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You Deserve Love, Including Your Own

“The amount of happiness that you have depends on the amount of freedom you have in your heart.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Several years ago, I was in an unhealthy and unhappy relationship. It didn’t start out that way, of course. During the first year that we were together, I was in heaven. I was blissfully happy and everything seemed perfect.

My partner and I were so in love and happy just to be together; you couldn’t keep us apart.

It was years later that the trouble started. It was when my husband reconnected with a woman from his past that our marriage started to fall apart. It is hard to say if things would have fallen apart in time anyway, but this other woman certainly contributed to bringing us unstuck.

My husband told me that they had never been a couple, but that he used to be extremely attracted to this woman. She had recently moved to our city so he offered to help her out and get her familiar with the surroundings. I thought nothing of it at first because I thought I could trust my partner completely.

Eventually though, I noticed that he was spending more time with her, and when I would ask him about it, he always made it seem like I was a bad person for being suspicious.

I started reading messages on his phone when he was asleep because my gut instinct was telling me that something was not right.

When I confronted him with the incriminating messages, he got very angry. He denied everything and berated me for having so little faith in him. All of this made me quite depressed, and eventually I became very bitter. We were fighting almost constantly over the smallest things.

I was bitter with the world and, yes, I became bitter with myself. I did not like the person I had become.

I was always stressed out, suspicious, and unhappy. I blamed myself for the status of our relationship. I started believing that I was the one at fault and that he was the injured party.

After some time, his affair with the woman finally came to light and we broke up. Even after having confirmed that all my suspicions were correct and that I had done myself a favor by ending the relationship, I was still extremely unhappy. I still carried a lot of bitterness inside me.

I could not understand why something so bad could happen to a good person like me. I was angry with my ex and was equally angry at the world.

The recurring question I had in my head was, “What is love, and what on earth did I do to deserve this?”

Then one day, I just felt so exhausted by all the negativity inside me. I remembered a book I once read about attracting positivity from the universe by becoming a more positive person. From that moment on, I resolved to take control of my life.

I realized that I was ultimately responsible for all the unhappiness and bitterness I was feeling.

I needed to forgive myself for having stayed in an unhealthy relationship for far too long. I needed to free myself of unrealistic expectations and get on with my life and all that it had to offer.

As soon as I started doing this, things immediately began to change.

I discovered things about myself that I didn’t even know existed and I realized that there was a lot to love about myself and about life in general. I focused on always fighting for the positive view no matter what the situation was.

I studied a lot about positivity and negativity, but what really helped was a deep, psychological understanding about humans and why we are the way we are—why we are so insecure and what drives that. What creates the turmoil, the guilt, the unfairness of life, the anger, and the meanness.

When I understood the deeper reasoning for my actions and reactions, it soon became apparent that the problem was not the cheating and the marriage break down. Sure, this hurt and was an enormous catalyst, but all the self-doubt, insecurity, and unhappiness were already there under the surface.

If it weren’t the marriage, then my insecurities, pain, and upset would have come out in another life drama.

When I understood where my insecurities of worry were anchored, I could then deal with everyday emotions of negativity by seeing them for what they were.

I could see that it wasn’t my circumstances that made me feel unhappy, negative, and resentful. They just took me to a fearful place in myself. What I needed to do was learn how to deal with those situations in a healthy way.

I’ve learned that stamping your feet and flailing your arms at the unfairness doesn’t solve anything; slopping around in life’s negative emotions hurts nobody but yourself.

So when my husband’s lying and leaving me made me feel worthless, unlovable, and lonely, I soon recognized that those feelings were what had underpinned all that I had wrested with all my life. That was actually how I felt about everything.

I was actually very needy because I was so afraid of being alone because it made me feel unworthy and unlovable. Once I came to recognize this, I was able to start to bring love and understanding back into the equation.

When I was alone and the feelings of being unlovable and unworthy came up, I would go back to what I learned about myself. I’d talk myself through what I’d learned about being completely lovable and worthy of love.

Once I had this understanding of myself under my belt my heart was then open and free to find love again. Sure enough, I did find love again, and this time it was the kind of love that lasts.

Because I had learned so much about myself, the relationship was not based on my need to fulfill an unfulfilled heart. This time I was able to be loved for me, all of me, and enjoy it and not be desperate for the love.

And above all I was actually free enough to love too. I had more to give, as I wasn’t so preoccupied with trying to be loved. It turned out to be the kind of love that leads to a long, happy, healthy marriage.

Now, all the pain of the past can almost be seen as a blessing. It has led me to the most wonderful time in my life where I am not so much hopelessly in love, but I am so fulfilled and content in myself that I have never felt happier.

This positive love that now fills my heart and my world is available to every single one of us.

Opening our hearts and minds to love and positive space is the key to a life of love.  Understanding who we are, that we are lovable and worthy of love allows us to love and be loved.

I urge you to learn about yourself—your past, your emotions, your reactions. Honesty is key. You have to face up to who you are, which can be very difficult. Imagine me, a confident, organized, highly functioning executive discovering my life was run on an urge to prove I’m worthy of love. That was a hard one!

But if you can deeply connect with the real you, who wants, needs, and above all deserves to be loved, a freedom lies ahead that is beautiful to behold.

Photo from FaithFitnessFun

Avatar of Mary Snedon

About Mary Snedon

Mary sees that an understanding and an awareness of the human condition is key to life. With all the study she has now done, she has found solace in the work published by biologist Jeremy Griffith who has published an essay titled What Is Love? These rational ideas have allowed her to bring all her research and theories together.

Announcement: Wish you could change your past? Learn to let go and create a life you love with the Tiny Buddha course!
  • S Sallyli

    As I lie here in the dark reading your words I feel a deep sense of connection to your words. I am trying to let go of a man I love desperately and desperate is the key word. I have tried everything to ‘make’ this man love me and this has exhausted me beyond anything I can imagine. I have done so stupid things where he is concerned but like you, I have been trying to get him to love me that I have forgotten how to love myself. Your words make me realize how my insecure feelings and self doubt actually come within me. How can I love truly love someone when I don’t even know how

  • S Sallyli

    Sorry, my phone decided I was writing too much :p.
    What I was trying to say was how can I truly love someone else when I don’t even know how to love myself.
    Thank you again for your inspiring words. I will work harder on loving myself rather then trying to get someone else to love me.

  • aaantman

    Thank you for this. It came at the perfect time, I have just come out of a 3.5 year relationship and she was my everything. I trusted her, I loved her, and she betrayed me. I forgave the first time, and then she went and did it again. And again.

    She shot my heart to pieces. I’m angry, hurt, bitter, confused, and lost.

    But I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    And this will help me get out of this dark place.

  • Joanna

    Thank you so much for your article! After having broken up with someone just last week after dating for 6 months, I wondered what was wrong with me and decided that I could do a death spiral with these emotions or pick myself up, pat myself on the back for having truly loved and get on with my own happiness. Easier said than done but well worth it. I felt like crap for most of those 6 months and I did make a choice to stay in that relationship and learned a ton of lessons in that process, for which I’m grateful :)

  • Cyn0515

    Will you please share the name of the book you read regarding attracting positivity?  Thank you very much. 

  • Agenttracey

    Excellent article. I would have so appreciated if she would have recommended some of the books she felt most helpful.

  • Petrina Proctor

    Hi, Mary, I enjoyed your post. May I ask what books you read?
    Thanks,
    Petrina

  • BebeJ

    This has been exactly what I am continually called to do lately.  Know that I am enough, that I am worthy, that I am loveable, that I am not a failure.  I know why I have stayed in relationships or gotten into them based on my desperatation to feel loved.  I know about myself, yet I don’t know how to love myself.  How do you do that?

  • Sexykittykat8

    Recently left an unhealthy four year relationship. Learning to be alone, self love, and enjoying being free and drama free.
     

  • http://www.MindfulnessMeditationInstitute.org/ Charles A. Francis

    A few months ago, my girlfriend and I began doing an exercise I recently developed. We call it writing meditation. It is a variation of the loving-kindness meditation that is used in various spiritual traditions.

    The results have been phenomenal. Within just a few days, we found ourselves being more patient, loving, considerate, understanding, etc. We’re also much more sociable than before. The most amazing part about it is that we’re behaving this way without any conscious effort.

    Today, we are more in love than we’ve ever been. We truly enjoy every moment with each other, and with other people.

    If anyone is interested in the exercise, contact me and I’ll email it to you. There is no charge. It is my gift to you and your loved ones.

    Warm regards,
    Charles A. Francis

  • Guest

    I just finished reading a book that offers some tremendous insights.

    “Women Who Love Too Much” by Robin Norwood. Whether you know that you are a woman who loves too much, or you think you might be, or you know women like this, you’ll find something useful in what the author has to say.

     

  • Cat5365

    You so hit the nail on the head!

  • Giromi

    Thank you so much! this is exactly what I needed. I am currently working on getting to know myself and love myself exactly the way I am. I know things happen for a reason, and my recent break up reminded me that I needed to work on myself, on improving my self-steem and recognizing my worth. I am glad that you found love again, I know there’s hope. It’s all about timing. 

  • Thefras49

    Excellent article…I’m recently separated from a16 yr disrespectful relationship involving multiple acts of infidelity and betrayal…in order to keep the relationship going required me to minimize and suppress my awareness of these acts…now that it is over, I’m left with self loathing and disgust that I would have subjected myself o this for so long…your article gives me hope that there could bea better way to deal with this loss. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  • Lv2terp

    Fantastic post, thank you for sharing your experience, growth,and wisdom!!! This is indeed a challenging goal to obtain!

  • http://leighpope.com/intimaciesq Jessica Pope

    Mary,

    I’m so happy you experienced these insights and breakthroughs. For me it’s important to remember that self love and self nurturance come first.

    I love what you said about your relationship not being based on a need to fulfill an unfulfilled heart. Honestly, I don’t think an unfulfilled heart is capable of true love.

    When I’m in that place of lack, that place of incompleteness, I can’t love freely. I end up using my partner as a means to completion. I end up expecting him to make me whole. That’s no foundation for a healthy relationship.

    I believe that in order to love authentically, we have to be complete and happy within ourselves. We can’t come broken. We need to come whole.

    Thanks for sharing your story. Very inspiring!

  • guest

    Great post. I had a similiar experience and I also felt like, why me? It took a long time to realise that the experience was really about my own lack of self esteem. Betrayl is difficult to deal with but betraying yourself by staying in an abusive relationship is even worse. When I finally ended the relationship it was like a huge burden had been lifted off my shoulders. When you love yourself enough you won’t accept being abused, but sometimes you need the experience to learn the lesson.

  • Kris Rapp

    VERY curious about the book referenced in the article. Any info would be much appreciated

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZOZJA7GBXEKP4XR3L6YHQCUBDQ Lashpal

    Thank you so much for sharing this information.  I was dealing with same problem and now I understand the reason of my lonliness.  Thank you so much.

  • Guest

     Charles,
    I would certainly be interested in the writing meditation you mentioned.  Could you tell me more about it? 
    skitson07@gmail:disqus.com. 

    Many thanks!
    *Stacey

  • http://loveforsuccessfulwomen.com/ Janet Ong Zimmerman

    Thank you for sharing your heartfelt story, Mary.  There is much wisdom and inspiration in what you went through, learned about yourself and how your journey took you to where you are now.  Your message is very uplifting.

  • Z.

    I would love to learn about the exercise, please. My email is zgirl404@hotmail:disqus .com
    Thanks, Zimeka

  • Z.
  • solitairebala

    We all goes through very painful experiences in life at times , we may also feel so down and depressed and may feel like ending it all up.Some people actually commit suicides at these given circumstances.The most important lesson in life is never give up hope in life and surrender to the almighty completely he/she has a cute way of taking us through it all just as he only could,today what we feel as awful and disgusting, may look very different if you only give it some time,looking back aftet a few years you will know how correct it was for you.That is the power of god.Hold on to your life and leave the rest for the god to decide,I can bet that people who are suspecious about the existance of god only commit suicide.If you have complete faith in the lord then you can go through any amount of pain and still come out of it unscathed and the power of mind and will power is all, which tells you deep in side that god wants you to go on and life will be better as we live each day with prayers.

  • Mary Snedon

    Wow! What amazing feedback, I’m overwhelmed and feel humbled that my story could provide help and solace to others. I feel so much for those who have just recently begun this journey… please, please be kind to yourselves and when you feel like there is no hope just take each day at a time, it really does get easier – you are, no matter what, 100% loveable and worthwhile – no matter what. At base that is the truth. How wonderful the internet, although so full of mess and rubbish, does provide a home for us to come together for each other.
    Some people have wondered what book it was that I remembered, which bought me such peace. The book was A Species in Denial (http://www.worldtransformation.com/a-species-in-denial/). It’s not your typical ‘self help’ book, but that was what struck me I think. I needed something real, something which really talked about what was going on in the world as a whole – it gave me perspective. The quote I have in my bedroom from the book is this one (sorry it’s a bit long!):
    “Being able to understand why humans have been so competitive, aggressive and
    selfish removes the underlying insecurity in human life. The source psychosis of all human
    psychoses is repaired, allowing the corrupt aggressive, egocentric and selfish behaviour of
    humans to abate and eventually disappear forever.

    Real reconciliation of the poles or duality of human life of good and evil in all their
    manifestations—such as of instinct and intellect, soul and mind, conscience and conscious,
    subjectivity and objectivity, ignorance and knowledge, dogma and logic, mysticism and
    rationalism, religion and science, faith and reason, holism and mechanism, idealism and
    realism, Yin and Yang, left wing and right wing, socialism and capitalism, women and
    men, young and old, black and white, innocence and corruption, soundness and alienation,
    happiness and unhappiness, frivolity and discipline, fragility and toughness, naturalness
    and artificiality, play and work, spiritualism and materialism, poverty and wealth,

    The proverbs assert that ‘understanding is compassion’, ‘the truth will set you free’ (The
    Bible, John 8:32), ‘honesty is therapy’ and ‘in repentance lies salvation’, but humans have
    never been able to ‘understand’ themselves, know ‘the truth’ about themselves, be ‘honest’
    about their condition, explain why they have been divisively rather than cooperatively
    behaved and in so doing end their insecurity, ameliorate their lives and thus be able to
    ‘repent’ and change their ways.

    Humans’ divisive nature is not an unchangeable or immutable state as many have
    come to regard it, rather it has been the result of the human condition, the inability to
    understand themselves, and therefore it disappears when that understanding is found—
    which thank goodness it now is. The denial can now end, all the lying can stop. In Plato’s
    imagery, we can now, as the song Sunshine from that immensely optimistic 1960s rock
    musical Hair, says, ‘Let the sunshine / Let the sunshine in / The sunshine in’ (lyrics by James Rado &
    Gerome Ragni). ”

  • Glenda

    Thank you for a wonderful article. Letting go when a relationship ends and healing
    with forgiveness is a powerful profound process. I created a guided meditation that
    specifically inspires this process. You can find it here:
    http://www.guidedimagerycd.com/guided-imagery-for-letting-go.html
    Warmly,
    Glenda

  • http://www.bluecollarworkman.com/ TB at BlueCollarWorkman

    It’s funny how our gut instincts are so rarely wrong. You knew something was wrong in your marriage and you were right. I think it’s great that you found a better version of you and have been able to be loved because you love yourself! Great story!

  • Tracy

    I would love to hear more about your writing & meditation practice. I’ve been working with a writing & yoga coach, we always leap off into writing from discussion so I’m interested to see how meditation would create new writing inspiration. My email is tracy@wyldsidetech.com.
    Namaste

  • Alexander Dunlop

    Hi Mary,
    What a powerful article.  Thank you for sharing.

    In your passion to truly understand the human condition, I urge you to look into the “ordinary” deck of playing cards.  These are actually the Ancient Book of Life, hidden in plain sight all these years. 

    Based purely on mathematics, we each have 13 cards in our life path.  Once we know our cards, then we know how to “play the cards we’ve been dealt.”  These common expressions about Cards in our vocabulary are actually literal expressions.

    with love,
    Alexander

  • http://www.motivation.net.au/quotes/motivational-quotes Inspirational Quote

    You…are…awesome! This blog is so great. I
    really hope more people read this and get what you’re saying, because let me
    tell you, its important stuff. It should be followed by the urban community
    all over the world.

     

  • Roshni Behal

    It is a beautiful post…………………..

  • Roshni Behal

    I would like to know about the writing meditation. my email id is roshnibehal10@gmail.com. thanks

  • Franssea

    Thank you.
    This beautifull story makes me stronger!
    With love, Frans

  • Jecheverri812

    I think these articles are really helpful for people who need insight on their own situations, a little guidance and pick me up. They offer support and encouragement and let people know they’re not alone and that life happens all the time whatever the case. It’s relieving to know there is a brighter day and light to be seen when you realize how life is a p r e s e n t and you should make your presence known and felt. Two thumbs up and the best of luck to all of you ! You can do it, just keep your batteries charged and be a leader. Life is precious so don’t be scared of it.

    “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things”
    -Peter Drucker

  • Taram2_10

    Please email me about your writing meditation exercise at taram2_10@yahoo.com. Thank you!

  • Afping

    i am also going through a 35 year marriage break up, how do you learn to love yourself…

  • BebeJ

    I’m not positive because no one has actually told me how but this is what I have been doing.  I do all the things that make me feel good about myself.  Like I love to dance… I go to Zumba.  I like to cook… I make dinner for myself.  I contradict all the lies I tell myself… I look at myself and say you are beautiful, you are worthy, you are enough, you are not a failure, God has a plan for you.  I go to therapy.  I’m in recovery, so I go to meetings.  I still have behaviors I want to participate in that make me feel good temporarily but cause me harm (shopping… etc) so I am aware when I want to do those destructive things thenI decide if I want to or not.  I hope this makes some sense to you.  Again, I’m not really sure.  I just do the things I KNOW are good for me and healthy activities, I take care of myself, I try not to get stuck in self-pity, I trust God as best I can (one moment at a time), I meditate when I can, I stay busy with my friends, and I laugh as much as possible.  I’m so sorry you are going through this and I will keep you in my prayers.  I also tell myself this “You don’t know what miracles are planned for you, if you give up, you may never know, and they may happen tomorrow.” 

  • BoatS

    I am interested also. Please email: roland_070@yahoo.com. Thank you!

  • Annesmith501

    Could you please email me your writing meditation exercise at annesmith501@gmail.com
    @gmail:disqus thanks

  • Trigonometria

    can I get the meditation exercise please Charles!! thanksss   trigonometria@hotmail.com

  • Trigonometria

    hey jessica,
    how can u differenciate a relationship based on a need to fulfill an unfulfilled heart from one based on a desire to share?.. is complicated when i ask myself that question..

  • Dstrol1

    Could u email it to me?

  • Dstrol1

    My email is dstrol1@students.towson.edu
    Thanks!

  • Guest

    Hi Charles,

    I am very interested in this writing meditation exercise. Please email me at lphihoang@gmail.com. Much appreciated. 

  • Jgroessl

     Yes, please forward the exercises to jgroessl12@gmail.com

  • http://leighpope.com/intimaciesq Jessica Pope

    I think we have to trust our intuition. When I’m relating out of a need to compensate, my gut-level knowledge can let me know. When my relating comes from a desire to share, I can feel that abundance and joy. So I have to really look at my motivations and really be aware of how I feel in the relationships. For me, the key is sitting with myself long enough to get clarity on those things.

  • 12345

    So, how exactly did you stop feeling unworthy of love? Because you realized it was irrational? No one other than my parents has loved me, and I’ve been in love romantically 2 times where they didn’t feel the same (but continued dating me for some reason). I am desperate for a man to say they love me, I feel that if I was a good worthwhile person, wouldn’t someone love me?

  • Lisa

    Sally, you sound just like me. i was for years trying to make one man to love me…we even lived together for 2 years. he left me a while ago and im trying to get over..even not over him and the break up,but im trying to find a way to forgive myself for letting myself into that kind of relationship when my intuition was saying it was all wrong. and now as the man left i ve got so much time to start loving myself,to b just on my own that it feels weird, beacuse before i was more focused on trying to make him love me. i feel sick a bit that i made myself to feel so low about myself. im angry with him,with myself. i just dont know how to love myself….

  • Kimberly

    thank you for sharing this. I have been searching for this message and you explain so clearly the important lessons you have learned. I only hope to find the same love and hope that you seem to have fostered in your life. Thanks again.

  • The Real Truth

    It seems that God Blesses certain men and women to find love and happiness together, but what about many of us that are still looking?

  • peacelove

    I’m so glad I found this article. I’ve been suffering through really difficult times…. just a string of trying events in my life. My relationship with my boyfriend of 6 years has been one of the most complicated situations. We’re in a long-distance relationship, but we’ve been together for a really long time. Unfortunately, he’s told me that he’s still not ready for a commitment, but wants to continue being in my life. This makes me feel very insecure, constantly anxious, and unworthy. He’s also said that he knows he loves me and would marry me, but I feel that he’s waiting to see if there’s something better. I know that my insecurities and unhappiness are due to the fact that I have low self esteem (that’s hard to say) and need more self-care and love. I really need to learn how to switch my mindset from negative/unworthy to a freeing belief that I should love and be proud of myself but also that I do deserve a good, happy relationship.

  • genny

    Good Day Everyone on this site,,,,,
    Am very grateful and happy to tell you about my happiness today, i had a brake-up with my husband 3 Months ago,because of little miss-understand we had, and he left me and my kids to go and settle down with another lady in Texas while we were still in Ohio,that was how i met this man who help me to bring him back o me,my husband called me and start begging with his knee of the ground, please i want you to contact him and tell him your problem here is the email address philosolutiontemple@gmail.com My name is Mrs Isabelle Alexander.

  • nikky

    Why is it that people like DR EZIZA that are genuine are hard to find. After i have searching for help for almost all the corner of this life concerning my marriage and all to no avail it was Dr EZIZA that finally helped me out,he wiped away all the agony i was going through with my lover and stop the divorce he was planning. Any one out there who beleives all is over in his/her marriage contact DR EZIZA on ezizaoguntemple@gmail.com or +2348058176289 and join those that are happy through his handwork.

  • Angie

    Thank you, this was great! SO happy I came across it <3

  • http://www.strongmarriagenow.com/ Sorveia Patricia

    thanks

  • julei lucas

    Thanks to this great man of spirit called Dr Zaza which I don’t know how to thank him for the good work he has Don for me and family which I want to share my testimony with to you all so I was married to Hassan Moel and my name is Julie deshields for six years now he left me with two kids with know reason which I don’t know what to do so one day i was in my friends place when I exposed my pain to her about my depression which I have be looking for who to help me out of it then my friend called me closer to her self telling me on how she got this great man of spirit who helped her found her way to get her husband back then I ask of his contact she quickly go and get her computer and gave me his Email ID and his number so,that is how I contacted him for a help. And now am so happy with my family and with a happy home if you are in such pain kindly Via Email drzazaspelltemple100@hotmail.com or call +2348103508204 have faith in him and he will help you
    Julie Deshields.

  • julei lucas

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