Unloved. That was the predominant feeling for me for most of my younger years. Those around me in my family caused me great confusion. At home there was great sadness and anger expressed, but when we were outside of our home, masks of “everything is just perfect” were adorned. I often made myself as invisible as possible at home. Being alone was my sanctuary of peace. The predominant feeling of being unloved over the years, soon became a belief of being unlovable. Feeling unlovable as you are entering adolescence becomes a formidable foe. I searched for answers outside of myself, but none were found. As I turned inward for those same answers, I first asked myself some very hard questions. Is there something that I had done to deserve this behaviour shown towards me by those around me? Was I innately a “bad” and unlovable person? No matter how I approached these questions, the answer was always the same. I knew myself to be a warm, kind, and generally loving person. I couldn’t think of a single thing that I had done, that would have caused hurt or pain to anyone.
I spent a lot of my young adulthood looking for the love that I was missing. No one in my life seemed to be able to offer me the depth of love that I needed, and that was a serious amount of love! A couple of times I saw glimpses of that love in relationships with men. Most of the time, the love offered was conditional, and not really love at all.
I had a massive spiritual awakening at the age of 33 years. My awareness was blasted open, and the blinders that I had been wearing for all of those years were removed. I couldn’t look at anything the same way again. I began to read anything and everything I could get my hands on about expanded consciousness and spirituality. I never looked back from that moment. It wouldn’t have done any good anyway, because once you open that door, it can never be closed. I became a seeker of knowledge and wisdom. Like a sponge, the more knowledge that I absorbed, the more expanded my consciousness and understanding grew.
As I read book after book, the conclusion that I came to was the same. All of the answers that I sought after were inside of me all along. The question that remained? Was I willing to dig down deep enough to get the answers. Thank God for the naïve and adventurous side of me that answered “yes”. The deeper inside of myself that I excavated, the clearer the answers became. If everything comes from within, then doesn’t that mean that the love that I so dearly desired is inside of me too? Absolutely! I figured that it was there buried under all of the crap and false ideas and beliefs that had led me to this point in my life. I had to sort through and begin letting go of the negative beliefs about who I was, and who I wasn’t.
On a very practical level, I began by making the decision to do something nice and or special for myself every single day. It was a way of appreciating myself, and a step towards self-love. I enjoyed getting out in nature for long walks, spending time meditating, or quiet time alone reading a good book. Sometimes I would buy myself something that would bring me joy, like fresh flowers. Over time, I noticed that the old unloved me was falling away, and she was being replaced by a happier and more self-appreciating me. I began a practice everyday of looking into a mirror, deep into the eyes of my soul, and saying with deep feeling…”I love you”. It sounds like an easy task, but the first few times I could barely utter the words. When I do it now, the words flow out of my mouth effortlessly.
All of the love that I ever needed, I was now giving to myself. I always knew how much love that I needed at any given time, and how I wanted to receive it. Since I was now resourceful enough to give myself all of the love that I could ever imagine, I no longer expected it from others. My expectations of what I thought that I needed from others began to shift as well. Some people in my life began to drift away because they couldn’t relate to me anymore. I was for the most part, a completely new me. The conditions that held me in a relationship with others had fallen away, and our relationship became obsolete. New people entered my life that truly loved and supported me without conditions. As I lowered my expectations of others, a most mysterious and miraculous thing happened. Relationships took on a much deeper connection, with more mutual respect, appreciation, and most importantly love. An acceptance of who we were, as we were. I receive plenty of love these days from the people around me, and all because I gave myself the gift of self-love first, and that’s the best selfie ever!