I was reading a blog entry today from someone who has recently begun following my blog and had a lightbulb go off in my head right in the middle.

“So THAT’S why I’ve never felt like I’ve loved anyone” is the message my brain gave me.

The blog I was reading is by a lady named Sindhu. She came by to visit after reading a comment I had made on another blog. So, of course I had to have a poke around her site to see what she writes about. The first entry I read is about self-love and how, no matter what happened in her life and the differences between her and other people, she has always had this inner capacity for a healthy dose of self-love. This has enabled her to be resilient, self-sufficient and to have an endless supply of love for the friends and family members in her life.

Here is where the light bulb hit me. I have written before about how I ate my emotions. I avoided my feelings. Every single one of them. Hate, love, anger, confusion, frustration, joy, gladness. I could continue writing a huge list here but I am sure you get the idea. No matter the emotion, it either didn’t register on my gauge, or barely made the mercury rise above zero. They were all there, but all buried so deeply below the surface they were like an iceberg. 10% above the water and 90% below, hidden from view. Hidden from recognition. And hidden from the knowledge that I was entitled to experience them. iceberg

The thing is, my feelings FOR other people were exactly the same as they were for me. Iceberg-like.

I was 18 the first time I acknowledged to myself that I had FUN on a night out (a friend’s 19th birthday party). People would hug me and tell me they loved me, and I would say the words back to them, but I wouldn’t feel them within. While other teenagers were fawning over the boys in school or the celebrity superstar, putting posters up, writing love messages all over their school folders and pencil cases, I kept my distance, kept to myself, and found it really difficult to understand how they could feel that way.

It did occur to me sometime in my mid 30’s to wonder why I seemed so different to everyone around me, but I never got much of an answer. It was kind of like I was separate from myself.

You see, I always knew, from a very young age, that I was unworthy. That I did not deserve to be loved. That I didn’t deserve to have friends. At least any real ones. Two of the three friends I did have during school were always fighting amongst themselves and I was the one who kept the peace. I listened. I guess it was like I had my role in the group but didn’t really belong. I would visit their houses and see the evidence of their boy/celebrity crushes and I never had that. I was separate. 30 years on, I’m not sure what they would say about that time and how they saw me.

So, this blog I read today and the light bulb it generated…

light bulb

I realised that the reason I was never really able to feel the emotions that other people felt, FOR other people, is because I was never able to feel them for ME. I was never allowed to feel them. So I didn’t. I numbed them. And buried them so deep inside that trying to get them out has taken a lot of soul searching. A lot of time and effort. A lot of wondering whether I am normal.

So much makes sense now.

Stop the pattern of eating my emotions. Recognise their existence. Use the strategies I’ve learned to manage the thoughts. Love myself. Nurture myself.

Simple, right!?

I’ll let you know when the tears stop flowing.

letting go of old thought patterns

2 comments on “Self-Love

  1. Ali, what a powerful entry. It is an intimate issue that you have discussed, and I want to say thank you for describing yourself with no filters.

    I’m happy for your lightbulb moment! I feel immense delight that it happened when reading something I wrote. THIS is precisely why I write… to share what I’ve learned (and what I continue learning) so somebody else can take it in and make sense of it in their own world. This is also why I read other blogs. I have a never-ending thirst to learn more about myself and the world around me, and experiencing this sort of growth through other’s words is so powerful. It opens up dimensions I can never find if I just kept to myself. There is so much to absorb from the people around us, so much to teach ourselves. It is a real wonder we have something as connected as the blogosphere, and I am grateful every single day for the inspiring people it allows me to meet… just by a click of the mouse.

    I couldn’t be happier for your self-discovery. I know you know what you need to change to earn back the years you’ve lost by not loving yourself. It all starts from within, Ali. Once you truly love yourself, you’re genuinely capable of loving others and the rest of the world. So much awaits you! 🙂

  2. Once youve had that light bulb moment there is no turning back, the universe in its infinite wisdom will continue to bombard you with oppertunities for growth, although i must admit that at times it doesnt feel that way, you sorta think , OH God not this same senario again, well once you got that, thats the time youve been given a gift. YES a gift, one needs to stop and go inwardly. ask questions (all sorts) and if the answers make you cry all the better, cause it means your conecting to yourself and allowing yourself to understand or at least begin to see with new eyes. Go back to all the times that crop up for you, and keep going till you get to the (I call it the flash point) when you can remember the FIRST time you were made to feel unwothy. Talk to that beautiful child, hold their hands and tell them that you understand that they are hurt, but tell them that what that person told you was not really about them, it was about how bad they were feeling about themselves, and they didnt know how to feel or express themselves, cause they werent taught. Tell the little one that they are LOVED, you will always love her NO matter what, and give her a great BIG hug and just feel the love and joy of being together. You can then say to the child when people hurt you its because they are hurting themselves, and so you 2 best buddies are going to look at that person and say, that youre both sorry that they hurt so much, but you know now that they dont really mean to hurt you, there just angry, and you both want to say, I hope you get/find a friend just like mine that will love you no matter what, and will always be there for each other. And then we send them love cause there hurting, and wish them well on there journey. Now look at each other and feel the joy, and tell her you will always be there for her. Now any time you get that realisation, go back to the little girl and together help each other through that memory, like 2 very old friends, you can chat and have discussions, tell sectrets, have fun and joke and find an even deeper love for each other. But remember with every visit you both become stronger and stronger, and you both wil feel the LOVE and security, to meet all that life has to offer you. Also remember that when you go about you day to day life you can share that happiness and love with others , cause all you have to do is remember that within in us all there is a wounded child, just look in ther eyes and love that child. When you can start looking at others in that loving compassionate way, you life will be giving and recieving love that will give you strength, a kind of deep and conected strenght youve never felt before, and you will see with new eyes, the beautiful world befor you.

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