Tuesday, August 4, 2009

See what you love, love what you see

Do you ever get tired of people telling you that you need to love yourself before you can find someone that will love you? I used to cringe every time I heard someone say that. Especially right after a guy would break my heart. It was never what I wanted to hear. But you know what…it’s true. And until I really took this to heart, my life was going to continue to be me making the wrong choices in the men I choose to date.

So here is what I did. I spent buko bucks on therapy. There was probably a cheaper way to do it. But it wasn’t until I went to therapy and had a third party intervention that I realized that I do have a lot to offer someone special. It took someone who didn’t know me at all to make me realize that I am a good catch for someone.

My therapist really made me think about me and my life. He would always challenge me and ask me what was keeping me from finding love. My initial thought was, “I don’t know that’s what I’m paying you for”, but then I realized it was a lot deeper than some stranger giving me the answer I had been looking for. The reality of it was that he made me aware that there was something that I didn’t love about me which then made me believe that I was unloveable, and until I figured that out, I wouldn’t find true love.

So there began my quest…my journey to find myself! It was scary in the beginning, but once I started finding the things I liked about myself, it became more and more fun. My first “light bulb moment” was when I realized I was looking for that one person to love in me what I didn’t like about myself. And because of this trait, I ended up attracting people that didn’t necessarily love themselves and then ended up with two negatives. And just like we were always taught as kids in math class, two negatives never equal a positive.

So the first thing I did was create two very short lists, that I call the Rule of Six. The first list was a list (Absolute No) of three things that would prevent me from loving a potential mate and the second list was a list (Absolute Yes) of three things that I absolutely needed from my potential mate. These were things that I considered deal breakers. I believe these are the things that I need in order to have a strong foundation to build a successful relationship. My lists are below:

Must be accepting of my kids
Honesty all the time
Values and Morals must be aligned with mine

Unconditional love

Once I created these lists, I decided that everything else was negotiable. Of course I have my ideal mate and the qualities he will hold in the back of my mind, but anything else can be a discussion topic. I believe that if two people can communicate, have unconditional love for one another and laugh together then there is nothing they can’t work through.

I also use these lists as a means to not get down on myself if a potential relationship doesn’t work out. A majority of the time it is one of these six things that brings relationships to a head. And if I can constantly remind myself of this, then I don’t struggle as much with the negative thoughts that are constantly running through my mind. You know the thoughts that sneak in and out before you even have a chance to fight them. Thoughts like, I’m not attractive enough, I must be such a loser, How can she find someone but I can’t, what’s wrong with me, why am I so unloveable? Like most people, I battle my “self-talk” daily. I consciously have to remind myself to only say positive things. I tend to have a very harsh inner critic that is sometimes easier to believe.

So bottom line…I had to learn to love myself before I could love anyone else. But it is important to remember that even though I love myself, relationships are difficult and still may not work out, but as long as I stick to my rule of six it’s a lot easier to not let my self talk take over and get me down. I am the only one that is responsible for filling my tank that recharges, reenergizes, and replenishes me. It is irresponsible of me to leave that up to anyone else. And it’s when I leave that up to someone else that I get myself into trouble.

So from here on out, I pledge to not let my self talk consume me anymore! I love myself, and I am a good catch for someone that can appreciate me for me. If someone can’t see that in me…then it’s their problem, not mine!

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