“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection” ~ Sharon Salzberg
We can go round and round with love in a never-ending dance of questions.
I think that for the most part, we are not yet jaded on love—although some of us are, and many of us seek to understand the mystery of it all.
We shouldn’t suffer in love, although that’s a “romantic” notion that’s been propagated since time immemorial.
When love is new, we may forget to eat and sleep, living on the fumes of every moment our new lover affords us, but that is where the suffering should stop.
In fact, it can be quite pleasant to be lost to love in this way—when emotions are heightened, and we are truly alive with passion. I’m all for that heady kind of business. In fact, we need more of it in the later stages of love, don’t we?
We need to be truly alive more of the time…love is wonderful kindling for a life of fire.
A new love helps us to remember how we look to someone who values us, because we see our reflection in their eyes. We feel appreciated. We feel empowered. We are lifted up, and that can be addictive.
And so begins the longing for that sacred reminder of our worth.
Validation through love is a gift—but an even greater gift we can give ourselves is to value ourselves before love, during love and post love.
Self-worth and self-love can solve nearly every romantic woe there is. We are not taught about this enough. We are taught too often to wait for that person who will “complete us,” and who will make us feel that we are vitally important in this world.
Self-worth (or more accurately, lack of it) is where love breaks down.
“The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.” ~ Michel de Montaigne
Waiting for that mirror of self-worth are the fairy-tales we’re raised on. The savior, the prince and the rescuer are the archetypes of love based on dismal footing.
Let’s go back a step. Although we know intellectually that self-worth is vital in love, we are all struggling, to one degree or another, to value ourselves enough to accept nothing less than what we deserve.
Ah, but that may be the rub. We may not believe that we deserve it. We may also think that not everyone can have that kind of empowering love. But why not? We can, if we ask for it and wait.
Wait? What do you mean wait? Who has time to wait…clocks are ticking, and we crave a partner to share our life with.
There’s nothing wrong with that. And learning how to value ourselves is a life-long journey. We grow as we experience, and hopefully choose a better love the next time.
The little girl who is broken inside of us, the teenager who has been abused, the young mother who has been left to manage things on her own—any one of us—has to summon the courage to say no to a relationship that is not truly love, but rather a dependence on external validation.