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Loving Others Means Loving Yourself First

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Let me ask you this: Where does all the love go once you break up with someone? Does it hide away and wait for a better opportunity? Stalk other potentially available bachelors? Rot away slowly with all the once glorious memories with your partner or just vanishes into thin air and goes onto the next person? Whichever the case, it’s hard. Losing someone is hard and getting used to the fact you no longer belong to someone, somewhere is absolutely devastating. You miss the habit, you miss the plans, you miss the person. You miss the way they made you feel and who you were with them.

Breaking up with someone is like (in)voluntarily giving away a part of your being for medical purposes so someone or something could thoroughly inspect and dissect the cause of your splitting, only to establish that the cause of this split was actually very simple: the love died. And, if you want them back? Well, you cannot really give CPR to dead things, and even worse – dead emotions, can you?

Painful truths, honest actions

Usually, when we are at the crossroads that leads us away from someone, we get to wonder: How many more break-ups until we finally find the one and whether there’s really a love that lasts forever. Then, you watch About  Time or Mon Roi for days, sometimes all three Bridget Jones films and, naturally, finish your film cycle with Sex and the City, to get a happy closure to a drastically painful life-like situation that, in one way or another, resembles your own.

And right there, at the very ending of each of the films you’d watched, your soul starts aching. Aching for a new opportunity to love, aching for a new beginning, aching for strengths. In films, and in real life, we all act similarly. Sorrow, pain, and misery tend to be very predictable emotions, especially if you’ve already had a chance to experience them before.  They tear you apart, they torture you and even physically hurt you from the inside out, but they strengthen you for everything that’s coming next.

Obviously, none of us sees the post-break-up struggle in the light of its hidden positivity, because why would you walk towards the light when you can comfortably linger in the halls of your own self-pity, right? Ah, it’s all good. It’s human, it’s natural, and everyone is processing their sorrows in a different way. The thing about the whole break-up concept though is that you should never let it destroy you. On the contrary, take getting over someone as your best empowerment method, your powerful push into the unknown that will help you grow and thrive. Remember this: Life becomes clear in our darkest hour and all of our failures tend to make perfect sense in the end – whether they are break-up failures, job, family, or personal failures – they all strengthen us for the battles and joys ahead.

The journey to self-love

How painfully awkward strikes the truth that, unless you are comfortable with who you are, every break up will tear you apart. What most people make the mistake with is emerge in their relationships so heavily that, at one point, they no longer know who they are or who they’ve been outside of that same relationship. ‘I’ becomes ‘we’; ‘mine’ becomes ‘ours’; and while there is a very adorable romance to the whole coupling-up notion, who you are should never get compromised or forgotten.

When you don’t know who you are, or hide in the relationship to avoid things you don’t like about yourself, you surrender yourself to the mercy of the other person completely and are no longer the master of your life. You become susceptible to pain, vulnerable and exposed, and, ultimately, powerless. If, however, you know who you are and love who you’ve been growing into, no break-up in this world will mess you up as heavily as you are experiencing it at this point.

You’ll know that people come and go, but your power, your heart and soul remain just where they need to be: in you and with you at all times. And that’s your power: having you with you – as your primary support system, your strength and your motive to grow and progress. No, I am not trying to diminish the importance and beauty of a partnership nor we’re trying to lessen the overwhelmingly fantastic feeling of being loved. We’re only saying that loving yourself first before you love someone else is key to a happy, secure, and strong life.

How to arrive at Loveville

Next time you sit in your car, put your favourite music on and start driving; take the first right to the Acceptance Boulevard and park. Sit there for a while and think of all things you don’t like about yourself and why. Then, turn those same negatives into your positives or take their power away by accepting them. Thick thighs? Yes! Arms too skinny? Damn, yes! Meryl Streep nose? You’ve got a freaking Meryl Streep nose!

If your self-dislikes go deeper than your physical appearance and you feel there was always something bothering you, start a journal and pen down your emotions, join a support group, talk to a therapist or seek counsel outside of these already known methods. Face your demons. Emotional exorcism feels great, you’ll see!

Now, put the car into gear again, and drive down the Feelings Street. You’ll see a little restaurant called ‘No’ there. Go inside and have a drink. Sipping on your favourite drug, think of all the times you said ‘yes’ when you wanted to scream ‘no’ at the top of your lungs, just so you don’t look bad or embarrass the other person. Well, it’s time you learned the magic of self-love and the beautiful ‘no’. Saying ‘no’ doesn’t necessarily mean being bitchy or bossy, uncultured and hard to talk to.

Communicate your feelings in the right way and in a proper tone, and your ‘no’ will liberate you. Along with the ‘no’, give yourself permission to communicate everything else you are feeling instead of keeping it inside and bursting with unhappiness. Had the drink? Good. Now, go to the food stand called ‘me time’ and chill there. It’s awesome. Go there as often as possible, please – they’ll welcome you with open arms.

I’ll give you one last piece of advice: don’t put conditions on your love. Don’t love yourself only after a break-up, after losing weight, getting a raise, or a new job. Love yourself constantly in a peaceful and captivating manner. Find love within instead of looking outside for it.

Isabel William is a Body and Mind Balance Consultant. You can connect with her on Twitter @Isabel_FWilliam

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