Being Loved When You Have No Love for Yourself
By Jessica Nand
I used to be a firm believer of the phrase, “you can’t love someone else without loving yourself first.” I mean, if you can’t love yourself then how are you able to love someone else? How is it possible to care for someone else and maintain a relationship if you don’t care about yourself? I need to know how to love myself before I can love someone else, right?
Those were questions I asked myself over and over again. Then they became the arguments I had when it came to finding love. I considered myself not being capable of loving someone else because I couldn’t love myself. I used to have no sense of self-love; I thought of myself as unworthy of love and being loved. Most of my life I had low self esteem and barely any confidence in myself. All I saw in the mirror were the things I was insecure about - my weight, my height, and my complexion. I’ve always been self conscious about my weight, constantly wanting to be thinner and slimmer. Growing up I was always taller than most girls, and even boys. I felt very out of place and awkward. And with my darker complexion, I was told I wasn’t beautiful because I didn’t have fair skin. I was never comfortable in my own skin. I never considered myself attractive or beautiful.
It wasn’t until a few months ago when I discovered that my ability to love someone isn’t determined by how much love I have for myself. Everybody has insecurities and flaws but that doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve to find or give love. I realized that the things that I’m insecure about, don’t reflect my worth. I’m constantly reminded that I’m beautiful just as I am and I’ve begun to believe it. Just like how you can look past what someone believes to be their flaws and still accept them, the same can be done for you. What you believe to be your flaws and insecurities don’t define you. I’ve learned that they make you who you are, they make you powerful and beautiful. I’m no expert when it comes to dating, and I definitely don’t have much experience. But from what I do know, with the right support from a person that truly loves you, you will slowly learn to love yourself.
This obviously won’t happen overnight, and it also doesn’t mean that you will absolutely get over all your insecurities and self doubts. It simply means that you will learn to appreciate your flaws and understand that everybody has them. It’s what makes you unique and sets you apart from others. It’s definitely a process; it will take time for you to accept that someone else accepts you for who you are. That someone else can and will love you even when you don’t have any love for yourself.
It’s a beautiful thing, really, to know that you are capable to love and to be loved. You may not appreciate yourself and only recognize the flaws, but your partner sees more than that. Another thing to remember is that you have to be willing to be loved. You have to accept it rather than push it away. Once you are able to understand that someone loves you for who you are, you begin to love yourself more. You learn to love yourself in the process, you begin to build your confidence, and look to appreciate things you once were insecure about.
This doesn’t mean that you need to find love to love yourself. You are loved and adored by your family and friends already. It doesn’t take a significant other to find that strength and confidence. What’s important to remember (always) is that you’re capable of loving yourself regardless of how others feel. But even when you have no love for yourself, you deserve to love and to be loved.