It took me 37 years to see clearly, truly “get it,” and be a woman who is ready to accept the love I have always deserved, but who’s counting?
Relationships have such an incredible impact on us from childhood, teachers, coaches, parents, influential role models, but the most impactful relationship I have ever had was the one with myself.
I always carried the deep-seated belief that “I am not good with relationships. I should be a single person forever.” I had a long-lasting habit of looking for love in all the wrong places. I never had the relationship that I wanted with my dad, and I subconsciously searched for that in men throughout my life.
I married young, too young. I wasn’t ready, I wasn’t mature enough, and I certainly didn’t understand the level of commitment required or what I agreed to—I didn’t love myself. I tried to fill myself up with my husband’s love, always seeking his approval, for his attention, for his affection, and when I didn’t get it, I broke. There is always that one relationship that changes your life, and this was it for me.
Divorce changed everything about me, at first for the worst, then for the better.
Then I met you. I remember thinking I know myself more than anyone could. I was so sure of who I was and felt so confident and “unf*ckwithable.” I was in for some intense lessons after that.
For the last five years, you have been the one to hold the mirror up to me, unafraid of my reflection, standing sturdy in every moment. I showed up in so much pain, my life falling apart, with the most substantial wall of defense, resisting your love; still, you remained. I carried the baggage of self-hatred, uncertainty, and pain. I couldn’t see what you saw in me. I didn’t understand. I remember you telling me you will be here no matter what until you are no longer wanted or needed. I took on this challenge.
I pushed, resisted, argued, shut down, chose the path of most resistance; still, you remained. It became clear to me that you were serious. You would be here as long as I needed you to be, holding space for me to do what I needed to do and heal from my past.
I won’t say that you saved me—I did that. What you did for me by showing me a different way, by holding up that mirror, by challenging my thoughts and methods, by showing me to go with the flow and allow the flow to take me toward happiness—I will forever be grateful.
It took me 37 years to realize that love is within myself, and you showed me that. Today I continue to cultivate a healthy relationship with myself and witness ours flourish before my eyes. Thank you for being the person brave enough to hold space for me. Thank you for being the one to show me I am deserving of love. Thank you for not giving up on me.
I love you, and I love me.