I always thought I loved myself.
My world was in complete chaos.
I would have told you I loved myself, and that all of my chaos was because of the people in my life.
I would have told you that my life’s situation was to blame.
I always thought I loved myself. I swore to it.
As people continued to demand more from me…
As people on the outside abused me more…
As my life’s situation continued to deteriorate…
As I continued to sacrifice my health and well-being for others that “loved me”…
I realized that I allowed it all.
I realized that I was the cause.
I realized that I felt that I did not deserve any more than the suffering and pain that I was experiencing.
I allowed people to hurt me.
I allowed me to hurt myself.
Life was giving me all of what I allowed.
Life was meeting me at my emotional state, on my own terms.
I told myself that I loved myself…
…but I did not.
I felt I deserved a hard life, sacrificing myself, absorbing abuse, struggling with others’ emotional pain, and neglecting myself.
I felt I deserved pain.
I felt I deserved my addiction.
When things went my way I felt guilty and undeserving.
That is not love.
I did not love myself. I only told myself I did.
I had to decide what loving yourself actually meant.
Loving yourself means recognizing your amazing worth, your overwhelming value in the world, your perfect strengths, and your perfect imperfections.
Loving yourself means honoring the fact that you deserve to be surrounded by the greatest supporters and cheerleaders of your happiness.
Loving yourself means because you want the best for yourself, you also want the very best for everyone else and encourage them at all times.
Loving yourself means recognizing that your dreams are real and important, and that you deserve your vision.
Loving yourself means you are the most important person in your own world, and that you deserve to love others as they are, and deserve to have others love you for who you are.
Loving yourself means never allowing shame or guilt to reside in your mind.
Loving yourself means allowing yourself to be happy.
Loving yourself means you truly love yourself… not just say it.
Loving yourself means you FEEL your love for yourself, not just think it.
When I realized that I did not love myself, I made the decision to love myself more, because I realized that was the only way to find happiness.
I made the decision to heal from the guilt and shame of my past.
I made the decision to create healthy boundaries, and never sacrifice myself for others’ well-being.
I made the decision to give more to everyone else, only by fully giving more to myself.
I realized that there had been a void inside of myself, and I was looking to others to fill my void.
I began to love myself.
I found the relationship of my dreams inside myself.
Because I began to love myself my marriage and family began to heal.
Because I love myself so unconditionally and unapologetically now, I am able offer more unconditional and unapologetic love to others.
The void inside that I had lived with is now filled with my own love.
I feel complete, even while alone.
Because I feel complete, I have healthier relationships because I no longer demand love from others that I can give myself.
There are no answers on the outside.
Everything you need is on the inside.
Once you find the love on the inside, you will discover everything you want on the outside.
It never works outside-in.
Do you want to feel love?
Make sure you looking in the right place.
This post was previously published on mikekitko.com.
If you believe in the work we are doing here at The Good Men Project and want a deeper connection with our community, please join us as a Premium Member today.
Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS. Need more info?
Photo credit: Gary Bendigon on Unsplash