Monday, September 2, 2013

Longing for Self Love

I used to wake in the morning with someone on my mind. My heart longed for the fulfillment of love that always seemed elusive. Longing to me was love and love was longing. Longing was not fun, it was painful, ironic and always left me empty. Little did I know that I, myself, was the one keeping me there, in the state of perpetual desire for the fulfillment of love that would never come.

Longing was me pouring my love, my need, my desire and sometimes my obsession into another person. Funny, now, to note that the person I dreamed about was always unavailable, unattainable and guaranteed to perpetuate my state.

Its hard to describe this constant state of longing, other than to say that it is like a song that's never finished, a meal that can't be tasted, an oasis on the horizon that can never be held in reality. It's the ultimate rat-race, a never ending treadmill of wanting, hoping, wishing for the completion of that which is missing... Love. How I longed for love, real love, true love, reciprocal love, unconditional love, love that accepted me just as I am, love. I longed for it night and day, pining away for the impossible.

As the object of the completion, the fulfillment of my longing, I would erect a talisman of sorts, that in the image of a man. A relationship. True love depicted in the movies. What everyone else had, everyone else, that is, but me. My heart ached to be loved, to be fulfilled, to be whole, and I projected this need outside of myself, onto the image of another person.

If THAT PERSON recognizes that I am lovely, lovable and worthy, then I can rest assured. If THAT PERSON deems me desirable, and chooses me among all others, then I can love myself. If THAT PERSON sees my value and gives me what I need, then this longing can stop and my hope will be made full. I rehearsed the lines indefinitely, over and over I longed for each to fulfill the role of making me okay, of giving me the worth I desperately craved.

Longing to be with someone who treats you poorly is a sign of self-abandonment. The attention and love you need to discover is your own. Longing is the process of projecting your good parts onto another instead of bringing them inside yourself. 

~ Jenna Ryan


All I wanted was love. All I did was long for it. I did not know what love was. It took me a lot of heartbreak and heartache to discover that the thing that I longed for was never coming. I was never going to get the emptiness inside filled-up by a third party. No man was going to serve the role of Knight and Shining Armor, arriving to make me lovable. No, I had to do it myself.

This started a journey of discovery, healing and wholeness that still occurs to this day. Every day I've grown stronger in my heart as I first realized that no one else could give me what I longed for--no one else but me. That, despite the trickery of projection and psychological defenses of denial and wishful thinking, that I would have to find a way to love myself.

The longing was so embedded in my heart that it was comfortable to me. I thought longing and love were the same. I actually felt better in a state of longing than in a state of connectedness and love. I had to learn to move through the discomfort, and to embrace a new way of life. I had to trust my heart to lead me through the demolition of my old habits and ways of thinking, and build new habits of self love and inner strength.

I had to let go of longing. It was difficult, but I did it. As I let go of longing, I had to do something with the energy in its place. Instead of longing, I faced myself, meeting myself at that place of need and figuring out (an act of self-love) just what it was that I was longing for. I had to face the truth about what I needed. I had to stop projecting my need onto others and take responsibility inside my own heart. I had to realize that love is fulfillment. Love is satisfaction. Love is wholeness. Love feels good. Longing and love are not the same. I finally go it.

As I looked into my own heart and stopped the bleeding (longing), my wounded heart began to heal. Where once there was longing, there was now fulfillment--not in another, but within myself. I met myself at my need and began to connect inside my own heart. I stopped abandoning my need with defenses of fantasy love, and started meeting my needs with real self-respect, self-affirmation and self-knowledge. The gaping emptiness subsided and I could finally stand securely in my own presence without the need to be bolstered by an outside person. What a beautiful relief!

Today when I awake in the morning, I don't dream of the man-of-the-hour, romance, love, bliss... Sure, I'd love to find someone special to appreciate and share my life with, but that is not my reason for living. Now, I awake with a profound appreciation for who I am, for what life has to offer, for the power that I have to walk through my day with purpose and peace, blessing the lives of others, and for God who loves me and guides me. I can't tell you what a joy it is to find love like this within my own heart, love for myself. Hope for today, in good times and bad, it's always there--real, fulfilling love, completion and wholeness. My heart beats for me...

The only longing to follow 
is the longing to know 
Who you are. 
~Leonard Jacobson

1 comment:

  1. You laid your soul bare and it resonates with me to the T. Each word describes my journey too and I am thrilled to have found a place of wholeness within. Self Love is liberating!
    All the best to you on this wonderful journey of Self Love and discovery.
    God Bless :)