Last week, I had the revelation that “No one can love me more than I am willing to love myself.” This thought came to mind after I noticed that because I don’t fully believe that I am worthy of love, I don’t fully let love in. This means that when another person attempts to act lovingly towards me, a part of me either distrusts their intentions or pushes them away. In the both situations, the thought is often, “If you really knew me, you wouldn’t love me.”
Having had more time to sit with these thoughts, as well as the resulting tendency to avoid all acts of intimacy, I have observed that there is a part of me that is aware that this fear based mindset can’t easily be talked out of existence. That is, neither I, nor someone else, can say anything that will make this fear no longer be true.
Instead, it seems – ironically enough – that the solution is to love this part of myself as fully as I can in this moment as I work to love myself as fully as I can in this moment. To engage in this process requires that I not only learn to work with my inner critic, learn how to relinquish some of my perfectionistic tendencies that keep me “safe” and others at bay, but also learn to dote on myself as no other can. This work also requires that I create space between myself and those who tend to knock me down versus build me up.
Without this type of work, even if someone were to magically come along and love me “perfectly,” my own deep-seated fear of unworthiness and un-love-ability would prevent me from being able to fully take in the intentions of this other person. Thereby resulting in the same series of habits that I have observed in the past: I either run or find ways to push people away.
So the question that I have for you, the one that I am asking of myself is this: How are you showing yourself some love? How can you begin to love you EXACTLY as you are, WHEREVER you happen to find yourself in life? What thoughts, relationships, situations, objects, or activities might need to be relinquished in order for you to create more space for you to begin to believe in your lovability, likability, and worthiness?