As today is the day of love, whether you’re single or in a relationship, we should celebrate the love that is the most important of all - and that is the one we have for ourselves.
“The most important relationship in your life is the relationship you have with yourself. Because no matter what happens, you will always be with yourself.”
- Diane Von Furstenberg
No matter how much we care about and love the people in our lives, unless we are whole ourselves, we will keep filling the void through relationships. We may unconsciously place expectations on others what we’d like to have filled in for ourselves. Sometimes this is not healthy as it may become an emotional burden to others and create some destructive behavioral patterns.
1. We must first be happy with ourselves in order to make others happy.
Some people think that entering a relationship can help elevate our mood and get us out of an emotional rut. The high we get from entering a new relationship only lasts so long. That high we get is not real happiness, it’s oxytocin. That high we get that drives us to do sweet things for our partner is not going to last unless we are truly happy with ourselves.
So ask yourself this question,
Am I happy with myself? Am I able to independently make myself happy?
If not, what do you feel is missing?
2. We can only give what we have in ourselves.
One important lesson I’ve learned over the past few years is that you can only give what you have in yourself. This understanding has helped me learn to see that unless the person I’m interested in is whole and happy with himself, he is not going to be able to give back the kind of love that is whole and happy after the love hormone has run out.
We can only give love, if we have love within ourselves. We can only give compassion, if we have compassion for ourselves. We can only be understanding towards others, if we have understanding towards ourselves. We can only accept others, if we have accepted ourselves.
3. We see the world through the person that we are.
“We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.”
- Anaïs Nin
We see the world through the lens that we wear - by that I mean our beliefs, mindset, attitude, our core values, and personality traits. Though we must learn to understand that people are different and others may see things differently than us, it’s still natural for us to see things as we are. As a result, we attract what we are. So if you want to change whom you attract, you must first change yourself.
4. We attract what we are.
As mentioned in the previous point, we attract what we are. So before you go through your list of must-have qualities in a partner, first ask yourself whether you harbor the traits yourself.
- Do you expect your partner to be fit and active, but you yourself are a slob?
- Do you expect your partner to be hard-working, but you yourself are lazy?
- Do you expect your partner to be happy and positive, but deep down you’re actually a bitter and negative person?
Sure, some traits may be complementary as too much of one same trait could backfire. Complementary traits can create balance and support one another in a harmonious way. But it’s important to ask ourselves whether we’re ready to become a good partner before asking for one.
Are you ready to become a good partner? Do you have in you what you expect to receive? Are you ready to give in order to get?
5. To attract love that is whole, we must first heal our wounds.
We all have ideals for the kind of love that we want in our lives. But the idea of perfect love is never perfect because no one is perfect. We all grew up wounded in some ways. Some have more emotional baggage than others. Some have taken the time to look inward and do some inner work to heal themselves. Some have jumped from one love to another only to realize you have been attracted to the same kind of wounded souls.
At one point in your life, you become tired of it - tired of being attracted to the same kind of wounded souls. Stories end in a similar way. You ask yourself - what is wrong with me? Then if you ask yourself that question one more time, you might realize that the wound the person you’re attracted to has is similar to your own deep wound. That’s why you keep being drawn to it.
In order for us to stop stepping into the same pattern, we must recognize the pattern. Then we must stop entering the same path as we feel drawn to it. We must first look inward and become conscious of the unconscious. We must ask ourselves deep questions.
What is my childhood pain? How is my childhood pain making an unconscious effect in my day-to-day decision and attraction in life? How does being with someone with the same childhood pain comfort me? Has this person with the same pain healed their wound and become happy and whole? If not, how is this person’s childhood pain affecting their relationship with themselves, others, and their romantic partner?
Taking a look at your partner’s and ex-partner’s wound might help you recognize something in yourself.
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.“
- Carl Jung
If you have a void to fill in in your own heart or a wound to heal in yourself, then you will continuously seek to have these wounds kissed by people who share the same wounds. This can feel very familiar and comforting, but oftentimes it becomes destructive.
So first, heal your would, so that you can find the kind of love that is whole.
I wish you find the love that you seek. But it must first start with ourselves. :)