Saturday, August 14, 2010

Learning to Love

About 6 months after the Spicy Chicken and I got engaged I called off the wedding.  We were living together at the time so he went to stay with his parents for a few days to sort through his own feelings.  When he got back he told me he loved me but he couldn't love me enough for both of us - I needed to learn to love myself.

Sounds like a line out of a movie, but it's a true story. It forced me to do some major soul searching.  Did I really not love myself?  Turns out I didn't even like myself all that much, but I  did love him, so I took steps to get there.  Hard to imagine that with all that therapy I'm right back where I started.

I love a lot of people.  And I actually love a lot of things (like really great shoes, a fabulous glass of wine, the sound of the ocean, etc).  Ironic then, isn't it, that I'm finding it so difficult to love myself?

This isn't a new revelation.  I've struggled with it my whole life - which is again ironic, considering that I was raised in a house with a lot of love.  My parents, who were high school sweethearts, just celebrated their 45th Anniversary. They came to my games - celebrated my successes - and stuck by me when I made mistakes.  I'm sure I hated them when I was a teenager, but they were terrific parents and I knew that even then.  My sister and I did the normal sibling thing - arguing over clothes, fighting over the bathroom, throwing forks at one another (or maybe that was just me) - but I was always pretty sure she loved me (would she have told me about the dead bodies and flamingoes if she didn't?).  She's my best friend.

Looking back I realize I had what others probably thought was an enviable life (it was).  Yet no matter what I did I was never satisfied with what I achieved.  I've often thought that this insatiability helped push me harder and thus achieve more, but I've found that it can also work in the opposite direction.  I see that now quite clearly.  

Despite all the love that people are showing me and the progress that I've made (inside and out) I still find it hard to feel good about it.  So I've lost 12 pounds - why haven't I lost 15?  My face looks thinner - why is my stomach still so fat? I'm working my ass off in class - why aren't I working harder?  Negative self talk.  I remember it well.  

So, add this to the list of things I need to work on.  Gosh, it's getting long....



  1. I could go on and on, but what I really want to say is that I know EXACTLY how you feel. You are doing great! I try to remind myself that I'm a work in progress, but that doesn't always help : )

    -Amy (Russell) Gilmore

  2. Thanks Amy! It's harder than it should be to give ourselves credit for our hard work, but we do deserve it. "Work in progress" - I like that!

  3. What you said in this post was much an eloquent rendition of what I was trying to say to you in my last comment. I get involved in the same negative inward spiral which a)I wouldn't admit to most people and b)I don't think most people who know me would believe.

    So much love and confidence on the outside so much insecurity and loathing on the inside. I ask myself why all the time.

    I would say we both know the answer. We have to let ourselves love us. We're worth it!

  4. I love you Amy. I was always that girl looking at your enviable life thinking,"why can 't I love myself like she does and why can't I have her life?" Well, I want you to know I am right in your same tracks, walking in the same thoughts each and everyday. Your blogs are helping me realize it starts within and if I don't love myself, who can?

    Thanks for doing such an amazing thing for yourself and all of your followers:)