I grew up in a world where I felt I had to prove my worth every step of the way. My family loved me, and I didn’t quite care what society said, but for some reason, I felt the need to be accepted by all.
I think as women, we grow up learning that we are never enough and that we have to try harder to be loved. I am not sure who put that thought in my head, but I felt inadequate even if I kept up appearances as the strong one.
I felt like the unlovable one who was not able to achieve enough, even if I had done a lot. It felt like there was always more to be done, and every accomplishment felt inadequate.
As a child, I felt that I had to do well in school so teachers would like me because I thought I was only worth the grades I got in class. I did not see anything in me beyond my ability to remember and memorize information. I thought to be good, I had to do well in school.
Back then, I did not know that’s not what love really is.
As a young girl, I felt I had to be accepted by my peers and invited to many birthday parties. I thought my worth depended on how many friends I had and how popular I could be. Sometimes, it felt like I was trying to buy their friendship and attention, but I didn’t question myself twice. I thought it was the only way I would be loved by my friends.
I had still not realized what it meant to be lovable.
As a teenager, I thought the most important thing in the world was to be adored by as many boys as possible. I didn’t know it was the quality of the love and not the quantity that mattered. I had my heart broken once and I justified breaking a couple of hearts after because of that one boy. The one boy made me feel unloved, and I thought no one would love me right.
Sadly, I still see so many women my age who are still trying to find their worth based on one boy. It’s usually the one boy who has treated them the worst.
I knew I would be loved at some point, but I didn’t know by who and when.
As an adult, it was all about finding the right job and making the most money because that was the life goal. I saw that people with money looked the happiest because they could buy the nicest things. I remember buying every little thing I wanted, but it didn’t feel like real happiness.
I wanted my boss to love me and I wanted to succeed, because if I didn’t, I thought I wouldn’t be worthy of being loved and accepted.
I found it annoying when I heard people say the most important love is self-love. I knew I loved myself, I just wanted everyone else to love me too.
I felt the need to be good at everything I did or else I thought I would be a failure. As I grew older, I accepted myself the way I am, and I cut myself some slack. I decided it was okay not to be at everything. I accepted that I didn’t have to be liked by everyone.
One day, it just dawned on me—all my life I was searching for others to accept me because I had never accepted myself. I don’t know why.
For most of my life, I felt like the unlovable one because I was always looking for love outside when all the love I really needed was always inside of me.
I know I am not the unlovable one. I am the most loved one because now I know better.