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Loving myself before I can love another: a tale of relationships gone wrong

The people I have dated have been quite different, to say the VERY least. However, after a LOT of Brenè Brown speeches, quotes, and podcasts, I have narrowed down two very obvious similarities: a lack of self-love and true vulnerability. This quote really personifies just why, (amongst other reasons in some of the relationships) my love cannot fully be requited. If one is to fully give themselves to another in love, they must first fully love themselves, which is something I have not been able to do since I was 10 years old. 


If you have read any excerpts from my upcoming book, then you know that at age 10, I fostered and grew a lie that I have told myself til this day, 19 years later. The lie is very simple, but it took root and grew within my heart and mind like a huge redwood tree. Based off of many factors, in my mind, I began to believe this lie : I am not good enough.” Now, luckily for me, that extended not to just soccer or relationships, but to ALL facets of my life (ah, the perks of being an all-or-nothing addicted bipolar person).


I began to judge myself on trophies, grades, compliments, Facebook likes, instagram likes, boyfriends, girlfriends, jobs, money,  possessions, you name it. If there was even a slight chance that I could use it to judge myself and my success, I sure as hell did it. If I could not be THE BEST, then I didnt want it. Thus began the tumultuous next 19 years of my life. 


My deep seated fears of inadequacy were really tied to rejection and fear of abandonment. I felt as if not being good enough for me to be me, meant no one else could see me as worthy either. And I began to allow my mind to run wild with comparisons to other peoples lives to further justify why I was not worthy of love. I would look at other relationships and want the healthy ones for myself, not at all recognizing how unhealthy mentally and emotionally I was, which further explained why I couldnt have those things. 


I couldnt allow myself to see the good within me. Ironically, I would vacillate between extreme arrogance about my intelligence (I am book smart, not so much common sense smart, alas!) and then self-deprecating humor to balance it out to further hide the ambivalence I felt towards myself. I often would be made to feel uncomfortable to the point of tears when someone would compliment me on something other than my physical looks (like anything positive about who I was).