James Harmon, an artist from Austin, Texas, posts some nice things on Facebook often. A friend of mine shares these quotes often. Recently James posted the following.
Sometimes it can be very tempting to cling to another person to fill a void in your life, you know? But it’s like putting Micky Mouse band-aids on a gunshot wound. You feel that void because there’s something inside of you that needs to be fulfilled, and if you don’t ever really work on trying to figure out what YOU can do to fill that void, you’ll get stuck trying to find others to fill it. You’ll go though relationship after relationship and that void will remain because you didn’t fill it with self discovery and personal growth; you just band-aided it with other people. What happens when you wake up single at age 50, and you’ve spent much of your life finding what makes relationships work instead of learning about yourself and finding what makes YOU work? Take some time off and try not to let relationships be the focus of your life. Being able to be happy alone is rarer than it should be.
This brought out something from me that I’ve just been wanting to put out there. For a long time, I was afraid to do what people said you should do. That something that you should do being to learn to love yourself. I’ve heard it said “you have to love yourself before you can ever love someone else”. I rebelled against this, and dismissed this many times, because I was afraid that it would make me even more numb to love. I thought love was the longing for someone, the desperate wanting for someone to validate, to hold me, to love me, to fill the hole that has been within me for so long.
I feared that without that attachment that “love” wouldn’t be as sweet. But truthfully, that’s just a recipe for a roller coaster, and really its better to not be dependent on someone else for validation.
After you learn to accept yourself, you can see clearly that you don’t want the first person you can trick into loving you… you want that person who really does complement you, and it doesn’t matter how long it takes, and how many people you have to meet that don’t complement you, and perhaps outright reject you. Because you know it’s not about you, it’s just that they’re not the one for you, and that’s fine. Why they’re not is none of your business.
The people who don’t see this, stay stuck, like I did, for years, afraid to go out and meet people, because they were confused and knew that going out and talking to people meant rejection, and that the rejection meant depression and isolation to recover from the emotional wounds, and further reinforcement of the belief that you’re not worthy enough of someones love. But it’s that belief, that low self esteem, that state of being, that is hell, and it’s one that is maintained by the attitude of trying to get someone to validate you.
Trying to get someone to help show you it’s not true, that you’re lovable, isn’t the way. You won’t believe them. You have to find it yourself. You have to find how to be fine with yourself.