“People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you will know exactly what to do.” ~Anonymous
About five years ago, I learned the biggest lesson of my life about self-love and losing oneself in a relationship, through a breakup that almost killed me.
After going through another night of three hours of sleep, I drove myself to the ER to save my own life. I hadn’t eaten or slept much in three weeks, and the scale pointed to ninety-seven pounds. I felt weak, malnourished, and unloved.
Three weeks …
“The best way out is always through” ~Robert Frost
I was trembling as I hung up the phone. He’d dumped me.
It was as if, while I was watching a murder mystery at the edge of my seat, the electricity had gone out. Poof! I wasn’t going to get to see the end of the movie, and I had no control over when the lights would come back on.
I felt the fangs of rejection sink into my heart like a merciless tarantula. My mind, which is normally going 500 miles an hour, came to a halt. Suddenly I felt …
“Forgiveness is just another name for freedom.” ~Byron Katie
Aside from the fact that I was born on Groundhog Day, I didn’t know why I kept falling into the same relationship patterns, which inevitably led to heart-crushing breakups.
I knew that I had a deep capacity to love, or so I thought, but it somehow wasn’t enough. I always ended up either feeling taken for granted or fighting desperately for my partner’s attention after the initial attraction phase wore off.
I couldn’t help becoming someone else, someone I thought I needed to be in order to avoid being abandoned. …
“Jealousy is nothing more than a fear of abandonment.” ~Unknown
My biggest relationship fear used to be getting dumped for another woman.
If it actually happened, it was going to be the ultimate proof of my worthlessness.
It wasn’t easy to live with that fear. When it came to conjuring up scenarios of loss and pain, I was like a rag doll in the hands of my imagination.
Even if my partner did not leave me or intend to cheat on me, the fear of being abandoned turned me into a person the man I was with no longer recognized.…
“The most perfect relationship is the one that supports you in fulfilling your destiny—the one that empowers you to be everything you are meant to be in this world and beyond.” ~Jan H. Stringer
As I was sitting up in my bed, reviewing my “Ideal partner wish list” from six years ago, I was a little appalled. I had no idea how much I had been influenced by Hollywood when it came to identifying what I wanted in an ideal partner. It was watermarked all over my wish list. It was hard to ignore.
There was an undertone of …
“Self-love requires you to be honest about your current choices and thought patterns and undertake new practices that reflect self-worth.” ~Caroline Kirk
If one more person told me to “love myself” I was going to levitate into the air and pull one of those impossible martial arts moves from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I was sick of it!
What the heck does loving myself mean? Were they talking about bubble baths, pedicures, and cucumber masks? It turns out there is so much more to self-love than just pampering ourselves. I found this out the hard way.
About a year …
“What we seek in love is finding someone with whom we feel safe to reveal our true self.” ~Karen Salmansohn
I wasn’t always in a relationship, but I was almost always in love.
I even had crushes in kindergarten. I hated school because my grade school teacher didn’t like me. Maybe my crushes helped me avoid feeling the void, the loneliness, and the sense that I was not of this world, an outcast.
Being in love let me ignore those uncomfortable feelings. Of course, I did not understand any of this at age six. Now I do.
As an …
“You yourself, as much as anyone in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ~Buddha
I was tortured by self-hatred for most of my life.
There were aspects of myself that I had a hard time loving. I didn’t like that I am competitive, that I was not a blonde with blue eyes, that I am not good at math or managing money.
I did everything I could to hide these things. I was over-caring, over-helping, and over-accommodating others.
I think I did a pretty good job of not being myself. This created additional psychic pain in me. I …