Loving myself

Maaike - Brooklyn, New York
Entered on June 22, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe that to love is first of all to accept yourself as you really are.

I found this quote in a beautifully illustrated calendar just at a point when I thought love was out of reach for me. Another relationship had just ended- my third five year relationship in a 20 year span. Five years is not a small amount of time- especially for someone like me who loves deeply and I thought, wisely. At five years in this most recent relationship, I was just settling into the idea that I had a new world around me, a world of friends and family that were as much his as mine. So when our marriage bit the dust, and I had to start over yet again- I dreaded the familiar steps of healing and starting anew.

This time around though, I asked myself some hard questions. Why did I let his needs and interests become more important than my own? For years, I had been running in circles to be the partner who was flexible and relaxed, non-judgemental, open to anything. I could always roll with the punches, no matter how hard they were. I guess you could say I was the most accomodating person on the block. It’s probably no wonder that I attracted men who loved to be the center of attention and who took little interest in who I was as a person.

But after this last one ended, I knew I needed to change. Though it took some effort and tough realizations, I’ve learned to put me me first and not feel selfish about it. I now know that there is a difference between being self-centered and having a centered self. When I feel uncomfortable now or out of my element, I ask myself: Am I being myself? what do I want? What is important to me?

And yes, I admit that I get lonely sometimes and wish for a family that I do not yet have; but I now ask do I love ME enough to be ok with just me? And when the answer is yes, I know I have found the ground beneath my feet. I know this is what will lead me to better relationships in the future-the most essential one being the relationship with myself.