Reality Is - What's Your Reality?
 
I am sure you have heard it said time and time again “you can’t love someone else if your don’t love yourself” or “no one will ever love you as much as you love yourself”. Oh, that is unless you factor in a mothers love (we will save that one for another day). It has been said to me and by me more times than I can count. To be honest I am not sure if the saying is true – for everyone that is. For me I have to say I can think of times when I was sure it was love, like when I wanted to run away but the love for my children made me stay. I am pretty sure I was very low on the to "be-loved list" in that case. Never the less, I do remember loving myself at some point – just not has much has I loved everyone else in my life.

I remember when I first realized how much I loved my husband – a feeling like nothing else. Yet I will admit that even then the feelings for myself was not what could be called mutual. And the answer to your question is – No, I did not think I deserved to be loved (only selfish people think they deserve things – another one for a different post). In my reality love was something you give, to get and it came from someone else, and it was based on how much you gave. You shouldn’t have to ask for it – if you gave enough you would get it in return. That was just how it worked. Don’t ask me what enough is - I never learned the answer to that.

I’m not sure where I picked up that belief, but it was a strong one and it shaped all of my relationships and interactions with everyone I met. If you are a responsible person with a family – working long hours and then coming home to finish you work day, before falling to sleep on you sofa – beat – you don’t have room in your life for much. Most people struggle day-to-day to prove to others that they love them. Running when told – jumping when told and not forgetting to ask how high. To prove – without asking – that they deserve love in return. Trying their best to prove this to their parents, their children, their spouses and friends. To their extended family and even their hardly there family. It is enough to wipe you out.

For some people keeping that up is just too much, something has got to give. The easiest way to free up space is to start from the bottom. You do remember where I told you I was on that list. How can a person who does not love themselves feel love? How can they know love? I believe it starts from  a memory. Yes, at some point I stopped loving myself but, I never said that I never ever, loved myself at all. And it’s a good thing that the memory survived. Because at some point I got tired of having a “prove your love” to do list two miles long that I wasn’t on. New habits formed, beliefs changed and slowly I made it back on to that list.

Slowly I worked my way up that list and the strangest thing happened – when I reached the top – the love I had been looking for was right there in the spot next to my husband, my children and no longer distant family members. Whenever I thought about doing something nice for someone else – not to prove my love to them but simply to say I love you, that nice thing was something we could do together. I also found that those I love, loved doing the things I loved doing, simply because I loved it. There was room in my life for me to love everyone including me.

In my reality loving myself made loving everyone else easier. I was no longer angry and depressed. I no longer felt obligated to please everyone in order to get love in return. I was a happier person and those I loved got the best of me everyday and I began to get the best of them. Yes, some of those people on that list got left behind, with the anger and depression. They should never have been on this list to begin with. They were actually only put on the list as a way to justify the anger and depression. I could count on them to keep me down when I was down. It was only right that they went when the anger and other bad habits went.

I added a few new habits, bright ones that attracted that love I was taught never to ask for and better than that I made it clear to everyone that I deserved to be loved and if it wasn’t clear in my actions well, I just asked for it.

I am Cynthia Williams and My Reality there is no relationship stronger than the love affair I am having with myself.


7/16/2012

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