Thought Catalog
March 10, 2017

I Am Finally Learning To Love Myself (So I Don’t Have To Depend On Anyone Else)

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I am many things. A mother, a daughter, a sister, and aunt, a friend. I am caring, open minded, and a little bit of a romantic. I am a book and animal lover, a part time poet, and I am a giver of love. I am so incredibly full of love, sometimes I don’t know where it manifests from or where it’s supposed to go, but I do know that I’m damn good at it. I love my family, my children, my friends. I love the color red. I love flying. I love summer, iced tea, and socks that go up to my knees. When I love, I don’t know how to hold back. I love with every molecule of my being and I love to love.

I don’t remember when I acquired so much love, but it must have been as a young child. I was my parent’s first child, both sets of grandparents welcomed me as their first granddaughter and for my aunts and uncles, their first niece. I was spoiled with love. Maybe that’s how it happened; from the moment I was born I was surrounded with such unconditional, truest of true love, I literally soaked all of that love up like a sponge and held onto it with all I had (another thing I love is being loved.) It was all I knew.

As a little girl I remember imagining myself happy, and loved. As I got older, I realized life could be ugly, that no matter how much other people loved me, that wouldn’t stop unexpected or terrible things from happening, and that scared me. No matter how much love I had been spoiled with or soaked up, I had never thought about sharing my love with myself. I always thought that it was something I was meant to give to others. Looking back I realize how big of a mistake that was.

I think because I have always felt like I love others with everything I have, that they in turn will undoubtedly do the same for me. Unfortunately, learning that this is not the case has been one of the hardest lessons I’ve ever had to learn. I think sometimes our expectations do that to us, because I am so prepared to love without limits. And when that person just has a different way of showing they care or a less exaggerated version of it, I begin to feel insecure and I make myself smaller. I make myself smaller for people to love because they aren’t capable of loving me the way I think I should be.

It’s terrifying because I don’t know if I should just stay small or if my unrealistic expectations are going to hinder my chances of being happy with the love I have found. It’s such a scary thing to think about settling for. Especially when I would never want anyone to settle for my love if it wasn’t enough. Love is a beautiful feeling, with no words to properly describe it, no matter how you choose to show it.

I am many things. I am important. I am worthy. I am accepting. I am a lover of love. I am learning to love myself. TC mark