Many times when we think about love, we will say it outward. We love our kids. We love our spouse. We love our mom and dad. We love our friends.
What about love for you?
Where is the love for you? Inside you. Love should start within you for yourself. When you love yourself first, you are able to receive, recognize and accept love from others more freely and easily.
This concept unfortunately can be misplaced and less important to us even though it can change our lives for the better.
I know this all too well and learned it only after two failed marriages and several relationships. I was going to rack up another one on the “failed” list in my relationship box when I had a fabulous AHA moment.
I was in a relationship with a nice hard working man who treated me nice and more importantly, was great to my then two and a half year old daughter.
Why then did I almost leave this relationship?
Because I didn’t love myself. Even when I write that, I cringe. To make the realization that I didn’t love myself was a very strange feeling to say the least. How could it be that I lived through most of my 20′s and I didn’t love myself??? Easy. Sometimes we find ourselves in a relationship where we think love is defined by making the other person happy while not taking into account our own happiness. That is not loving yourself. You are in the relationship too and you have a say, no you have a definite right to be happy. That was the sum of my first marriage. And it ended because I realized I wasn’t happy. However, still didn’t truly love myself.
Next, the love was defined by being pregnant and not having a connection with the person I was with at the time. Again, not love just circumstance. There was an appreciation and respect but not love. Again, I didn’t love myself truly but didn’t realize it yet.
Coming back to the last relationship I almost left. What stopped me? I was in the shower crying and wondering how I could be going through another possible breakup…how? Again? There had to be a reason. I did what I needed to do. I looked inside myself for the answer.
I had to go back and look at my previous relationships and why they truly dissolved. There wasn’t love. There wasn’t love for me…from me. If I would have loved myself, I would not have allowed myself to be in this positions.
Believe me…this was NOT easy for me to realize and accept. I had to then FORGIVE myself for doing this to these people but especially myself.
Then I could start to realize I was worth loving. I deserved to be loved. And who could I turn to love me…all of me?
ME. It had to start with me. I had to love myself in order to be able to allow others to love me.
P.S. Shortly after this realization of needed self love, I proposed to him.
When did you first say, “I love you” to yourself? Please share your journey of self love.