I was literally lost for 29 years. I knew I was supposed to love myself but from my past relationships and the things I accepted from others, I know now that I never really did.
I’m 31 and I only started truly loving myself about 2 years ago although I’ve been saying I love myself since high school when I started losing some weight, started buying my own clothes and started wearing foundation and eyeliner.
I learned how to love my outer appearance quickly; that was easy. I mastered how to apply my makeup just right to blur out my blemishes and researched google heavily on how to lose weight and dress for my body type. I was the best at making my outside look beautiful.
As I grew older into my late twenties, it was even easier to “love” myself because I finally had a decent job making enough money to upgrade my high maintenance lifestyle. I had a decent car and had my own townhouse. I was able to buy $300 Brazilian and Indian bundles, enhancing my appearance even more.
It appeared I loved myself. I was always complimented on my makeup, hair and clothes but none of it ever served as a catharsis.
I would settle for less than from men in relationships but claim the whole time that I loved myself.
It was obvious I loved my appearance and material possessions, so I seemed to only attract men that were complimentary to those vices about me.
I once asked an ex what he loved about me and he basically stated that he loved that I was beautiful and loved that he knew if we were to ever have children, then they would come out attractive and of a lighter skin tone like ours. Deep down I knew that was a wrong, egotistical and a color-struck way to think but I went with it because he thought I was beautiful; Something that I was hardly told growing up.
I loved myself as far as my accomplishments, looks and possessions went but I didn’t love who I truly was as a person. I hadn’t come to terms with who I really was. I went from one bad relationship to the next and could never figure out why I was attracting these men that would treat me so badly. None of them seemed to truly love me as a person and only treated me as a disposable object that just happened to be cute.
“Stop looking for someone to love you the way you never loved yourself.”
(Quote from @ItsJulisa via Instagram)
Jumping from one toxic relationship to the next was my way of getting the love I always longed for. Even if I had to take a lot of bad just to get that little bit of love, I would settle for it. That little bit of love meant everything to my little poor heart and low self esteem.
I craved to be wanted and loved so badly that it was so easy to believe anything any man told me. It’s like I craved the love that I was supposed to be giving myself, from them. I wanted to believe so badly that they meant every word they said. Sure, their actions would be totally opposite from their words but the part of me that wanted to believe the words they said, greatly overpowered reality. If they said it, they meant it right?
So, this is what craving love instead loving myself feels like, huh; taking all the little small parts of the so-called “love” they threw out at me and trying to use it to patch up my own emptiness I felt on the inside?
Could I be considered just as much of a user as they were? It’s safe to say, we were using each other. How is that supposed to work? How could I expect them to love me for who I supposedly am, when who I truly was, never surfaced in the relationship? All they ever got was this naive, impressionable girl that was dying to be loved and willing to accept anything, even the lies that they masterfully made feel like love.
If I had truly loved myself, I wouldn’t have needed them at all; I would have been enough.
None of my exes probably wouldn’t have even tried me. Men that like to prey on the weak know what to look for in a woman to get exactly what he wants; if he’s the type to use women and he thinks he can try you, he will.
Think about it; would you want to be alone in a room with someone you despise? No, right?
That’s why I never wanted to be alone. I despised myself. I was always made fun of for who I was so of course, I learned to hate myself. I felt a relationship would prove to everyone and myself that I was lovable. I felt it validated me; even if it was a toxic relationship. It was something. I felt being with someone made me forget about the person I hated, me.
I had to become comfortable with ME and everything that I am, flaws and all. I had to undo every demeaning thing that was ever said to me. I had to get to know who I was on the inside so that love would shine through. That’s self love.
I had to accept that I was thicker than the girls on T.V., that I have acne, that I’m emotional, that I am shy sometimes and would rather think than to talk…everything. I had to lay all of me out on the table and indulge in it.
As I began to truly love myself, I noticed not as many guys would try to approach me. I liked it that way. I felt empowered like I was the one finally doing the choosing. I no longer had to lie to my girlfriends and Facebook friends like I was really happy with myself, my life and my poor excuse of a relationship.
I never knew self-love could be that deep. Love yourself has turned into such a cliché phrase that I overlooked the real value in it. Self love IS truly the best love. No one can replace the love you should be giving yourself.