I’m surprised that – as I continue on my ’30 days of self-love’ blogging challenge – I’m already up to day five. Wow! Time flies and all of that. Today’s topic, relates to the love we have from others and how it can help us more fully grasp self-love as well.
I want to be clear here. I do not believe in placing your worth in what someone else thinks of you. I do propose, however, that we each have someone in our lives who loves us fully and that we need to see our own selves through that person’s loving eyes.
Don’t you even try to tell me you have no one who loves you, either. There’s somebody. Usually, many somebodies exist if we look hard enough. I’ll rebut your claim right now if you even try to say no one cares. I care! That is why I pour my heart, soul, time, and energy into this message. That is why I cry right now with the mere thought than anyone could feel no one loves them. I do and you better believe others do too! Friends, family members, co-workers, fellow church members, other bloggers, that nice woman you see every day at the gym…someone cares!
See yourself through the eyes of those that love you. See the joy you bring them. Open your eyes. View yourself in a different light. We all too often act as our own worst enemy and judge ourselves more harshly than anyone else. Instead, realize you are loved, cherished, wanted, and needed. Love yourself like others love you. Remember. They do. Don’t fight it.
Reflect on who loves you and what they see in you. Do you have trouble believing it and accepting what they see whole-heartedly? Try to think of all those wonderful things about you that others care for and use those to fuel your day.
This is a hard one for me. Not because I claim to be unloved, but because I should admit to having a bit of a chip on my shoulder when it comes to this kind of issue and predominantly because of my singledom. I wonder, do I shut myself off from the opportunity? I don’t think so. Once I hit my mid-late 30s and it became obvious that I wasn’t going to meet anyone (inadvertently) I tried speed dating and online dating. To no avail. Of course I blame my weight, but… I haven’t always been OBESELY overweight.
Then just over two years ago, after I’d hit 41 and realised the fairytale was looking more and more unlikely I decided I would endeavour to have a child on my own. I tried a few times – unsuccessfully. I then waited a while before going down the IVF path earlier this year. But before I could go through the process, some hormone tests put the kybosh on it all. So… it seems I will remain childless. And – I am trying to plan for a life alone.
So… I do indeed have some issues when it comes to thinking about love. Loving and being loved. I yearn to be the most important thing in someone’s life. Or even to be cared about ‘in that way’.
But – enough of the melancholy. While perhaps I do see myself as ‘unlovable’ from a romantic love (or lust) point of view, I don’t feel that way about myself when it comes to the affectionate type of love. My parents love me. There is no question about that. Growing up, my brother and I always came first. My family wasn’t wealthy, but my parents sacrificed a lot for us to both go to University and follow our dreams. Even now, despite their own health-related issues, my parents would do almost anything for me (or my brother and his family). And I feel the same way about them. As they age I feel a level of responsibility for them and their wellbeing. I worry about them in a way I didn’t when they were younger. I worry about the impact that being my father’s carer has on my mother, and about my father’s quality of life and his health. I think they see me as being an honest and compassionate daughter (and human being) and know I love them very much.
I have some very dear very old friends. Well, not OLD old, but you know what I mean. I am still in contact with the group of girls I went to school with. We used to meet up regularly, but now are scattered and rely on Facebook to keep in touch. I have two close friends from my University days (late 1980s), one of whom remains my best friend. And I have a couple of close friends I met in the early 1990s. We all have a long history together and have shared good times and bad. They know things about me I wish they didn’t, and they’d probably say the same about me.
Then there are the friends I have made – mostly through work – since then. People I see intermittently or those I see regularly (walking buddies or pilates buddies).
They – but particularly my closest friends – love me. I’m sure of that. I saw my best friend two nights ago and feel comfort every time we catch up. She’s now overseas but her work permits her almost-monthly visits. It occasionally surprises me that I can act like such a jealous cow (as per my post links above) and yet my friends can still stand to be around me. Perhaps I hide it well.
Over the years, I’ve been a bit of a hermit and much preferred time at home with my food, wine and television, rather than having to go out and see people. My closest friends have hung in there. They know about my reclusive behaviour and put up with me anyway. I appreciate their friendship and love but probably don’t tell them that regularly enough. Although I have (on occasions) complained about the fact that they aren’t easily available to me now (all have paired off and with their partners/families have busy social lives) I know they’d do anything for me. I’m not great at asking for favours and never do, but if I had to I think they’d come through for me. And I’d do the same for them.
So… I am loved. I have lovable traits. I can be compassionate, I am a loving daughter and a supportive friend. But I can improve. And I will. Now that food and binge eating isn’t ruling my life to the same extent I will commit to doing more socially – making contact with those friends I don’t see often, or promised to contact but never did. Not only will I become a better friend, but it will bring more fulfillment to my own life too. I hope.