Every self help book and therapy session surrounding this emotion has told me that I can't love another person until I love myself. Well, that sucks. I know I like who I am and there are even moments I love the woman I'm becoming. Although, those moments may be when I'm manic so I don't even know if I can say that is true. What I do know is that I feel like I've come close. I feel like I must have brushed the surface because I absolutely know what heartache is when I lose someone I love. Can you have heartache without loss? Or is the process of being heartbroken, just the terrifying thought of being alone.
Also, do any of us really love ourselves? Like really, truly, without a doubt love ourselves? I don't know anyone who isn't insecure about something. The job they can't leave. The image they see when they look in the mirror. Their inability to socialize or to socialize too much in order to hide some kind of trauma deep inside. Which leads me to the question, is insecurity a lack of self love? The definition of insecurity is: uncertainty or anxiety about oneself; lack of confidence. Synonym: self doubt. This would lead me to believe that if you have self doubt, you must lack self love, right?
When I look back at the moments I've been "in love", I've definitely had self doubt. I never felt I was good enough for them. In fact, I'm pretty sure I've chosen men that would support my self doubt throughout the relationship. Critical, insecure men. The kind of glass is half empty man who always had trouble finding the good in every bad situation. Meaning, the kind of man who would hold anything "bad" or wrong that I did against me forever. They probably still do. In fact, I know they still do.
I can only assume this lack of confidence came from the fact that I have a mom who didn't know how to love. When you're constantly searching for approval and never get it, where do you turn? I learned very young that male attention equaled "love", sex equaled "love" and physical chemistry somehow replaced the butterflies in your stomach moments when I thought I was falling in "love".
Physical chemistry. I definitely know what that is. I know what it's like to be next to someone and that spark between you is like a magnet. Nothing can keep you apart. Nothing. But that can't sustain a relationship. Eventually the building blocks that were created by whatever was ignited between the two of you, begin to break down. I have had 4 great loves in my lifetime besides my children. All 4 were sparked by physical attraction. However, the first one, meant more. He was older and stimulated me in so many different ways. He taught me about philosophy, history, the beauty of the world around us. He inspired my creativity and never let me tell myself I wasn't beautiful. However, I was too young for the maturity of the relationship and I cheated on him. Broke HIS heart. Since then the next 3 loves broke mine. Karma? Probably. But what if I finally had an "adult" showing me true self love and I just took it for granted. Once it was gone, I went back to what I knew. Self doubt.
So here I am trying to figure out my next steps after this huge debacle, I call my love life. After dealing with the ex situation and seeing first hand how affection, chemistry or whatever else one might be feeling can be misconstrued as love, I can see that true love does have to start within yourself first. True love does not lie. It does not cheat. It does not seek revenge. It does not wish to hurt or cause pain for another.
So, while I am still confused on what "love" is, I think I might have the most beautiful love affair of all. I'm going to try and fall in love with me. I'm sure it will be full of heartache, doubt and fear of the unknown, but at some point, I know there will be butterflies and unexplainable joy. Most importantly, I know it will be the most honest relationship I've ever had. After I've fallen completely in love with me, with she, I look forward to finding the second greatest love of my life with a man who will never let me feel as if I am nothing short of beautiful inside and out. And if for whatever reason, he isn't out there, the love of my life will remain with me "'til death do us part'".
Here's to the next chapter.