You’ve heard it plenty of times before and you will hear it plenty of times more, especially when you rant about why you can’t find a decent partner or why you are so unlucky when it comes to love. Friends, family and love articles will tell you that you “have to love yourself first”, or “maybe the problem is that you don’t love yourself enough”. While this may somewhat be true, I have a slightly different opinion when it comes to love.
I am not saying you don’t need to love yourself, you absolutely do and should, I am just saying it shouldn’t correlate with your love life. I know people who had difficulty loving themselves but found someone who truly loved them; and it helped them love themselves a little more. Isn’t that the essence of love? That the person who loves you helps you love all the things you hate about yourself, or at least gives you a shoulder to lean on as you learn how to love yourself. And I’ve also seen the opposite, some people who truly loved themselves couldn’t find someone who truly loved them.
I just feel lately that people are so hard on themselves, and blame themselves when things don’t work out with their partners. They feel that it’s because of one thing they lack, or because they are not attractive enough or not smart enough.
Loving ourselves just gives us more power in moving on instead of dwelling so much on our insecurities and the whole situation, but it doesn’t make anyone love us more or less for that matter. We should love ourselves and work on ourselves so we can be content with who we are and live a life we are proud of, not for anyone else to like us or accept us.
Loving yourself is a bumpy ride that takes so many wrong turns before making the right one, and it helps when you have someone on that ride with you, either to make it a little less lonely, or give you direction every now and then when you lose your way. If you find someone who doesn’t make you enjoy the ride, drop them off at the nearest stop.
If you find someone who wants to ride with you and listen to your crappy songs and deal with your reckless driving and your horrible sense of direction; never let them go. Let them ride with you until you both ride in the limo.
Let them ride with you and be part of your trip, stop a few times to let all sink in, share with them the best and worst parts of the ride and of yourself too. Let them try to see how you react to those bumps on the road, or how you sometimes lose sight of the road, or how you sometimes just want to stop driving altogether and watch the sunrise, or maybe just sit by the curb asking questions and telling stories.
Let them truly be part of your ride, not just a passenger. Let them help you drive sometimes when you are tired, let them change the songs you are used to listening to every now and then, let them show you new shortcuts and new roads to take.
God puts certain people in our path so they can teach us something, even the wrong ones, they teach us that we are stronger than we thought we were and they make us appreciate our beauty that they failed to notice. The right ones make us love ourselves by being there, accepting us and letting us know that they will be here for us on bad days too.
You love yourself by opening yourself up and exposing who you really are to the people you care about, and sometimes it takes not loving yourself to eventually love yourself. By all means, find someone who loves you even when you don’t love yourself, because even if you love yourself, there will be days when you don’t and you will need a little reminder.
(Originally published at Mogul)