My first proper heartbreak was really quite spectacular.
For the year and a half this person was in my life anyone close to me would beg that I left this person. It got to the point where I stopped talking about him and made it out like he was already out of my life so that people wouldn’t nag me so much. I also lost a lot of friends because of this guy, I would defend him all the time.
It was a classic tale of a young girl being a sap for an older bad boy. The guy I was involved with was an incredibly troubled individual, our ‘relationship’/’situationship’ was toxic beyond belief, but I really thought I loved him. I thought that I’d have even married him.
Now, I say this with as much affection as I can, but he really was just a massive twat.
When it came to an end, the final blow made me snap out of it. I realised in that moment that I had to change, and that I could never let this happen again. At the time, I was so shook I couldn’t eat for two weeks and I had absolutely no idea what to do with myself.
So for the last portion of this year I’ve been doing some self-discovery and some healing. I’ve learned a lot that I’d like to share.
First of all, our relationships are based off of what we have learned about our capacity to be loved. Secondly, the way we show love to ourselves is the way that others are encouraged to show love to us.
In all the pieces of writing before about healing, I’ve drawn attention to the importance of going back and recognising where certain thought patterns came from.
You were born and you were the most confident self-absorbed adorable little chunky thing, but we will say for example, on your third birthday your parent left, and because of your little developing ego brain you think “that’s my fault. I cannot be loved”.
So then it becomes a pattern in your life that you feel the need to earn everybody’s love, but you never feel it, because you don’t love yourself. Because you told yourself that you were the problem. Trying to earn love often leads to rejection.
Or to give another example, you were a really confident little fire cracker but you were told so often as a child by your parent “nobody will ever love you as much as I love you”. So you grow up and tell yourself ‘I will never be loved the same way I am loved by my parent’. Then you’ll go through life carrying the belief that love is so scarce, and rare, and it’s doubtful that people will find you appealing for anything other than bias.
From a very young and formative age, your idea of love and self-concept is shaped by what you were exposed to as a child.
Whether you feel as though you need to earn love, or hide from people, fit a certain mould- it was all formed at a young age.
If you’re taught that love is shouting, love is fighting, love is hard, love is draining, love is unhappy- people who make you unhappy will feel like home to you as you grow older. Thus the chain of terrible relationships.
And all these relationships are something you allow into your life because of familiarity. You are treated badly not because you are the problem, but because you are the one who sets the tone for your relationships, and you had really ought to be a lot kinder to yourself.
Allow yourself to process that, because it’s a heavy realisation to have. Please know that no matter what, you are lovely, you are loveable and you are loved.
Go back and ask yourself, what are the problems?
Where did I learn this?
Why do I think this?
Why do I need to earn love?
What are the patterns in my relationships that I want to get rid of?
Why do I go for this type of individual? Who do they remind me of?
Whatever you do, don’t stop there.
When I learned the answers to these questions, I was so angry that I went completely destructive, and ultimately I’m the one who suffered.
Answering these questions involved other people, and it created space for blame and resentment. You feel like a prisoner of all the labels other people have given you, but you aren’t. You’re learning who you really are.
My relationship with myself was never about them. Its about me. It has absolutely nothing to do with anybody else and the blame game is a complete waste of time.
So shift your attention to this;
“who am I?” and “how can I love myself?”.
Make a list of all the things you love doing because they bring you joy. It doesn’t matter if it’s productive, or if you’re good at it. It’s just writing things you like on a piece of paper.
That’s a hint to what kind of person you are.
Make a list of all the things you like about yourself.
When people are sad, do you help them? What’s a good deed you did? Are you good at your job? Do you make people smile? Do you have a child that you’re doing a good job with? Are you empowering or fun? Are you responsible?
It can literally be anything.
Loving yourself is about 3 things, mainly.
- Allowing yourself to do exactly what you feel like doing from moment to moment, because it will benefit your mental state in the here and now.
Eg/ I feel like I should write a really good blog and then do a 30 minute ab workout because that way I’ll be so proud of myself = not self love. That’s trying to earn your own love and it’s self punishment.
I want to make a cup of tea because I feel like it, and then when I feel like doing something I will = self love. You are attending to your wants and needs free of judgement and pressure, in a non-destructive way.
- Changing the narrative in your head.
Eg/ I forgot to pack my bag for the gym today I am such a knobhead ffs = mean
I forgot to pack my bag, oh well I’ll just go and do this instead and maybe I’ll work out later if I feel like it. = loving
I’m so screwed for this presentation and I’m freaking out about it = mean
The presentation will be a challenge and as long as I give it my best shot I can be proud of myself = loving
+ only use humour when talking about clumsy interactions when it genuinely makes you laugh and feel lighthearted about yourself. Otherwise it is not self-love it is a coping mechanism.
- Meeting your own needs
If somebody in your life does not meet your needs, you know that you are loveable enough to let them go and find somebody who does.
You can be happy alone, but you are loveable enough to not have to be alone.
You are lovely, you are lovable, and you are loved.
There is no reason why people would not love you.