Being in love is one of those things awakens your senses. Those butterflies that send a tingling along the length of your spine. The heat that radiates a warmth from somewhere deep inside your chest. It’s that unique reaction your body has when you finally see the one person who has been on your mind all day. The way your stress seems to dissolve as you are enveloped in the warmth of that person’s arms.
Basically, love can be pretty amazing, the inner sensations so overwhelmingly raw and intense, but in the best way possible. You know that someone is standing beside you, always, as your partner and supporter and confidante. There’s an intense comfort in it, deep inside of that knowing, in the security of it all.
But the art of really feeling that security, of being truly comfortable inside of it, doesn’t always come easily. At least not when you’re a person who questions their own worthiness, who questions what they are actually deserving of in life and in love.
When you’re someone who questions their own self-worth, being in love can mean experiencing a rollercoaster of insecurities on the daily. Of never knowing where you stand, even when the signs are being displayed clearly in front of you. It means that most of the time it doesn’t matter how often you’re being told “I love you,” or how much your partner tries to show you that they care.
Because somewhere deep inside of yourself, you don’t really believe you’re worth it.
And no matter how badly you want to accept the love that is being thrust out towards you, the love that you feel so intensely and can’t help but reciprocate back out towards your partner, there’s that one question that claws at you. The one that keeps you up and night and leaves you wondering as try to function normally each day. And that question is an emphatic how?
How can this person ever truly love me when I can’t even love myself?
It’s a guilty question, a shameful one. One that you would never dare speak aloud, one that you maybe don’t even realize you’re asking yourself because it’s buried so deeply beneath all of those insecurities and second-guessing that plague your sense of self.
When you’re like this, when you have these thoughts, being in love is like shining a flashlight with a layer of grime covering the glass. One with the power turned on fully, one that is trying it’s best to present the way it shines, but can only project a light that is foggy and slightly dull.
It’s frustrating, this cycle of doubt and self-consciousness. That dull light that you know should be a beacon emitting from within yourself. And if you’re like most, you keep it inside. Because you’re too embarrassed or ashamed to speak the truth out loud, the truth that says you aren’t confident enough to fully accept love, the thing that our society puts so much emphasis on.
And I’m sure you’ll find yourself thinking that if you can’t accept love, if you can’t believe that someone could truly love you back, doesn’t that mean you’re broken?
Well, I’m here to tell you that the answer to that is absolutely not.
Maybe you feel you’re broken, abnormal in some way, because of the way you were treated as a kid, or because you once had someone in your life who treated you as if you were less-than. Maybe it’s because of our tendency to compare, to look at others and deeply inspect what we see as our own unacceptable shortcomings.
But, really, the reason doesn’t matter so much. At least not right now.
What matters is talking to your partner, is choosing to no longer ignore those feelings that you’ve convinced yourself are shameful. What matters is that you stop feeling guilty over something that only makes you human.
The answer is to dive even deeper within yourself, in wrenching out all of those feelings and showing them to the person that you love.
I won’t say it’s not a struggle, being someone who questions how worthy they are. And you’re never quite sure if you’re overreacting, so you find yourself dreading the moment when someone tells you to stop being so dramatic and to just move on. When they tell you to stop worrying.
But the truth is, if you’re partner is someone who would tell you those negative things, they’re not the person you’re supposed to be with. If the love is truly there, a physically tangible thing between the two of you, it will be okay. They will try their hardest to understand.
Start the process of learning to speak your truth. Realize that there will probably always be hard days, that the act of learning to love yourself is not an easy one. And the process of loving and feeling it being reciprocated back at you may still feel differently for you than it does for others.
But remember that there is not only one way to be in love. That as long as you are trying to improve the way you see yourself, love will still be there when you return to it.
And even if some days it’s inevitably hard, even if you feel like you’re waiting for the floor to drop out from underneath your feet, know that the person you’re with can be your solid ground.
Yes, it may feel difficult to be in a relationship when you question your self-worth, but know that it isn’t impossible. Love isn’t impossible.
It’s not waiting.
And it’s not going away.