Love Yourself Or No One Will

The title of this blog is incomplete on purpose. The full title should read “love yourself or no one will know how to love you.” People love us and often it’s never enough. It just doesn’t feel right. Maybe that’s because we don’t know how we are supposed to be loved. Maybe we’ve never known because we’ve never truly loved ourselves well.

I stand by the statement that a woman who loves herself and is confident in herself and believes that she can do amazing, powerful, incredible things is more attractive than the one who doesn’t or is otherwise self deprecating or disrespecting to herself. But I say that to all people because I get it. I understand it. I was once not confident, and still struggle all the time. I still have a ways to go. But I am no longer the person who thinks I’m worthless, or who’s not strong enough to have and achieve and do great things. What I learned is that I’m generally more at peace and happier because of it. I’m also more pleasant to be around.

I believe the opposite is true as well. If you treat yourself like shit, you are teaching the world to do the same.

 

Life And Death

I’m a strong advocate for someone saying nice things about themselves. I’m perhaps an even stronger advocate for someone not saying bad things about themselves. As I’ve grown older, I’ve become more astutely aware of the power of words. Words truly do have the power to make or break someone. Its true for others, but its possibly even more true of yourself. We speak life or death, always. I made a choice to start speaking life more than I was speaking death. It had a way bigger impact on my own life than I ever anticipated, but the real revelation was with others.

 

When I became so aware of what people said and how they spoke of themselves, I started to naturally become defensive of someone speaking ill about themselves to other people. It was the weirdest thing. It pains me to hear someone speak negatively about themselves. I think maybe it’s the reason it makes us uncomfortable when someone says how ugly or fat or _______ they are. We squirm because we know that something is being spoken of someone in front of us that isn’t nice, uplifting, or encouraging. And I think we are creatures of love, so hate makes us uncomfortable. The healthy ones among us anyway.

 

Undatable

I often hear certain people express their woes about dating, claiming that no one likes them or wants to date them (usually on social media). But 99.9 percent of the time, they are emotionally unhealthy. People can sense when someone isn’t emotionally capable of caring for or loving someone else. If you feel like no one ever wants to date you, it might be time to figure out why that is. There’s a really good chance that it’s not them; it’s you. But there’s also a really good chance that it’s something you can change. If you are emotionally unhealthy, it is unattractive and people don’t want to be around you. It really is that simple. It’s not personal. Most of the people I’m referring to don’t even know you yet. But your first impression gave off a negative vibe, and no healthy, self-respecting person is going to willingly allow that into their life.

  • “So I’m not allowed to have someone during the hard times?”
    • I’m simply stating a reality. Sure you can have someone in these hard times of yours. Just know that unhealthiness attracts unhealthiness. Had a string of terrible relationships lately? Can’t seem to find a good guy/girl? All the good ones are taken or not interested? It’s time to take an honest look at your life, your character, and your life decisions. I promise you won’t come up empty.
  • “Just because I’m broken, I don’t deserve love?” 
    • Everyone deserves love. But people are more protective of their genuine, real love than ever. If it seems like someone is using them for their love (yes, ultimately that’s what you are doing), then no one would knowingly put themselves in that place.
  • “You just don’t understand because you don’t know how it feels.”
    • I have been broken, and the one who dated the broken. I promise you, I understand.

 

One-Sided Relationships

It’s difficult to be friends with an unhealthy person for the same reason it’s difficult to date them: They are takers.

This can be tricky to spot though. To the untrained eye, someone not loving themselves often looks like they are only loving themselves. But look a little closer and you will see that it isn’t that they only love themselves, its that they don’t know how to. These people constantly feel like nothing is ever enough. Nothing makes them feel better. Nothing fills the void. No person, substance, feeling, experience, or any amount of stuff can ever make them feel like they are ok. It’s because they have yet to figure out what love looks like.

We have all either been this person, or know someone who is this person. We’ve experienced the black hole of energy that is personified in the unhealthy individual.

Anyone who has attempted to date someone like this can tell you: There’s nothing you can do.

I think this is a very important thing for anyone to remember. I wish emotionally unhealthy people would get this. It’s impossible to fill the void that has been created. Yet it doesn’t stop the unhealthy individual from sucking the energy right out of every relationship in their life like a vampire sucks blood from the victim.

But possibly even more important, is for the rest of the world to remember that there’s nothing that can be done to change, save, redeem, or teach the unhealthy person how to be healthy. No words, effort, attention, or money can help them figure themselves out. Only they can do that.

It can’t be taught; it can only be learned. 

Life has plenty of things to teach us all in ways only life can teach us. Responsibility, self-awareness, character growth, discipline, humility. The list goes on. I truly believe there are just some things in life that no one could have ever taught me. I had to learn it for myself.

 

Final Thoughts

I have found that I have an obligation to myself and my emotional state to protect myself from unhealthy people. I don’t mean that I won’t let unhealthy people in my life at all. But I certainly won’t let emotionally unhealthy people into my “inner circle.” That would be irresponsible of me. They will bring havoc, destruction, and a venomous presence to all they encounter in an even semi-intimate capacity. I can’t put myself in that position, and neither should you.

I’m not trying to be insensitive with this post. I fully understand that shit happens in life and sometimes we get wounded deeply by the things we endure. I of all people can understand this. I’ve had some pretty emotionally traumatic events occur in my life in the last few years. But I also know that with every bad thing that happened, I was faced with a choice. I could choose to wallow in pity, doubt, worry, and depression, or I could choose to let those things shape me for good and insure that those bad things that happened to me were not in vein. We always have a choice every day.

I’m naturally a pessimist. I want to see the negative in everything. I wonder if it’s just how I was raised to not trust people and assume that the world is out to get me. But as I’ve gotten older, something really strange has begun to happen. I’ve started to see the good in the world through the lens of every day encounters with people. Despite all the violence, hatred, death, and darkness, there is still a lot of love that is prevailing through the hearts and lives of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. When we are spiritually and emotionally unhealthy, we are unable to see the good around us because we are preoccupied with our shortcomings, our struggles, and our own victimization of self and circumstance.

There will be a time when most emotionally unhealthy people will have a moment where they stop, take a breath, and realize everything is ok. They will reevaluate their life, choose to consider those they have hurt, and want to value and cherish those who have loved and cared about them and invested in their life. But that day will come in its own time for each individual. The best we can do is invest from afar, protect our ever-fragile self, and try to love everyone. Always.

 

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