I Only Learned to Love Myself while Loving Someone Else

I Only Learned to Love Myself while Loving Someone Else

Love is a feeling that is not bound to one description or emotion. It is a mixture of flames and waves that burn and drown us at the same time, yet it is what our hearts yearn and find solace in. 

People define love in various ways; it is complicated, it is what brings you joy in the simplest moments in life, love is a deep rabbit hole that holds you in its place, love feels good but also feels hurt, love is… love.

It is a common discussion among many about when you should find love or when you should love someone and most of these end up in debates that concerns one’s age, maturity level, and relationship experience, but one argument that comes into mind is the measurement of your self-love vs. the love you are willing to give to someone.

It has been an ongoing occurrence of others believing that one must love oneself before loving another and while it is a simple matter that can be agreed upon by the majority, it is not likely the case for the rest. 

Self-love is not as easy as how the world portrays it to be. We often find no complication in loving others because we see endearing aspects in them that we don’t see in ourselves. Aside from that, there are attributes that we possess that are difficult for us to accept yet we embrace people who bear the same qualities as us. Here are lines from Jasmines In Her Hair by Kalpesh Desai that resonate deeply with this sentiment: 

“I wonder, Do you dream, too, of how 

You are the storm to my quiet?” 

Our minds brace such strong storms that crash through our thoughts while we await for a peaceful rest in the night. But with the presence of the person we love by our side and as a visitor of our dreams, they calm the waves that flood our heads with turmoil. And that is what love is to me.

We find solace in our beloved partner, whether it is their physical appearance, their beautiful heart and soul, or the hands that bring warmth to the emptiness we feel about ourselves; it allures us deep into love and enables us to emit an emotion we have yet to show ourselves. 

The comfort we feel around them, their touch that keeps us serene in slumber, is what love is. A love that we always crave and hold onto for eternity, afraid of the time it may wither.

“I know I didn’t say this to you before,

But is it ok if I love you a little less,

And love me a little bit more.”

Loving someone is indeed much easier than loving oneself. But love can easily consume us. It can be such a pleasurable feeling to perceive and give that we don’t notice how it drains the parts of ourselves that should remain ours. 

Positive connotations are always linked with the word ‘love’ but is it always such a good thing? Love becomes grim when it costs you yourself in exchange for loving another.

And when we are only left with a void unfilled due to the sacrifices we had to make for love, it is when the difficult part comes to choosing ourselves over the person we love.

“It was time

To let go”

“I had loved me less 

To love you more”

There will be a time where we come to realize how emptied our beings are from pouring all of our love to others and while accepting the reality that we loved others for the sake of deserting ourselves may be a heavy decision, it will pass.

Learning how this affects our lives, we opt to let go of the person that we claim owns our hearts. To let go of someone that we have loved deeply is devastating but in order to keep the scars from deepening, you must relinquish what causes it; for you to heal.

“I’ve built, I’ve broken,

Buried deep, grief unspoken

I’ve loved and lost,

Burnt the bridges that I’ve crossed.

And I’ve grown, and I’ve changed,

Learnt to love those estranged.”

Healing processes are different for everyone. Some move on with ease while others remain in the same path in hopes of lessening the pain that’s been hurting for a long time. 

However, when the time comes that we are ready to move forward in our lives, in forgiveness and acceptance of the scars from our past, we learn from it and closure is formed between us and the people we had to let go.

To be able to progress in life after painful situations about love has got to be the most rewarding thing ever. We love, we hurt, we let go, and we heal. But that doesn’t stop there.

Undergoing such a process is a life lesson that we will always remember. An experience like this opens doors in our perspective in love and life and we have come to realize our worth as a person. And when we do, our love towards ourselves blooms into a garden that awaits to welcome another to love.

Love is not just limited to one person, one we can call our first love or greatest love. It is an intense feeling that extends through the people that have come and go in our lives, whether it is family, friends, or pets. 

But one thing’s for sure, despite the cost of love that has wounded me in several ways, I am grateful for being able to experience such feeling for it is the reason why I have learned to love myself.


Written By Althea Jaira Forteza

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