Thought Catalog

Loving Others Is Only Possible When You Love Yourself First

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I was in love once. Deep, crazy, inconceivable love. We were so much alike and completely hooked on each other from the moment we met. I was amazed I was able to find someone so perfect, thinking “this is the kind of guy you marry.” I wasn’t ever going to let him get away.

Our love was exactly how the movies play it out to be: wrapped up in each other like we might drift away, making friends sick with our infatuation, completely consumed and trying to inhale each other fully. We were high off the euphoria of being together, with a connection so deep it seemed rooted in our souls; we were Noah and Ally plucked right out of The Notebook.

It was the most intensely passionate experience I’d ever had.

From there, I knew where my life was headed. It was with him in the driver’s seat cruising toward a life of baby names and small town living, with friends and family eagerly awaiting our inevitable Save the Dates. We were a team, we were best friends; nothing could go wrong as long as we were together.

And then the unthinkable happened.

While our passion never faded, it also heightened every fight, every fear and every doubt in our minds, spinning us into a whirlwind of despair. It eventually turned us against each other. I became obsessive while he became isolated. We morphed into people we could no longer understand, screaming over one another to feel heard.

Though we tried to work on our relationship, it came at a steep price. I kept trying to mould myself to fit into the life I had envisioned for us while the rest of me shattered and fell out of place. I stopped believing in my own dreams, being my own person, and eventually I woke up not knowing who stood in front of my own reflection.

In the end, we realized we weren’t right for each other. Not because we didn’t love each other and didn’t want to be together, nor was it because we were just two different people heading down separate paths.

We didn’t know how to give ourselves to one another because there wasn’t much of ourselves left to give.

When you find your bliss, that intoxicating and enchanting kind of bliss, you’re willing to sacrifice everything to make that feeling last. Our love was incredible, but it was never supposed to be a trade, my life for ours. I lost myself trying to hold onto him because I didn’t know or love myself enough to give into what I really needed.

I decided to go my own way. I stepped out of my comfort zone, moved to another continent and faced the world as a single woman. I started building my own life, stacking myself up higher than I ever sought to and found others doing the same, who elevated me even further. I uncovered a world of opportunity, traveling to every crevasse and exploring a way of life I never could have imagined.

I became invincible.

I lived my dreams, went in search of more and transformed my life’s purpose into something that is purely and selfishly my own. My life became fuller, my sense of self stronger than it had ever been before, with more love than I could possibly imagine. I had finally given myself the opportunity to fall head over heels for the one person that truly mattered: me.

I was happy – completely on my own.

Sometimes I think of how much easier things would have been if I followed the path he and I had laid out together, but I know I never would’ve made it out on the other side if I did. I needed to learn to live my life for me if I was ever going to have him, too. You can ignore your dreams and life will stack up falsely until something inside of you riots in revolt, and it wasn’t until I gave into that revolution that I finally felt like myself again.

If you’re looking for someone to complete you and make you happy but are unable to do so for yourself, you will likely spend an eternity trying to fit square pegs into the round holes of your life. Love is possible when there’s already so much of it bursting inside of you that you need to share it with the rest of the world, but is nearly impossible when you haven’t a clue where it comes from. You are meant to fall in love and share your life with others, but you are first meant to fall in love with yourself and be true to the person you are.

You are the true love of your life – don’t ever let that love get away. TC mark

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Severe(d): A Creepy Poetry Collection

I used to get butterflies when I looked at you, but now they feel more like maggots feasting away on the heart you slaughtered.

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