So many of us received very conditional love as children.
And now we are strongly desiring the experience of unconditional love.
We often begin by searching for it outside of ourselves.
Some of us may transparently expose more of ourselves publicly in an effort to feel this, hoping, on some level, to receive reflections of how unconditionally lovable we are.
But we can only truly receive what we believe.
So unless these reflections are able to impact us on a fundamental level of belief, they largely only land in a temporary way.
Over time, our courageous expressions declaring that all of us is beautiful, and the loving reflections we receive, may chip away at our limiting beliefs about our lovability.
But there may be something deeper we need to connect with in order to create sustainable shifts in our beliefs.
This process of exposure may help many of us get in touch with this deeper part of ourselves.
One of the places we most deeply expose ourselves in an effort to receive external mirroring of our unconditional lovability is in romantic connection.
For some, this may serve as a potent environment for our beliefs about how lovable we are to dramatically and impactfully shift.
Mirroring unconditional love may seem fairly natural in the beginning with someone new, especially if we’re embodying a chemical cocktail of “oh my god you’re perfect.”
But sooner or later, our shadows will likely arise in romantic containers.
This is often the space in which our attachment wounding is most consistently activated.
We unconsciously turn others into our parents and other significant people from our lives in an attempt to heal this wounding.
The parts of us that didn’t feel loved by them arise, and their unlovability is often mirrored.
We receive reflections of what we believe about ourselves, so reflections of unlovability may suggest we believe these parts are not lovable.
Believing these parts are not lovable is what turned them into shadows.
We did not feel it was safe for parts of us to express, so we hid them and repressed them.
We rejected them because we were afraid the world would reject them, and we would not be safe and loved.
Whether or not we receive the reflections we ultimately desire in romantic containers, or our beliefs about our lovability shift, we are receiving something very valuable.
We are receiving information about the parts of ourselves that have experienced conditional love.
The parts of ourselves that are desiring unconditional love.
Others may offer us unconditional love at times, but these parts may not be able to receive it until they believe they are lovable.
And they may not believe they are lovable until they feel unconditional love from us.
This is what is often meant when people speak of needing to love ourselves first.
Unless we believe we are lovable, which may mean receiving our own love, or connecting to our inner source of unconditional love, the world may continue to reflect the unlovability of the parts of ourselves that we feel this way about.
Because we live in a universe in which we get to be right about everything.
Even that which we believe on a subconscious level.
So until these beliefs shift, we may keep unconsciously proving to ourselves that we are right about our unlovability.
Changing our fundamental beliefs about ourselves may be a different process for everyone.
For some, like me, it is a process of connecting with a part of ourselves that cannot help but see us as unconditionally lovable.
Because this is all it knows.
This part of us is the “embodiment” of unconditional love.
It is incapable of witnessing us in any other way.
This part of us sees us as eternally innocent.
It has no concept of mistakes.
When others respond by withholding love from us, it cannot fathom how that could have anything to do with our lovability.
It doesn’t even witness anyone ever withholding love.
Because to this part of us, every single act is an act of love.
There is nothing but love through the “vision” of this expansive part of us.
So unlovability isn’t something it could ever understand.
As I imagine this part of me, I align with its perspective.
As I feel into its reality, I embody unconditional love.
And the world begins to hold a different mirror up for me.
Because now this part of me gets to be right about who I am.
A version of this post was originally posted on TroyCohen.Wordpress.com and is republished here with permission from the author.