Let me tell you that before I give myself to you, I need to give myself to myself, to know all my corners and to enter the quietest areas of my soul. I want to know each of my secrets, find out what makes me feel good and what hurts me, and dig into the reasons for these feelings. I am among those who think that before an “I love you”, you have to know how to say to yourself “I love myself” in order to be fair with the other.
I need to know what my wounds are and what is the sticking point that is causing them to bleed again. Knowing my strengths and knowing what defines me, what is my imprint, my strong point … and then, when the situation calls for it, to offer you a smile. I prefer to love myself above all so that I can love you well and healthily. And if you still have doubts, don’t worry, once you finish this letter you will know what I mean.
When I didn’t know how to love myself
I started to realize the importance of loving yourself when I forgot to do so. At the worst moment I was in and dedicated myself to begging love from others to feel good.
My false well-being depended on the approval of others and their morale. If they decided to value me and offered me a compliment, I thought I was happy. Conversely, when they criticized me and devalued me, I considered myself to be zero. Without knowing it, I offered the keys to my well-being to all, forgetting myself.
I got so far that I ended up becoming what others wanted for me and therefore a complete stranger to myself. I didn’t even know what I liked, where I wanted to go and what my dreams were because others decided it for me. I denied myself the opportunity to know myself, I didn’t even know it was possible.
And one fine day, I exploded. Alone, but I exploded. At first, I didn’t know what was happening to me, I only felt uncomfortable and I cried. But over time, I realized that it was a cry for help to myself. From that moment on, I began to realize that I could not continue to be someone “halfway” and at the expense of others. I got tired of being who I wasn’t to make the rest feel good, and slowly began to discover myself. I started to love myself.
I love myself this way, imperfect but genuine
I suddenly realized that I could be more independent than I imagined, that my opinion was also valid and my eyes were pretty. I loved realizing that I knew how to act without others giving me their approval (although of course that was difficult to achieve).
I liked myself, I wondered “How are you?” and if the day had gone well. I even challenged myself to bring out the sun. I no longer needed others to tell me what I was worth because I, independently, was able to know it. If someone sent me a review or didn’t know how to do something, I wasn’t doubting myself.
I have learned to love my flaws, to modify them and to value my successes and my abilities. Thanks to that, I let go of the obsessive thought of being perfect in order to please everyone. Now I love my imperfections because if I didn’t love them it would be like amputating part of me.
I love myself so that I can be authentic to you and not pretend who I am not.
I love myself to keep you from rejecting me
You will surely wonder what is the connection between loving me and loving you, but it is necessary that you know it to understand how our relationship could have turned out if I had not valued myself. -same.
If I didn’t love myself, I would make you remember me all the time and satiate my doubts about your love and my lack of confidence. You would be responsible for how I feel or at least that’s how I would perceive it, and you would act accordingly. You should save me whenever my insecurities arise and challenge my courage.
It would not be a healthy love, but rather a relationship that aims to heal my wounds. I am not saying when I feel bad, you must not bring me your warmth or your arms for refuge, but that you are not responsible for me. You don’t have to remind me of my good memories and tell me how much I’m worth to make me feel good. This is my task.
I refuse that you pay for the ghosts of my past. That’s why I need time to love myself, to identify my fears and vulnerabilities and not drag them into our relationship. Because you don’t have to save me from my voids, you are not my savior.
I love myself to give you the best of me and not to make you responsible for my ill-being. I love myself because my goal is to grow with you.
What I love is to share my path with you from trust and understanding to build a love away from need and continue to grow. This is why, before loving you, I love myself. Because I don’t want to get lost in the relationship, but to lose myself in you.
Provided by Clare Elsaesser