A Valentine’s Quandry

What is self-love.? This at first seems to be such a simple question, yet upon true discovery, it is not. Self- love…..love thy self. Seems pretty obvious. It is also the prescribe remedy for all those who are in search of enlightenment, awakening or whatever you are searching for. It is reported that you can’t have one without the other. You cannot BE if you don’t love yourself.
Well, for those of us who come from a world where love was not modeled; where it was not a nurturing and empowering environment, how can we learn to love ourselves and accept self- love. We thought that having a lack of self-acceptance was self-love. How can you be something or even recognizing something when you have never experienced it? What is self- love?
For those of us who come from a non-nurturing environment, or to be truthful: an abusive life, love was what your parents and family were supposed to do and give you. You grow up thinking that self-love is having something wrong with you because you are always being judged, ridicule, punished, because your parents LOVED you and wanted you to be better. That was their loving gift. Love was a measuring stick that you could never reach or could reach the full measure. So in order to qualify in the self-love field, you practice what you know. Love= judgment. Love = being told how (fill in the appropriate abusive word) you are. Love= rejection. Love= abandonment. This is what you know. You do not know what love is because those who were supposed to love you did things that now you know are not love, but it is all you know. But in the absence of this knowledge of real loves lies the matter. How do you feel something you have no idea what it is? Or worse, you thought you knew what it was only to have it ripped away and so you feel it is not something you want to ever trust.
So how do you find out what love is supposed to feel like? How do you trust this as a safe place to go? Self-love. How are you supposed to love yourself when you do not have any idea what that is other than the treatment you have had all your life. Tell me!
Because right now, I am demonstrating what love is to me: Being inferior because I do not know what self-love is supposed to feel like. What a riddle. Too bad I am not laughing.

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