‘Our value does not decrease based on somebody else’s inability to see or appreciate our worth.’
‘You’ve just got too much love to give and I’m not in a position to receive it right now.’ I remember hearing those words. Hearing those words from someone I had fallen in love with, someone I had absolutely and wholeheartedly given my all too in every capacity imaginable. I tried to break the words down into bite size pieces in order to decipher their cryptic meaning and digest them without choking in agony, but the sheer devastation of reality already had me in its menacing grip. I questioned the statement again in my mind. ‘You’ve got too much love to give’. Since when did this have negative connotations attached to it?? Having too much love to give to the point where another can feel so overwhelmed by the intensity of it they run a mile? Is it a chore to be loved? Isn’t the romanticized love we see in the movies the same love that we all ask Santa for (every year, twice in my case)?
I thought it was and indeed it is for some people, but your love, no matter how spectacular and gold plated, will undeniably not be for everyone, and we need to learn to be ok with that and stop allowing it to distort our value and perception of who we are if things don’t work out quite as we had hoped. Unfortunately, I, like so many others, wasn’t okay with that and proceeded in allowing it to spoil the next 12 months of my life.
I’d like to think I’m pretty comfortable in my own skin and more than happy with who I am as a person, hence the ability to give love unashamedly is my superpower. I’m good at it and it comes more naturally to me than anything else in the Universe. I have the ability to love, even when the love has bled me dry and emptied my resources, a seeping well of emotions that never runs out, enveloping all those in its path with affection and warmth. The trouble is, when it fails to be reciprocated or my love is abused and taken for granted, I so easily start to doubt everything I ever thought I once liked about myself.
Cue cliché female worries.
The questions show up like that unwelcome guest at the end of the path, hovering, waiting for acceptance. Was it me? What did I do wrong? Why aren’t I good enough? Is there someone else? Someone better than me? What do they have that I don’t? They dance in my mind over and over, taunting me and shattering my self-confidence into scattered pieces along the way, the jagged edges of what remains sharp enough to cut through any positivity I had left, causing a dark and detrimental storm to form in my thoughts. A slow emotional death.
You see, he didn’t just end it and pack my heart and value of self in the case to go with him, but he completely vanished altogether. He proceeded to take me off his social media, avoid me at mutual friend’s gatherings and eventually skipped out of town. On top of my anguish, the element of surprise gripped me too. He wasn’t ‘the type’, whatever that means. He was a special guy, young but so intelligent, both book smart and life smart, with manners and respect. He was the guy that took me to make Chinese paper lanterns together just because I had mentioned it in passing conversation once, he was the guy that took me on nature walks to marvel at the Moon, he was the guy that wasn’t ‘just like everyone else’, or so I thought.
The crucial mistake I made of course (that I couldn’t see at the time) was that I had tried to make a home out of a person and depend solely on them for my happiness which ultimately meant I had set myself up to fail. Whilst another human being can be your comfort blanket, they can’t be the basis of your foundations. As much as we may like too, we cannot make homes out of people, for the only thing that is constant is change, meaning your home can very quickly become your hell.
Why is it even when we know how much we have to offer as a person and we know how much we gave to someone, we still look within to find fault?
Why did I require validation from someone that dropped me like a used toy?
Was this the type of character I needed approval from, really?
Logically, of course not, but a lack of reason and rationale seem to go hand in hand when overwhelming emotions are out to play. I analysed every word he had said towards the end, his actions, events that had played out, anything I could conjure up from the dead to try and justify to myself why someone I held in such high esteem had treated me so callously when I had only ever shown them love and kindness. I couldn’t see of course that you cannot give the world to someone who is only ready for the city.
What I was also oblivious too was how much I was devaluing myself in the aftermath of what should have been (did turn out to be) a stark, life changing lesson. Somewhere between self-pity, pain and delusion, I had forgotten that in my continuous agenda to seek closure and approval, I was still needing something from him, be it an apology or anything else. I had let him reduce me to a shadow of myself and yet still allowed my thoughts and actions to be dictated by my unreciprocated love for him. The only apology I ever really needed is the one I owed myself for spending so much time on someone who was a giant in my world, whilst I remained a ghost in theirs.
Eventually, after months of comfort eating and side eyeing happy couples I made a decision to start healing the best way I knew how, from the inside out. I started engaging with friends properly, partaking in activities that made me who I was before, I started running and began to make new lifestyle choices (I went veggie – big up V Gang). I picked up writing again and learnt to give my pain a purpose, to find a silver lining in every dark cloud that had hovered over my head, even momentarily. I started building a new version of me, one with stronger, tougher edges and I told myself every day that I was worth more and going forward I would only accept more and that became the only closure I any longer required.
The thing is, the more you tell yourself something the more you start to believe it. I realised that whilst I had been feeding my body healthily and nourishing it in every way I could, I hadn’t been showing my mind the same courtesy. Thoughts become things and I had been spoon feeding myself negative ones by the bucket load, so I started feeding myself positive energy and slowly but surely there came to be a shift in my reality.
What did suddenly dawn on me throughout this was that maybe I wasn’t as happy within as I once thought. It was so easy to blame him and the circumstances but the one thing I had failed to question was the relationship I had with myself, apparently more fragile than I ever realised. Subconsciously lowering standards and settling for less because we’re alone isn’t healthy and when I started being honest with myself I knew that I had seen the warning flags with this guy from early on and chosen to ignore them anyway, endlessly searching for someone or something to fill that void within, little realising I had possessed the ability to do that for myself, by myself all along.
Eventually, a miraculous thing happened. I discovered an author by the name of Paulo Coelho who saved me in every way a person can be saved, although it was two of his books in particular that guided me back to the light, an epiphany if you will. The Alchemist and The Fifth Mountain changed my life in so many ways for they became the catalyst for many life choices I’ve made since I read them. They offered me insight, a chance to get to know myself again, but most importantly a chance to start over with renewed vigour and perspective. I realised that even the dark clouds that hover above are normally there to lead you to a brighter day, either because you’re not on the right path, you have a lesson to learn or maybe simply just to make you appreciate the good days. After all, without the darkness we would never appreciate the sunlight.
In The Fifth Mountain, Coelho details how he abandoned his dreams of being a writer to make a career in music when he was unexpectedly fired- even though he was performing well, but he explains the heart nor the universe can be deceived so conspired together to ensure he got back on the right track.
The point being that at times it may feel that everything is going wrong or you lose something or someone you may have really wanted, but trust that it is necessary and push yourself to ride out these trials & tribulations like a wave, have faith that the universe is guiding you to the destination you’re supposed to go too. I started trusting my journey and having faith that whatever’s meant for me will surely come my way and that whatever happens, it doesn’t make the magic I possess within any less.
Use the time you have to invest in yourself, to make you a better you. Read. Educate yourself. Look after your body. Take walks. Enjoy nature. Perfect your craft- whatever it may be. Search for new hobbies and interests. The greatest purchase you ever make will be the investment you make in yourself and in your mind, but what’s also important is that we don’t become those that once held us emotionally hostage. Let go of all that disturb your peace. There will always be someone else. Someone worthy and deserving. A person can only meet you as far as they’ve met themselves. Someone who’s ego is still majority rule in their mind, whose confidence is wilted and who hasn’t accepted themselves yet will never be able to love you how you deserve or require. The battle they fight isn’t always with you. Sometimes it’s with self. You are merely collateral damage.
Don’t let a broken soul stop you from finding love and make you feel as though you are any less. Your love is always enough. Some people just aren’t deserving of it. So, be wise when scattering the seeds of your heart for they can only grow on well-nourished land, but most importantly, don’t forget to say those three magic words every night to the one who needs to hear them the most, you.