"There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others." - John Lennon
At a young age, we learned that it was not okay to love ourselves completely. When our parents got upset with us when we misbehaved or did something they didn’t like, we interpreted their anger to mean that we weren’t lovable. In order to win our parents’ love, we began hiding these self-perceived bad aspects of ourselves to avoid making them upset.
Because this is what we know, we’ve been trying to hide these aspects of ourselves from our partner. When you hide aspects of yourself, you can never have a deep and meaningful connection because you’re not being your true self. This facade keeps your relationships on the surface and a fulfilling love relationship will elude you. You’ll continue to repeat unhealthy relationship patterns and won’t know how to break the cycle.
I experienced this repeatedly in my relationships when I was trying to be “perfect” and hide the parts of me that I didn’t want my partners to see. After many failed relationships, I realized that the quality of men and love relationships I attracted were directly tied to the degree of love I had for myself. Once I did the inner work to love myself completely, I found myself in a wonderful and fulfilling love relationship with my fiancé.
If your tendency is to show your good side and your relationships are not fulfilling, uncover, embrace and love your self-perceived bad side (shameful aspects you hide from others). This inner work will be rewarding and challenging. To help you on this journey, Debbie Ford’s book, “The Dark Side of the Light Chasers” is an excellent resource. It will help you learn and understand about your dark and light sides in a comprehensive way.
The only way to a fulfilling love relationship is through self love. The more you love yourself, the bigger your capacity to open to love and create true love. If you have any questions as you take this journey, please let me know and I’ll be happy to answer them.
p.s. If you're frustrated and tired about not having the same success in love as your professional life, get your free Monthly Guide to Love. You'll receive insightful articles, inspirational resources and best practices that support your journey to love.
More Juicy Content From YourTango: