I’m no stranger to depression and self-doubt. Somewhere between my bad childhood and an extremely abusive relationship, I started to believe that I was too broken to deserve love. The combination of my scars, past hurts, and broken pieces compounded by my experiences made me feel unworthy of love and happiness. I’ve felt the intense pressure to be perfect at all times because if I wasn’t those who knew me would be incapable of loving me. All of this is a lie, and I’ve had to learn that I’m not too broken to accept love.
One of the consequences of this type of thinking is that we continually attract the kind of people who aren’t capable of loving us.
We pour ourselves over and over again into people and require nothing in return. We think we’ll be rewarded for our selflessness with unconditional love when really we’re just letting ourselves be used. The dynamic of my last serious relationship was my pouring my whole self into him while I let him tell me things like, “I wish you’d kill yourself. You’re a burden on everyone.” or, “People only like you because of me.” I didn’t expect the kind of love I was giving because I didn’t think I deserved it. The more I accepted emotional scraps, the more I believed it that’s all I needed to sustain me.
The very voices that are telling us that we aren’t good enough or that we’re a burden or that no one cares about us are the ones that are controlling our fate if we let them. The belief that we don’t deserve love is the single biggest hurdle in finding people who will.
You cannot accept love from others when you’re filled with hate for yourself and bitterness for your experiences.
Maybe your past, like mine is riddled with mistakes and events we aren’t proud of. Even if some of these scars were self-inflicted, it’s just proof that we were stronger than whatever happened to us. They mean we survived. It’s so easy to feel like everyone expects the flawless porcelain version of ourselves versus one with chips and cracks in the veneer, but without cracks, there can be no light. Our cracks and imperfections are the very things that give us the chance to heal. Letting go of the shame of our imperfections isn’t something that’s easy or painless, and as cliche and cheesy as it sounds, you have to love yourself before someone else can.
Earlier this year, I lived by the saying, “Be so full that even when they take and take you’ll still be full.”
I thought this meant that I had to be so self-reliant that it didn’t matter if I had no one- all I really needed was myself. While I do still believe we should be whole beings on our own, I’ve come to realize that part of being full is your ability to not only give love but to accept it from others.
To this day, I can still feel myself becoming terrified when I feel people are getting too close and self-sabotaging relationships by becoming distant or just flat out running away when I feel exposed emotionally. What if I give away parts of myself and get nothing in return? What if they abandon me? What if they see me as a liability or “too much?” Despite my fears of letting people in and giving them the ability to hurt me or leave me being scary as hell, I’ve found that the more honest I am and my ability to forgive myself and others makes the right people want to stay. Accepting love isn’t easy, but you’re never too broken to deserve it.