Do you recall the moment when you learned a hard truth about someone you loved?
Maybe you realized that the person you loved was not good for you. Or you understood that, no matter how much you gave to the relationship, you would never receive what you needed in return.
What happened after that painful moment?
Maybe you tried to ignore what your intuition was telling you. Deny this realization. Justify all the ways that this person was, in fact, good for you.
I did all these things because I was once in love with a man named Dave. I had never felt love like this before.
We met at an older age, both of us already with children of our own and several relationships under our belts. I knew what I needed in a relationship. Together we were passionate. Adventurous. Fun. Creative. Inspired.
I thought Dave was my life partner, so I invested myself in him with everything I had. In his business, his house, his kids, his needs. It was like a dream come true when we decided to take our relationship to the next level.
Quickly after moving in together, the affection that Dave had previously shown me disappeared. The passion we had shared fizzled. This concerned me, but I was so in love with him that I tried harder.
I kept investing in him. Showing him my commitment as a partner. Giving of myself – my time, my energy, even my money – to take care of his needs. Giving of myself to him at the expense of my own investing in myself. Despite my efforts, I felt none of this kind of investment from him in return.
I instinctively knew something was wrong because I was not myself. I felt down, drained of energy, and unhappy for days on end.
I had recently started a new business, and instead of feeling excited and energized by this opportunity, I was struggling to focus on the things I needed to do every day.
It was a painful moment when I understood that, regardless of how much I loved Dave, he was not good for me. He was not capable of giving me what I needed to be my best self. I could stay with Dave, continuing to give, give, give while he took.
Or I could save me, my power, and my spirit.
My gut told me to get out of the relationship. So I broke my own heart to do what was best for me.
I loved Dave madly. But I loved me more.
Self-love is not something we are born with. Like any relationship, we must work at loving ourselves, and must actively practice this love every day.
My childhood trauma made me believe I was unlovable. But through hard work, I learned how to love myself.
– I learned how to value and respect myself through my decisions and my actions.
– I learned how to ask for what I want in relationships.
– I learned how to stand up for myself, to set and confidently maintain my boundaries.
Most importantly, I learned that the love that matters most comes from within.
Please feel free to share with a friend who may benefit from this.