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It’s that time of year again. I thought I’d do something a little different… a journey through my ‘old mind’….
If I can’t love me, then how can I love you?
How do I know that it’s real? How do you know?
Am I really loving you or is it me I’m trying to ‘get loved’?
Is it you that I love or is it the me I think I could be with your love in the future I’ve forecast?
Am I ‘meditating’ on you as a distraction from my self-hate and disillusionment?
Are you my latest project to consume myself with to avoid living my own life?
Are you the the career that the workaholic absorbs themselves in both as self-avoidance and as their source of self-worth?
Do I love you or do I love you because I want you to love me back?
Is it desperation?
Do I love you because you gave me attention so I feel like I owe you?
Am I trying to create a tipping point of reciprocation?
Do I like you or do I like how you pump me up and hide what I think are my flaws?
Maybe I’m pumping you up and declaring love because I want you to do the same for me. Why do I feel like I’m deflating while you take on epic proportions in my life and psyche?
Are you my daddy in romantic packaging? Do I want you to love me like we’re in this relationship together or do I want you to love me in the way that the child I used to be so desperately craved?
Are you my mother? Do I love you because I love you and you me, or do I need you to give me approval? Is love having to do everything ‘right’ and never displeasing? If it is, I hope you know how much I love you by the amount of doormat bristles in my back?
Do I love you or do I worship you, and if I worship you, why are you so special? Why don’t I feel special too? Why does it feel like how loved and ‘amazing’ I declare you to be is directly proportional to my loss of self?
If you don’t love me, does it mean that I’m not loved? A tree that falls without anyone to hear it still makes a sound and an impact doesn’t it?
Why does your love matter so much? Surely all of my hopes and expectations for a relationship and my life weren’t all resting on you?
Why does love itself have to end because you don’t want me or because you’re not around anymore?
Why have I got to start over from scratch as if I had and was nothing before you?
How could it be love if your so-called ‘rejection’ or absence means that I’ve got nothing left of me?
Don’t I matter anyway? Why is everything resting on you?
Why do dates not working out mean that I’m a failure? What am I failure at? Successfully not continuing in something that wasn’t working for me even though it hurt to leave? Successfully dodging a bullet further down the line by accepting the feedback of the person unfolding?
Doesn’t love mean being human? How can I love me or expect to love or be loved, if making mistakes or things not working out means I’ve failed as a human being and am ‘marked down’?
Isn’t love more than a feeling? Isn’t it an action? Why has every unhealthy relationship been about how I feel and about how I want them to feel, but it’s never been about how I or they act?
How come I haven’t always needed the loving action to match the ‘loving’ words?
Why have I cried for crumbs?
Of course I could only ever value what I was familiar with. I’ve subsisted on crumb thoughts with lashings of self-neglect. The crumbs of others no matter how small look freshly baked and bigger and better than anything I’m giving me.
Was it love if it took everything I am and had or I gave it away like it wasn’t worth a damn?
I want to mean something but don’t I need to mean something to me?
Why would I only have meaning when I’m with another? What am I without the love and approval of others? Meaningless? Worthless? Nothing?
How can I suddenly have meaning with a stranger? I didn’t know you before we met but now that we’ve met and I still don’t actually know you but I feel excited and distracted by the attention and the possibilities, I now mean something again? Am I on a ‘worth break’ between relationships and attention?
If I would feel like this and forget who I am for someone I barely know, what the hell would I do for someone I do know? What does it say about me and what I have to give, if I’ll put a closing down sign on me as soon as I see ‘possibilities’?
Am I putting my life on hold and ‘waiting this one out’ until someone deems me worthwhile enough to be in a relationship with? How can they have that power? Why don’t I have it? Isn’t it that we have to mutually choose each other for a loving relationship?
I can be in love on my own but a relationship takes two… doesn’t it?
Does my life only begin when I’m chosen or does my life kick into gear when I choose me?
It’s a question of love. Is it love if you can’t treat you with love, care, trust and respect? Does it feel and look like love, or does it feel and look like sewer love that can’t hack the daylight of reality?
I’ve been worthless (in my mind), I’ve been scared, I’ve been many things that haven’t served me but what I haven’t been while these dominated, is truly available and receptive to love and loving. I’ve known a lot of pain but I used to think it was love, but now that I know love and I don’t harm me, it’s inconceivable to think that love and my worth is the warped, dark, hurtling, harmful ‘love’ of unhealthy relationships or what we do and give when we don’t like ourselves.
Relationships are conceived before we even enter into them because they begin with the relationship that we have with ourselves. Make your relationship with you the type that you’d want to start with others.
Natalie Lue is the founder and writer of Baggage Reclaim and author of the books Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl, The Dreamer and the Fantasy Relationship and more. Learn more about her here and you can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter – @baggagereclaim .
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