Me: Do you love me?
I think a man will tell you anything when he’s deep inside you. I couldn’t wait for him to finish so I could jump in the shower and wash his scent off of my body, and hopefully the experience would fade from my memory too. I had way too many moments, than I care to remember, when I felt like Miss. Celie reliving her experience with Mister.
However, that day in the shower was different. I decided to be done. I wasn’t sure what that meant completely, but I knew I was tired of feeling like a toilet for him to do his business on!
The fact that I had to ask him if he loved me told me everything about myself in that moment, and it was then that I made a conscious decision to go within to examine every part of me, so I would know what I was lacking. I had everything I wanted, except love and that made me feel like I had absolutely nothing. I didn’t know what to call the emptiness I felt inside of my soul…all I knew was I wanted to be loved, and to feel wanted by a man outside of a bed.
I was conflicted in my momentary decision to be done, because I knew as his wife my body belonged to him, but if he didn’t honor and respect me as his wife, and if God didn’t join us together, did that mean I was still obligated to fulfill my “wifely duties?” I didn’t know the answers to my own questions, nor did I care enough to change my mind. I was tired of hurting and the one thing I did know was only unconditional love could heal me.
Every relationship you enter is a mirror to your soul.
When I started to examine my heart, I noticed it was full of painful experiences from my past that I tucked away hoping they would never resurface. My whole life was a façade! I didn’t love me, nor did I know how to, so I looked for love outside of myself. I didn’t even know who I was any more. Everyday I woke up and functioned in roles that the people in my life needed me to fulfill for their benefit and happiness; and meanwhile I noticed every day I was losing a valuable part of me that I needed to survive.
At first I thought buying myself nice gifts and getting spa treatments would suffice, and it worked for two hot seconds, but then I realized that new designer handbag, and pair of new shoes, although super cute, could never love me, leaving my soul aching and my mind wondering how I could have used more wisdom in spending that couple of hundred dollars, even if it meant saving it for a rainy day! I was at a loss, but I also realized my self worth was still in tact because I knew I deserved better…I just needed to know what that meant for me.
“God, please help me.”
My simple request automatically dispatched angels to my rescue. I remember looking for an inspirational quote for my class one morning and I saw an article titled, “Self Love.” I opened the link and read the entire article. I instantly knew it was an answer to my prayer! The article shared that self-love is a journey to getting to know the true you. It shared 3 affirmations to recite daily. I wrote the affirmations on a piece of paper and put them on my bathroom mirror.
I am loved.
I deserve true unconditional love.
I am open to receive love.
I said my affirmations every day. I don’t know how, but I felt loved every time I said them. I started going deeper within my soul, in an attempt to understand, what was it about me that I didn’t want others to see. I began to understand that because my life didn’t match the reality of this wonderful picture I envisioned of how my life should look in reality, I felt I had to create it to present to the outside world, so “they” wouldn’t know how empty, unloved and unfulfilled I felt on the inside.
I didn’t really have a plan to find myself. I just started thinking about me more as a result of affirming the love within me and I realized 3 things:
I had to establish healthy boundaries in every area of my life.
People do to you what you allow. (Please read that again.) No one is in control of your happiness but you, and if someone is disturbing your peace and joy, he/she is toxic to your life! Having an occasional disagreement with someone is a natural part of life, but when one chooses to be disagreeable, disrespectful and degrading to your character each and every time you have a disagreement, that is a blatant sign “love doesn’t live here” and you must make a conscious decision to choose you.
I had to think about my well-being first.
Being everything to everyone without being filled in the process is suicide. (Please read that again.) To give all your time, energy and resources to everyone else without being recharged in the process is willfully choosing to neglect you. I had to see myself as the most important person in the world so that I could be well for the most important people in my life. Love is patient and kind, it does not envy, its not rude or selfish and it never gives up (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). I was on a journey to healing my soul thru God’s unconditional love, and anything or anyone presenting in my life as anything less than love was no longer my priority.
I had to let go of what was no longer serving me.
Letting go was the hard part for me. I was so used to living in dysfunction and I accepted it as my norm. Just the thought of changing any part of what I knew as my life instantly had me paralyzed by fear. I stayed in dysfunctional situations and relationships, because I feared the unknown, until I understood God loves me unconditionally, and He has a great plan for my life (Jeremiah 29:11)! I simply had to trust God. All God ever asks of us is that we take baby steps of faith. In doing so, I was making room for the new I desired in my life, which automatically changed my attractions to true abundance.
There’s a universal law that states, “no one can give you what you cannot give yourself.” Not only has God given us all a free will, He also imbued our spirits with everything we need to thrive in life! Love is one of the fruits God placed within us, before our conception, that we must hone daily, causing its likeness to be attracted to every area of our life.
Self-love is a journey unique to the individual. My journey has allowed me to learn so much about the fruit of love and how to hone it daily by living my truth. Before my awareness was increased about self-love, I often felt that I had to accept certain behaviors, things and situations from others because of my role in their life just to have “love.” At one point, I was willing to do anything to be loved, including give my body away. I grew to understand that a person can only love you from their level of perception. For some, love translates to physical, mental and emotional abuse, and for others, it’s true unconditional love. My journey to self-love and healing gave me the strength to walk away from relationships that were no longer serving me, as well as set healthy boundaries. Most importantly, I had to accept God’s love for me in order to love me unconditionally and on purpose, which is God’s desire for us all. Love you first and everyone else will benefit from your overflow!
Blessings, light, love & peace to you always!