I once told a friend that “you cannot love someone until you learn to love yourself” and its echoed through our friendship ever since. I believe just as strongly today in this sentiment as I did back then. I thought back then though, that you simply couldn’t love until you had learnt how to love. You couldn’t give love if you didn’t know what it was and I thought the way to do that was to practise on yourself. In many respects I am still right in that thinking but also in so many ways I was wrong. I had focused that thinking on the other person I was sending my love to, what I could give them or what I couldn’t give them. But that’s where I was wrong because I was forgetting the part about loving me for me. I had also not realised that love is a purely innate human emotion. We love without caution from a young age. We love pets and hobbies and food. We love cars and nature so really we don’t need to learn how to love because its already there. What we need is the belief that we are worthy of accepting that kind of love from someone else and that completely starts with learning how to love yourself fully and honestly.
You see here’s the thing. If you don’t love yourself, how are you going to allow someone to show up for you when you need them to? If you don’t love yourself how are you going to overcome the belief that you don’t deserve that person? How are you going to know if a relationship isn’t working out for you or where your personal boundaries lie? If you don’t love yourself, you cannot be fully accepting of what love is in its true form without judgement or expectation. Have you ever heard your friend talk about their how their epic 10/10, so outta my league, partner is a miracle they’re so lucky to have? How many times have we had a friend who shows up for us in ways that we don’t show up for them? And more often or not those people to do get left for other things or other people and the self deprecation becomes a cycle. What ever sabotaging belief you hold on to let it go, because its not going to make things easier no matter how hard you try to pretend its not there. For so many years I expected people to get me through rough patches, to teach me how to get over things, to make me feel validated. I was expecting people to teach me things and give me things I should have been giving myself. I learnt that no one is responsible for your own happiness but you. Sometimes I wish I had of known this at 18. It would have saved me from a lot of heart ache and saved a lot of meaning friendships. But you learn through experience and the whole point of this is to learn.
According to astrology this year is a 9 year which means it’s a year of endings and I think we can all agree that 2016 was a bastard, (Bowie and Alan Rickman?!). But with endings comes new beginnings and with that comes the responsibility to not fall back into old traps of toxic relationships and passionless living. Telling my friends these things doesn’t mean I’m handing them a do-over button that changes their life overnight. Loving yourself is not a quick fix thing, it takes a conscious decision everyday to better yourself and discover yourself and sometimes it’s a lifetime worth of work. Some people refer to it as a muscle you must flex daily to see gains. Honestly this is so true. It means change and sometimes it involves tremendous change that scares the hell out of you and leaves you with nothing but dreams. But if you constantly show up for yourself, where can you go wrong? If you make sure you have just one hour a day of you time and set time in your day to achieve your goals, anything is possible.
After some set backs and “hell yeah!” moments, I phrase my sentence differently. Today I say, “You cannot accept someone’s love until you learn to love yourself” and I believe in that so wholly. Because holy cow, if you want solid supportive relationships in your life. You’ve got to be so ready to accept all that comes with it. The vulnerabilities, the love you don’t feel you need to question, the confidence and the ability to walk away when you’re not being served. And when you love who you are, you know you are worthy of that.