You've heard the advice that "you need to love yourself before you can love someone else."
I think that's great advice. I really do.
If you don’t love, respect and understand yourself how can you expect someone else to offer you those thing? The love, respect and understanding you have for yourself sets the example for your partner.
But there's a balance to self love that sometimes we neglect to realize.
Healing after a relationship ends isn’t just about learning to love yourself again. It's about learning to let someone else love you.
One more time...
Healing after a relationship ends isn’t just about learning to love yourself again.
It's about learning to let someone else love you. If you only take the advice that says you have to love yourself before loving someone else… you're only focusing on half the equation.
It makes sense why we do this. We don’t embrace that second half of the equation because we’re STILL learning to love ourselves and we’re still healing.
But the result is we put in place boundaries that make it impossible to let someone in. We create standards that are impossible to meet.
We put up walls that literally prevent us from truly loving ourselves.
I think someone else can play an enormous role in helping us love ourselves again. That's different from most advice. Most advice says self love is about you and you.
But I've learned that self love is also about learning to let someone in because it shows you what self love really is.
Here's what I mean...
Love is about zooming out. Love is about seeing the entire person - that’s an entire person who consists of little pieces. Love is unconditional for the whole person regardless of which pieces still need work.
Sometimes it takes another person to remind us of this fact - to love the entirety of ourselves. When you let someone in and that person loves you unconditionally you realize something important.
You'll say: that person sees all of me. They see the things I’m not proud of, the things I struggle with, the things I need to change and grow… and yet they still love me unconditionally. They love the whole of me.
That experience might be just what you need to love YOURSELF again… fully.
Through their example you see what's possible. You see that someone else can love you - all the pieces, all the imperfections... all of it. That can inspire you to love yourself in the same way.
Someone else can play an important role in YOUR self love journey. It’s still about YOUR growth. It's still about YOU. But self love isn’t just about loving yourself... it’s about letting someone else in to love you.
That is the ultimate exclamation mark on your self love.
Don't rush. Don't look to someone else to complete you. But realize that self love is equal parts loving yourself AND letting someone love you.
Let someone in because THAT might be just what you need to learn to love yourself fully.