Ok. Can I be honest here for a moment? I run a self-help blog based upon self love, and yet (news flash!) I still struggle with giving myself enough self love! Crazy that I’m human right? So in honor of me struggling a bit, I’ve decided to write about a topic that I is very self-loved based.
I am not a medical professional of any kind, nor do I have any proper schooling in any medical field, I do, however, tend to read…A LOT on human relationships, psychology, and anything that has to do with human nature and well being. So over the years, I have grown my knowledge (non-formally), and I have studied many humans and their associations with love, particularly on how they receive and give love. For the most part, I’ve noticed that those who struggle with their own worthiness have a lack of self love and this is because they find it hard to believe that they are deserving of love. Most of the time this idea stems from some sort of experience of abandonment, in childhood or adulthood, and this abandonment causes feelings of inadequacy and questioning of self worth. Our automatic response to abandonment becomes, “was I not good enough for them to stay and love me?”
In my own experience, I have dealt with abandonment in my childhood, and I know that the reason why I struggle today with my own feelings of self worth is because of this particular abandonment. My father did leave my family when I was eight years old. It was a very rough period of my life and there was a ton of hurt and trauma that came along with it, but I can say that I do not hate my father for it. I know now that there are bigger reasons for why people get divorced and most of the time abandonees do not abandon with the intention of harm. Although I have no completely healed from it, I am moving towards recovery. But because of this major event in my life, it has caused several repercussions that I have had to deal with on and off throughout my adulthood.
I struggle with my own self worth –truly believing that I am deserving of love and the reason behind it is because I always felt at the core that because I wasn’t good enough, that is why my father abandoned me, when in reality, my more logical side knows this is not true. I struggle with my expectations of love. I feel that I am constantly searching for someone else to fill the gaping hole that is within me that my father left and yet every single man I do come across cannot seem to accomplish that, so I am left feeling even more unworthy or unloved. I become disappointed too easily when my expectations are not meant, and I immediately believe that it is either my fault for not being lovable enough or their fault for not being capable enough of doing so. This has destroyed countless relationships, most recently my previous long term relationship that I just got out of.
I now know that while part of the reason was that we had our differences, the other part was because I was placing too many unattainable expectations on my partner to fill this void that could not be filled by anyone except my own self love and belief that I am worth. And I’ve noticed that many people struggle with this same dilemma. They seek out in other people what they themselves need most to provide to their own selves. For example, those seeking someone to love them desperately, really are in need of learning how to love themselves. Or those who people please and want to be treated with more respect because they feel taken advantage of, really need to start treating themselves with more respect by learning how to say no.
What we lack is always what can give more of to ourselves. This is what I am now learning after so many years. I always falsely believed that it was the other way around – that what we lacked could be found in others to fill that empty space. That if we looked for love long enough, that eventually somebody out there would have the right formula of love to give to us and we would feel whole. But it doesn’t work that way.
In order to truly feel loved, we must first love ourselves. We must feel whole before we can begin to seek out love from anyone else, otherwise we are just expecting them to fill up our empty spaces and that’s when problems arise. When one or two empty people begin to try to fill each other up, they grow to become more empty and resentful because they will eventually be giving unevenly. But when two whole people come together, neither of them need anything from each other because they are already whole so they are free to simply love. It makes perfect sense doesn’t it?
I have been half empty for most of my life, but I am not trying to change that. I want to become whole. I want to learn how to fill myself up by giving myself the love I deserve and the self worth that I seek. Because in reality, we are all deserving of love and we are all worthy. And yet the only way we will ever believe that to be true is if we decide to recognize this as fact.
I began recognizing the familiar signs again in my current relationship. I began to feel empty, like I wasn’t getting enough love and that the reason for that was because I just wasn’t good enough or lovable enough. I began to pick fights with my partner recently, saying that I expected more from the relationship, when in reality he was already giving me all that I truly needed. I just wasn’t giving myself the same love, so that’s why I felt half empty still. I’m glad I am beginning to recognize this before it is too late and before another relationship is completely sabotaged. I want to become healthy now. I want to recognize my own self worth and give myself enough love to feel full again so that way I will not place that pressure of filling me up on my partner. That is no way to have a healthy relationship and eventually, if I continued down this path, resentment and bitterness would grow between one of us because of that pressure or unmet expectation.
So the lesson for today is to really try and be aware of how much love you are giving yourself DAILY. This is not a one time thing where you simply say, “oh yes, I do love myself and I believe I am worthy.” No. This is something we must actively remind ourselves until completely healing or recovery can be made from whatever abandonment that we’ve felt in the past that gave us this hole in the first place. Love is the only way to heal. It is our only form of medicine. And not the love of other’s but our own love. So keep working on, my friends. Keep being kind to yourself. Keep showing yourself compassion and patience. Keep being loving towards yourself and remind yourself that you ARE worthy and deserving of love. Because you are. And so am I.
Just because we have been abandoned or hurt in the past, does not make us unworthy or unlovable. And we should also not carry that bitterness or un-forgiveness in our hearts towards the people who have abandoned us because that will only further reassure us that we are unloved. So we must forgive them. Release them. And then turn around and believe that it is not our fault that they have abandoned us because we weren’t enough. Slowly I am learning to understand this with my own father and also with my ex. Although it was my own choice to leave him, I felt abandoned long before when he gave up on our relationship. So I am still struggling to accept these things, but I am moving forward –becoming better and learning how to love myself more instead.
It’s all about self love, folks. So promise me you will begin to practice it more and more.
The Self Love Challenge: Give yourself a cup of self love! Practice self love daily by being more nurturing towards yourself and reminding yourself of your own self worth. Remember that you are enough!
Love you my friends!