For as long as I can remember, I craved love.
I wanted to be loved unconditionally. To be loved for who I was. To be loved no matter what I did, what I said, how I looked, what I wore, or how I decided to live my life.
Not too much to ask right?
Well no...of course not. Except there was one rather significant snag. I had no idea how to love unconditionally, and I was definitely not in a place where I could love someone else unconditionally even if I knew how. That’s because I was not unconditionally loving of myself.
I had a lot to learn to say the least.
To say that learning how to love unconditionally was like learning to walk again, would be a gross understatement. A better analogy would be, learning to fly for the first time in an F16 in ‘unfriendly airspace’ with just enough fuel to get me off the ground, requiring me to pull an emergency landing out of my unaware and unprepared ass.
Needless to say I crashed and burned a few times.
But deep within my soul, I believed that I was worthy of love. That is after all my truth. That is true for all of us. We are all worthy of love. We all deserve to be loved. And it is safe for all of us to love.
However, my wounds, my fears and my limiting beliefs would never allow me to really witness and experience that love. In fact, I was completely oblivious to it. So I relied on those around me to prove to me that I was worthy of love. This lead me down a painful and never ending path of toxic and volatile relationships. The kind that when they’re over, you’re actually not sure if you’ll survive...even though we always do. But how quickly we forget that when we feel that horrible sick feeling when we realize that we’ve just been abandoned, rejected or cheated on yet again, wondering what the fuck we could have done wrong this time.
This is where many of us stand in our own of way truly being able to experience unconditional love. Because when we don’t believe that we are worthy of love, we need the people in our environment to act, speak, and be someone that makes us feel loved. And when they don’t do these things that we need in order to feel loved, it shakes us to the very core.
This is where the list of requirements and expectations comes into play.
“I need you to say…”, “I need you to be…”, “I need you to have....”, “I need you to want…” are all traps that we set for those that we love in order to make us feel loved. This is a huge burden for anyone to carry. And although many may try to accommodate all of our demands, very few can continue to meet them. And if they do, be prepared to experience a highly toxic and highly volatile relationship.
This was my “love story”...or should I say “stories’. A sea of relationships that often started with butterflies and rainbows, and that eventually evolved into something ugly and painful.
This was because I was clinging desperately to them to make me feel loved. All the while suffocating the person on the other end. As this pattern continued, I ended up attracting into my life all those who were more than willing to take advantage of my desperate attempts to feel loved and valued. An endless stream of people who did exactly the opposite of what I needed.
These were people who didn’t value me, people who didn’t appreciate me, and people who were more than willing to take advantage of me and then quickly turn around and take their love someplace else as soon as they got bored.
At first you go back and forth between blaming the other person and blaming yourself. You start to argue in your own mind “he’s a fucking cold hearted asshole” to “why couldn’t he love me.” The only thing that was consistent was the awful feeling of being left out in the cold, again. Especially when you realize that it didn’t take longer than a New York minute for them to give their love and attention to someone else.
Eventually somewhere along the way, I realized that I was the only common denominator in all of these relationships. So the problem had to be me. Initially this lead me down the darkest and loneliest path of self hatred and self loathing of all.
But one day...and I’m not exactly sure when or what triggered it....I realized that the problem was not that I was not worthy of love. The problem was that I didn’t believe that I was worthy of love.
And so the real healing journey began.
Have you experienced anything similar? Do you have a story to share?
Let me know in the comments below. Also if you found this post helpful, I would like to invite you to share it with your network.
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That’s all for now.