There’s a song I used to listen to growing up with a verse that talked about looking for love in all the wrong places. I’ve been there, seeking love and validation from others. Buying into that “two halves make a whole” view of love. I actually used to think that if someone fell in love with me and loved me deeply enough, I’d learn to love myself completely. That’s not the way things worked out though. As it turns out, others couldn’t cultivate my self-love for me.
Although I had this deep sense of longing for love, what I found to be true was the more deeply someone loved me, the less I believed it. I didn’t see what they did and didn’t think they were being genuine. Now I know it was about the way I saw myself. I didn’t believe I was deserving of the deep love I was seeking and even when I found it, I sabotaged it. More times than not, I just closed myself off from love to begin with. I preferred no strings attached relationships. At the time I did so proudly under the guise of being a modern, independent, liberated young woman. But the truth is, I felt worthless and didn’t think I’d ever find true love. I’m grateful that I did, but it started with learning to love myself first.
I believe that we’re only capable of giving and receiving love to others to the degree we hold it for ourselves.
That wasn’t an easy realization to accept. I resisted it for a while and tried to prove it wrong because there was a lot of accountability associated with that statement. I had to acknowledge and own that in order really be able to receive love in my life, it had to start from within. That was hard to do because I had to recognize a shortcoming, something I had overlooked, something I had neglected for so long. Although ultimately it was disempowering, there was also a false sense of comfort in thinking it wasn’t my “fault”. Seeking love from others as a way to try to “fix” my own self-love deficit came with a price. Since I hadn’t been cultivating my self-love, my self-worth diminished and my standards were lowered exponentially in the process.
It’s through this intense journey of self-love I’ve been on over the past several years that I’ve realized just how important it is. It’s so much deeper than having a healthy sense of self-esteem. Every choice we make is impacted by our level of self-love. Whether it’s what we have for breakfast, the friends we surround ourselves with, the partner we settle down with, or the job we apply for. Ultimately everything stems from that place of cultivating our self-love and self-worth. I made some really poor decisions over the years because they gave me a temporary boost. As a result of those decisions, I felt disappointed, dirty, and sometimes even disgusted with myself. It was all in a desperate attempt to fix something using the wrong tool.
This is why I’m so dedicated to what I do. I know what it’s like to feel broken, worthless, and unloveable. I know what it’s like to disrespect myself. I know what it’s like to seek love in the wrong places and in the wrong ways. It’s something I pretended didn’t bother me for a long time. Then it was something I carried a lot of shame around silently for even longer. Now it’s something I’ve learned to face, accept, and heal. I’m not afraid to speak about it because it’s something I know many others can relate to and need to know they aren’t alone. Self-love has such a huge impact on how we operate in our lives, I’m extremely dedicated to sharing about it because it can change people’s lives. Today, I want to thank you for reading, and allowing me the space to share this with you.
Sending lots of love your way,
Former seeker of love in all the wrong places turned women’s worthiness coach
Having learned to cultivate my self-love, I’m empowering and supporting other women to do the same. If you’re in a place where you want to cultivate your own self-love but aren’t sure how, I want to encourage you to start with this 7-week guided practice of self-love through kindness.
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