When you can’t love yourself
Jessica Semaan

Yes! Until recently I did not even know you were supposed to love yourself! Really. I, a person that can love another with abandon, with passion, with caring, with tenderness, with admiration….did not know you are supposed to love yourself.

Yes, I saw all the reference…but dismissed them…the same way I dismiss extremist quoting their favorite holy book. Just a drug induced hippie fantasy…or something similar. Right? I just did not understand the need…the very concept. Self. Love. Weird.

Sad. My therapist said I needed to work on self-love, self-worth, self-confidence. Heartbroken and destroyed…again…lost, alone, angry (rage and self-loathing really)…very afraid. I was at a bottom and willing to try anything. Accept there was more happening in me than I had accepted.

So I tried, and tried, and kept trying. I did all the exercises, readings, worksheets. Nothing…I just did not get it. The need? The concept! Why did you need self-love? When you could love another and they could love you! Why self?

I have always believed love, fun, joy, happy are verbs…something you do, not own, but you do. In your heart…and shared these with another. It is wonderful…right? I love to share…I feel alive and accepted.

Then one day…it occurred to me…why can’t I do the same for myself. Actively, love myself…instead of trying to understand the need or the why I could not. Just ignore the why and just try to do it. The damn broke open…a little crack at first, then it grew into a small trickle…more I think is coming. I’m at a trickle, maybe a bit more now, I feel it.

But, I understand! Without self-love…you cannot believe that another truly loves you! Your core is insecure…it resists…all love. The acceptance of love…that you are valued and of value. You cannot maintain the self value or understand why someone you love unconditionally does not love you back. Your traumas broke that ability or prevented it from ever happening (my case) ever.

Without self-love, If you do let someone in…it is often corrupted and broken… from someone who does not know how to love another (or at least someone such as you)…a whole other level of broken is added to your life…so hard to get out of that. Most cannot or are not willing to accept it for what it is…you can literally die from a broken heart and not know why.

So, I worked hard, still growing and days I still struggle…but I see it, know it, it grows more than it shrinks…even during the dark days. Maybe even the dark days are my internal struggle to recognize my true self…yes, I that is it…and accept that me, and how previously I was not being true to myself.

A glimpse of self-love has helped me immensely! Now I see better what real love is…yes, something you do still…and something you let inside and … I’m still working on the and, but I know something more is there for me.

Thanks Jessica!

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