I asked that question to Mr. C the other night after I read this great post on FaceBook the other night:
I asked him what does love look like to him. He told me his response and then he asked me the question. What does love look like to you? I explained that love to me was about self-love first. I told him how when I was married I didn’t really love myself the way that I should. I wasn’t “whole”. I was looking for my ex-husband to love me. I was trying to get him to fill the missing pieces. But, in reality I was setting him up for failure. Why?
No one can love you more than you love yourself. If you lack self-love, no matter how wonderful a person is you will never feel complete. You will always feel as though you are missing something. You won’t feel like the whole person you should be before you venture into love.
Me? I was missing the ability to recognize, own and deal with my own issues. I was pushing those issues in my overfilled closet of my mind and trying to keep them stuffed in there. It wasn’t fair to him. It definitely wasn’t fair to me.
If we’re being honest though, I did tell him that I had three eighteen wheeleer’s worth of baggage and asked him was he sure that he wanted to get involved and marry someone like me. He said yes. I guess we were both gullible.
Which led us to the path of divorce. But, I want to stress the importance of loving ourselves. Loving ourselves past the pain of our past. I didn’t. I didn’t forgive myself for past pains. I held onto it like a blanket of comfort when all it was doing was smothering me. I let my poor choices snowfall into making poorer choices which resulted into me feeling unfulfilled in my marriage.
Not truly loving yourself allows you to allow foolish men to enter your life. Not every man that I encountered was foolish. Many just made poor choices that I just went along with because I was being that “ride or die” woman. What the what?
We are meant to be partners. We are not meant to be disposable pieces for a man. The loyalty, respect, trust and promises should be automatic. We should never take each other for granted and we should ride or die for each other.
If you are the only one riding or dying for your relationship then it is one sided. You feel as though you are always missing something. You feel like you’re not whole. Your mind, body and spirit are not in alignment. You are struggling. I know. I’ve been there.
I was literally struggling to find my identity. Who was I? What was the problem with me? Why did I allow people in my life who were not worthy or deserving? Why can’t I resolve my issues.
Relationships are fluid. They go where they are supposed to when you realize that the amount of love you have for yourself will never allow you to settle. Love you first.
I learned that. I love me now more than I ever thought possible. I got over the pain (with Jesus, wine and therapy) and truly understand what it means to be happy and healthy. I don’t look for other people to validate my existence. I don’t waste my time (which is valuable) on men that won’t share their time freely with me. I exist in this space where my first goal is to love myself first. That allows me to receive love and in turn be open to loving again. That’s what love looks like to me.