The Consequence of Falling In Love
I've survived my fair share of heartbreak, but it was the heartbreak of 2005 that changed the way I loved forever.
Heartbreak of 2005
I meet a guy at a friend's house party. I learn that he is brilliant and weird and nerdy and funny. He's into things that, up to this point, I've never known guys to be into, like yoga and chai tea. He's a reader and a creative. As a bonus, he speaks with reverence for Trading Places. I'm slow to like him, but once I do, I fall.
This is a relationship that is not meant to last; it's only meant to enjoy.
It seems that as quickly as I fall for him, it's over. I'm hurt. I mean really, really disappointed with myself, with him, with how it ends.
At work, I'm in a mindless fog. My fingers move about a keyboard. I see my hands shuffle paperwork. With co-workers, I listen to words tumble out of my mouth about my fun weekend. Lie.
I'm wounded. I'm thinking about us. Mourning the loss. Then, I start bullying myself into not doing what I desperately want to do...cry.
There's only so long you can wallow in sorrow before getting frustrated with yourself. I reach that point. After a couple of weeks, I'm tired with my sadness. Plus, I'm mistakenly blaming myself. This has got to stop.
With a curious mind and a gift for lifting myself out of ruts, I wonder why I'm so upset that this particular relationship didn't work out.
Days after I ask myself this question, the answer reverberates through my body like bass from a subwoofer.
I had fallen in love with him, but I hadn't ever fallen in love with myself.
The love scales were unbalanced.
I'd put more hearts into his jar than I had my own, so when it didn't work out, all the adoration I'd showered on him (and not myself), all the compassion and admiration I'd heaped upon him (and not myself), and all the flaws that I forgave in him (and not in myself) vanished. I'd given so much to him and had so little for myself.
The only thing that I believed could bring balance back into my life was to self-medicate with a high dose of falling. Falling in love. With me.
Being in love with oneself goes a step further than loving oneself.
No doubt, we all need to love ourselves--and I did--which is to have a healthy dose of respect and appreciation for our internal and external being.
But being in love with yourself elevates yourself.
When you are in love with yourself, you show yourself more acceptance, compassion, quicker forgiveness, and admiration, just as you would someone you're in love with.
You love discovering things about yourself. You see yourself as interesting. Although you occasionally irritate yourself or let yourself down, you still see yourself, at the heart, as a good person. You magnify what is wonderful and minimize what's not. You bless your flaws because they create a richness of personality.
Frankly, when you are in love with yourself and someone (in either a romantic or non-romantic scenario) doesn't see all in you that is beautiful, it has no bearing on you. Will you be disappointed that they don't get you? Maybe. Will you be ok? Triple yes!
For some, it's looking at yourself in the mirror and telling yourself you love yourself. And doing this often.
For me, it's treating myself the same way I treat someone I'm in love with.
I'm more tolerant and forgiving of myself. I remind myself of how interesting (and wonderfully odd) I am. I embrace my imperfections. I laugh at my jokes. I cook (or buy) good meals for myself. I offer myself gentle honesty. I choose my words carefully. Who and what I am in the moment, I accept. I love myself deeply.
Falling in love with myself was a slow process for me and it took a few years to set.
I would judge myself for having belly rolls, but wouldn't judge someone I was in love with for the same. Or someone would do something nice for me and I'd beam, but I'd do something nice for myself and wouldn't think anything of it. That's what I had to change. I loved myself to begin with, but falling in love with myself changed everything.
It's not a conceited or loud love for self. It's not based on physical appearance or anything material. It's not egotistical vibrato and it doesn't need me to gas myself up with how great I think I am.
It's a quiet, self-assured love that rests within. It doesn't throw itself in anyone's face or announce itself. It simply exists.
: something that happens as a result of a particular action or set of conditions
Being in love with yourself keeps your relationship hierarchy in check.
If not you, then who is better suited to love you most?
In case it sounds like an arrogant endeavor to love yourself more deeply than anyone else, let me stress...This is not loud, ego-driven self-worship that's thrown in anyone's face. This is a quiet, sustaining self-love that'll live with you until your last days.
The consequence of being in love with yourself is having a treasure trove of power that helps you take risks, feel more joy, recover quickly from disappointment, stand up for yourself, that protects you, and helps you love others better because when you treat yourself well it naturally flows outward.
Being in love makes your life better.
It's time to try falling in love with yourself.
Photo credit: The Tended Garden