This I Believe

Elaine - Berkshire SL6 4JU, United Kingdom
Entered on June 14, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65

Real Happiness Comes Through Self Love

I once told a fellow whom I loved that his love for me was the icing on the cake, but the love for myself was the cake itself! I was supremely happy with me as I was, and any other attention, though most welcomed, I regarded mainly as a bonus, not the main course. He was rather surprised by my statement, interpreting it that I didn’t really love him, but it was actually the opposite. I was able to love him lots through loving me first.

I didn’t always feel like this. My self-love has been a gradual and painful process due to early trauma in my childhood. Loving myself as I do now, I could appreciate him as a whole being with all his faults and facets and allow space for us both to develop as individuals and as a couple. If I were expecting his love to make me happy, we wouldn’t really last too long because one or both of us would gradually become dependent upon the other, clinging like limpets for our happiness until the relationship becomes claustrophobic or the victim of resentment and jealousy.

Happiness seems to be always elusive to us, even when we actually possess everything we desire. But no one, or any external thing, can ever make us truly happy because I have discovered that happiness is not a destination which we work towards. I cannot postpone happiness until I get that new job, new house or that new man in my life. I believe happiness is a state of mind based on our sense of worth; a feeling generated whenever we wish according to the level of self-love we possess and the positivity in our lives. If we feel great, we are unstoppable.

When I feel good about myself, I also feel good about others and my world. For me, happiness is the greatest indicator that I am happy with my body, identity, effort and progress. I tend to see the world as a ‘challenge’ as opposed to it being a ‘problem’. Others can share my happiness, perhaps enhance it in some way, or even reduce it temporarily, but they cannot create or maintain it for me. Only I can do that. I have to feel that tendency to be happy in the first place before anything else can enhance that, and I have to be able to possess that happiness before someone else can share it. That’s the power of real self-love.