you have to learn about yourself in order to love yourself completely?