Searching for Self-Love
I am a highly affectionate person.
From the people that I hold close to my heart to the people that I barely even know, I show them love. Whether it be supporting a friend who is trying to get their business off the ground or a homeless person who is just looking for a meal, there is something that goes off in my heart that pushes me to care and to help. I know, you’re probably thinking, “Well Deiona, you aren’t the only person that does this. Everyone gives when they can.” And of course, I know this isn’t anything new, but, what surprises me the most about my affection is that there’s only one person I hesitate to give it to: myself.
I am so willing to give, so willing to share all that I have with another, a lot of the time I don’t add myself to the equation. I couldn’t believe it…here I was, trying to love everyone and everything else that I never figured out how to love myself along the way.
I realized how detrimental this was.
As I’ve gotten older and have been more realistic with the analysis of my past, I soon discovered that though I was highly affectionate, I was not distributing my affection properly. I realized that…I was loving the outsiders way too hard. Now, of course it’s great to share your love with others, however, not sharing love with yourself makes that outside love a tad bit toxic. Because I wasn’t loving myself, I didn’t understand how I should be loved. I lacked care in myself; in most cases, I put myself last. So, if I wasn’t showing any concern for Deiona, how would I be able to allow anyone to show real concern for me?
It took me some time, but I realized that my lack of personal affection created a lot of toxic relationships that I didn’t know how to let go of. Because I didn’t have love for myself, my heart was parched; it thirsted for affection and care and after a while, it didn’t matter where the source of love was coming from.
As long as I was getting some type of love, I thought I was happy. I thought that the outside love meant that I was receiving all the love I possibly could and for a while, my mind and heart looped around this lie for years. I was getting love, this was all I needed.
At least I thought so, until I saw how shattered I was once the outside love was gone.
Unfortunately, not everything will last forever. As some relationships and friendships in my life began to end, so did the life of my heart. Because I didn’t have myself as a source of love, I was dried out once things I thought would be forever disappeared. Whether it was a person, a job or some other external thing, my heart felt as though it was withering away because I didn’t know how to replenish my love source. I didn’t realize that me loving these people so hard was actually a bad thing.
I soon realized that I wasn’t properly loving anyone or anything because I never properly loved myself. Of course, when you care about someone or something you want to give them your all, but, it shouldn’t shatter your heart and make it irreparable if you were to lose that something or someone.
Having proper love for yourself doesn’t mean you are being selfish or you aren’t going to give love to anyone else; it means that you are remembering that you are just as important as anything else.
In the times when you are lonely or are feeling down, having that genuine love for yourself can get you out of any slump.
Now, it’s Deiona first and everything else follows.
Because I have taken the time to love myself—both internally and externally—I see how much my relationships and connections have grown. Developing this self-love has helped me avoid a lot of pain and has brought me closer to things that my heart now can naturally tell is good for it.
My heart is now fully functional on its own and knows how to properly distribute its love. It never was a bad thing that I was an affectionate person, I just had to realize that I had to remember to distribute that affection to myself.