So many years of education, yet nobody ever taught us how to love ourselves. The same can be said for how many years we are brought up by our parents, and if they don’t know self-love, how in the world can they teach us? So where does that leave us?
Maybe you can relate. Getting into your teen years and early adulthood, wondering why you’re hanging out with a certain crowd, dating a guy who mistreats you but you find it somewhat attractive so you continue to allow it, start having your family tell you that you deserve better - that you’re perfect, but you don’t listen and continue on with your choices.
Eventually you come to a crossroad and realize that a lot of what you’re choosing and attracting actually comes from somewhere. Possibly your childhood. Possibly your first relationship. There was no self-love guide after all. No one prepared you for this madness. And if you’re reading this having gone through it or are going through the madness, there are better days ahead.
For one second, don’t think about anyone else but yourself. If that sounds selfish, be selfish while you’re reading this so at the very least you can read and process what may just give you a different perspective. It is necessary and a must that you take time to strengthen the love you have for yourself before getting into a relationship. At one point in my life, I didn’t understand this philosophy. Due to not loving myself and truthfully, not wanting to face and heal my wounds. . . . not only did I try and fix someone else, but in the process of doing that I lost myself completely.
I’m sure you’ve heard it before, love yourself first, and foremost. But honestly have you ever even thought of what that means? If you’re at all like me, the answer is no, or at least not until you were in a black hole unsure of how you ended up in such a loveless place.
You see the common misconception of “two halves makes a whole” is only really true when you are talking about adding fractions, and let’s be honest we haven’t done that in years. So why did that saying stick in our heads for all these years, and even more so why on earth is it applied to the concept of human relationships. The truth is two halves don’t make a whole when it comes to relationships. Two halves make a super dysfunctional codependent mess when it comes to people coming together and sharing in a relationship. Two people who are only 50% fulfilled, loved, healed, grounded and aware will never create a relationship that is 100% based in any of those things - the reason being: those 50% type people aren’t ready for a relationship.
Let’s compare a relationship to following a recipe, for simplicity’s sake. If you have a recipe that calls for 20 ingredients (fancy recipe, but besides the point) and you only have 10, can you expect the recipe to come out? You can’t simply replace key ingredients like chocolate chips in chocolate chip cookies and expect chocolate chip cookies to come out of the oven. It just doesn’t work that way.
Now you may be laughing, and yes it is funny, but this mistake is far too common in relationships. People enter relationships because they feel they need them, not because they are ready to be in them.
Until you have examined your own wounds and chosen to face, process and heal from them, you will continue to project them into your new relationships. For example if you have unhealed wounds from a lack of a father figure in your youth, likely you will continue to date people that embody those wounds that you posses. It’s an interesting phenomenon that occurs in dating that I like to call wound projection, where we look to tend to our unhealed wounds through another who reminds us most of our triggers. Somehow because it’s not the person or trigger itself, it feels safer; and therefore when we win the affection or attention from that person (surrogate wound stunt double) we feel healed. This is not healing. For what happens when the relationship ends. This wound is ripped open again. This time deeper, because of compounded injury, and the cycle continues.
This goes for all types of wounds. A relationship can not survive on shared trauma alone. And to accurately and fully nourish a relationship the way that it is required, you must have the awareness and energy to invest in tending to your love in the “right” way.
Once you have healed, once you can accept you for you, once you can introduce yourself and not your wounds to someone else, then you are ready for a relationship. You are 100% responsible for your 50% of the relationship. And lastly, if you are going to spend time searching for love, know you are worthy of beginning that search within yourself. When you become better, you will attract better.