So You Love Yourself? Really? Part II

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(Continued from Part I of “So You Love Yourself?  Really?”)

Most of my 20’s was spent chasing up behind some dude trying to validate my own worth. And I remember thinking, “How the hell could they have validated me and they, themselves, didn’t think they were shit?”  Their own feelings of unworthiness was projected onto me and my feelings of unworthiness was projected right back at them.

I’ve always been a pretty ambitious woman, but also held a part of myself back, fearing that if I shined too brightly I would be ridiculed and lose people, mainly men. And that is what happened. Over and over and over. I had such a deep self-hatred and such shame about who I was, that I clipped my wings before I even let myself fly. I unconsciously selected men who I thought I could “rescue.” Because if I could save them, then they would love me, never leave me and then since I had that base, that foundation that I so desperately needed, I could save myself.

As you may have guessed – that never worked. I was never satisfied with them, especially when they didn’t do things to my liking and eventually the relationship would break. I would fall into this darkness and chastise myself for not being good enough, plead with the Gods for him to come back, try to make myself change to what they wanted so I wouldn’t be so hostile and even the few times where a reunion did happen…it didn’t last.

After my last serious break up a couple of years ago, the one that sent me into damn near a year-long depression, I knew I no longer wanted to live my life looking for validation in someone else. Validation that even if I got it, was no guarantee that it would last.

So I went back to that original statement, the one I heard for the first time when I was six years old and Whitney Houston sang it in “The Greatest Love of All” and over the course of my life and finally with my Life Coach – “Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.”

And I finally got what that meant. If I love myself, I mean really, truly love myself other qualities naturally come with that – confidence, integrity, calmness, compassion, courage, clarity and a host of others and that is something that is automatically projected outward. And what we project out, we get back. People who are centered live more centered lives. And when tragedy does strike, which is inevitable, they handle it in a healthier way and most times, recover from it faster because they are not defined nor draw their identity from life’s challenges.

Most people who claim to love themselves are not being totally honest. The evidence is in the functioning of their lives. If One routinely lives their life with a lack of integrity,  meaning they cross people, don’t hold themselves accountable, deceive, lie to themselves and others about the deception, are extremely selfish and bitter, take and seldom give back, and blame everyone else for their problems and decisions, how the hell do you think that shit plays out in their life with other people?  More than likely quite chaotically. Short-lived relationships or long relationships that are unfulfilling, secrets, lies, blaming, withdrawn, enraged, or just settling. And no matter how much awareness anybody has about any of this, it usually does not change unless they are willing to go inside, face the darkness and free the SELF so it can give love, nurturing, healing and guidance to those parts that have been causing them grief most of their lives.

Genuine self-love is something that cannot be faked.  You can probably fool some people with it, and that’s only for so long until they get to know you, but you can’t trick yourself.  The wounds, the pain if not healed, will always seep out, despite your best efforts.  The only real freedom from any of it, no matter how you go about it, is learning to love SELF because it truly is the greatest love of all.

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