“If you don’t love yourself, nobody will. Not only that, you won’t be good at loving anyone else. Loving starts with the self.” (Wayne Dyer)
I had a big realization recently and honestly, it’s been right in front of me the whole time, I just wasn’t ready to accept it. The realization came while I was a passenger in my partner’s vehicle the other day when I started nitpicking him having a ton of hair coming out of his earlobes. After asking him why he hadn’t taken care of it, I found myself getting heated. I mean of all things to get heated about, this definitely shouldn’t be one of them, right? Nevertheless, my actions started an argument, which led to him driving to the grocery store shortly thereafter, and me taking a hot shower where I silently hoped the water would somehow cleanse me of all the guilt and shame I felt inside over the things I said to my partner. It was at that very moment it finally hit me.
I don’t unconditionally love myself.
You see, if I did, I know something silly like my partner’s ear hair wouldn’t bother me one bit. Because the truth is that when one unconditionally loves themselves, they tend to see everyone and everything in a much more positive and accepting light. But if they don’t love themselves unconditionally, they tend to see the world as somewhat skewed, which in turn leads to quick judgments and negative criticism of others. Essentially, one’s lack of self-love usually leads to unloving behaviors towards others, like the nitpicking I’ve regularly done to my partner.
While I do unconditionally love a few parts of myself, especially my 12 Step recovery life, there are three parts of me that I very much struggle to unconditionally love and accept. The first is with my health issues. The second is with my sexuality. And the last is with my lack of employment.
Because I don’t unconditionally love and accept those parts of me, I know it’s leading to me slowly pushing those who unconditionally love me away little by little through my occasional unloving words and actions, such as the nitpicking of my partner. While it’s true that deep down I do profoundly love him and the few others I’ve drawn close to in life, I know that if I want to love ALL parts of them, I must learn to do that with me first. Because if I don’t, I know I’m going to risk losing having any type of beautiful connection to both them and me…
Dear God, I really struggle unconditionally loving myself. I know because of that it’s often led to me saying and doing unconditionally loving acts towards myself and others. I’m ready to fully embrace myself just as I am. Please guide and direct me to fully love all parts of myself, warts and all as they say. Amen.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson