I’ve had many conversations surrounding the same issue or concern, as of late. The issue being, how difficult it can be for someone that considers themself a “giver” to actually give in the same way as they do to others, unto to themself. It also begs the question of when is enough, enough? How long will you put yourself in a situation that is unfair or unhealthy to you, instead of saving yourself or giving unto yourself, what you actually want and need?
I have had jobs, living situations, and intimate relationships in the past that did not fit my current needs and sometimes were even unhealthy for me. Someone recently asked me, if I was wondering how I did it for so long. She begged the question, “What makes us learn to put up with, adapt and cope, instead of choosing to change or get out of our uncomfortable situation?” I wondered that many times myself. Why is it sometimes easier to cope with an unhealthy situation, to settle and make-do, than to make the change for a healthier choice? All my questions seem to lead me to the same answer, self-love.
When I was in a four-year relationship over six years ago, I often only focused on the other person. If they needed something I would bend over backwards to get it and never questioned my choices. I let the other person in the relationship finish school while I paid the bills and set aside my own desire to finish school until the reverse could happen. It felt good to give and help someone I cared about at the time. In the end, however, it only left me resentful and lost when we broke up. I thought I was happy in the small world I made, with just the two of us, that I was blinded and cheated by my own doing. I couldn’t blame anyone else but myself. For four years, I didn’t think about my own identity, what I wanted in life, in my career, and so on. So I spent the next two years healing from all the hurt in that relationship and the next four trying to figure out who I really am without that other person and what I really wanted. What I found out is, I needed to spend a lot more time loving myself and increasing my confidence in who I am and what I have to offer.
We spend so much time trying to fill the void with other things, people, money, hobbies, religious activities, etc. When all we really need to do is love ourselves and appreciate who we are and where we are right now, in each moment. Why are we so hard on ourselves? We often give our loved ones a pass when they make a mistake or do something silly, but when we ourselves do the same things, we often ridicule and resent ourselves. We call ourselves names like “stupid”, “incapable”, “unlovable”, or “unwanted”. That is never true, but we start to believe what we are saying to ourselves and it becomes our personal truth. I guess my whole point in this, is to tell you to be gentle with yourself and talk nicely to yourself. Give yourself a break for once and encourage yourself that you can achieve great things! You are so loveable, worthy of that love, and you are pretty fucking special!