My love has always been tainted with guilt, shame and low self esteem. I've heard for ever that in order to love others, I first need to love and accept myself. I almost seems like a cliche.
We live in a shame-based society. I was compared to better grade students @ school. At home my brother was a better son than I was a daughter, and my mom was not shy to frequently repeat this to me. That was her perception, but I believed it. Advertisements were constantly telling me I should be this tall, that skinny, this type of hair, and so forth. Too much stress. How can I meet up to all these illusory standards?
I didn't grow thinking I was ok just as I was. My parents didn't feel that way about themselves either, so they had no way to provide me with acceptance and unconditional love. I learned I was defected and that love had to be earned. That was the message.
This is what I brought to my relationships throughout my life. I was ashamed of who I was, so I created a false self. I tried so hard to be the best I could be.
Of course I've had intimacy issues for fear of revealing my true self, which I believed was insufficient.
There's a good side to this story. Actually, it's all good, because it's all served as a growth process.
Along the way, I've met some wonderful people. I have really good friends that have mirrored back to me love and acceptance. I've developed a deep love relationship with God as my Creator based on trust and surrender through my spiritual studies. Today I belong to a caring and open journaling community where I can share my feelings freely without fear of condemnation. I interact with other like minded people.
I've also taken up a coach training program called You University. It's a coach training program but also a self-development program. The tools in this program have really turned my life around....my inner life. This change is affecting my outer life too. I am finally learning self love and self acceptance.