By Melanie Walker
“The capacity to be alone is the capacity to love. It may look paradoxical to you, but it's not. It is an existential truth: only those people who are capable of being alone are capable of love, of sharing, of going into the deepest core of another person--without possessing the other, without becoming dependent on the other, without reducing the other to a thing, and without becoming addicted to the other. They allow the other absolute freedom, because they know that if the other leaves, they will be as happy as they are now. Their happiness cannot be taken by the other, because it is not given by the other.” --Osho
If I can leave you with one thing at the end of March—the month of learning to love yourself, to know yourself, and to love your scars—it’s that you cannot give all of yourself to another person until you know all that you have to give another person. And I promise you, that a lot. This affects everything about your relationships and influences it more than you realize.
As the youngest of five children and from a Christian family where love and long-term marriages are everything, I’ve learned a lot about marriage and relationships from observation, conversation, and experience, and I can tell you that the healthiest relationships I’ve seen have these qualities:
Two independent beings joined together by love
Couples and friends that self-love are separate, individual people that don’t need to rely on another person as their sole staple of comfort. They have their own hobbies, interests, and know what they need to live a happy and fulfilling life. They willingly give a piece of their soul to another person to love because they know that they are deserving of having someone to love, be loved by, and share burdens with. These people are together because they choose to be, not because they need to be.
Because these people already know themselves as individuals, they know how to express themselves and communicate effectively. They know how to articulate exactly what they need from their companion to help them be happy and successful. People that love themselves are more confident and can maturely communicate instead of shutting down or having unrealistic expectations of their companion’s mind-reading capabilities (trust me on this one girlfriends, if you’re waiting your man to pick up on that extra two blinks you gave him that indicate that you’re annoyed with that one thing he did, you’re going to be waiting a loooong time).
Words of affirmation
People that practice self-love don’t put others down because they speak to others the way that they would like to be spoken to. They don’t tolerate others that bully, put-down, or emotionally abuse. In their companionships or friendships, they express their love without withholding anything and rejoice with others in their successes. They love others unconditionally, but also know when to end a relationship if it becomes toxic or detrimental to their happiness. Self-lovers have the confidence to give loving words, compliments, and affirmation, as well as the confidence to receive.
You are worth it. You are deserving of love and are capable of loving yourself and others more than you could possibly imagine. Get to know yourself. Learn to love. Just as Vincent Van Gogh said, “What is done in love is done well.”
(Image via stock.snap.io)