The Best Most Heartbreaking Thing I Have Ever Been Told

“I love you. Please. Please don’t let me go. I love you.”

I was sobbing. I was pleading, I screaming. I couldn’t believe he was breaking up with me. Weren’t we happy? We were just laughing a few days ago. I know we had a fight yesterday, but I thought we were fine. I kissed him before I got out of the car yesterday. We were fine. Weren’t we?

“I love you. Please. Please don’t let me go. I love you.”

Then he said to me, “I know. I know you do. But your love makes me miserable.”

Your love makes me miserable.

This was the most heartbreaking thing I had ever been told. When you love someone, you want them to be happy. You do things to make them happy, you want so badly to be the reason they smile.  So to know that the very thing that drives your actions is the cause of their unhappiness, it was flooring. It was devastating. It was earth shattering. But he was right. I loved him, but I didn’t know how to love properly. I loved fully and with abandon but it was in intervals and it was difficult,  for I was already giving from a deficit. I was like a video game character that had a finite amount of energy, and needed time to recharge after a few minutes.

Your love makes me miserable.

It tore me apart when he said it, but it needed to be said. It was exactly what I needed to hear to trigger a much needed year long introspection to understand the woman that I was and wanted to become. I knew for sure that it wasn’t going to be one that makes others miserable with her love. and that had to start with the love for myself. I was the person I made the most miserable, that I mistreated the most. The change was going to start with me.

I’ve always been lucky though. The men in my life did everything they could to love me, they loved me the best way they knew how. They even tried to love me out of my self loathing. But that’s not how it works. The most love can do is only to create and nurture the space, but you have to do your own healing. Someone else’s love will not fix you.  I know now that it was exhausting to love me. I was both an empty well and a holed basket. I couldn’t give enough love and love given to me just passed right through because I didn’t feel I deserved any kindness. Many of my problems could have been solved by a strong dose of self compassion. But I had mastered the art of staying ready. Ready to leave. I knew how to love from a distance. Because I always knew how to let them go. I felt it was only a matter of time before he find out that I am a fraud, then he would pack up and leave.

So I lived with an emotional suitcase packed just in case. Just in case they want to go, I’ll be ready. And if they didn’t leave soon enough, I’d let go before I was left. It just couldn’t be true for me, that I was indeed worthy of the abundant love I was given. Not me, not unpretty me, not worthless me, not underserving me (why did I ever think such awful things of myself?).   We would argue, and I’d tell them “I know it’s only a matter of time before you leave.” We’d be cuddling on the couch watching a movie, They’d make long term plans with me and I’d smile with skepticism, they’d tell me that I am so beautiful and kindhearted, and I’d say “I know it’s only a matter of time before you leave”. I think back at those relationships now, and I realize how cruel it was for me to say such a hurtful thing. So much of their energy was spent on convincing they weren’t going to leave, that they did indeed find me attractive, that it is me they had chosen on purpose, that I was enough as I was, nothing more, nothing less. But I didn’t believe any of it.  How maddening it must have felt, to love someone who always had the door cracked open waiting for you to leave, if not nudging you out not so subtly? I would apologize to them now but I doubt it would do them any good. They have their own journeys to work on.  Bless the men that I have scorned.

There are certainly plenty other factors that indicate that none of them were the right man for me, but I can only speak for my share of the blame. After all, I was almost always the one leaving first. I had to eventually stop running. I didn’t have to run if I knew how to love myself so I could know how to give and accept love. Loving me was exhausting. Loving them was exhausting. It’s too much energy when you have to produce love from nothing, to give what you don’t have. Note please,  isn’t a pity party but a necessary truth that I must take care to never forget. So I’ve spent quite some time rebuilding a compassionate relationship with myself. Apologizing to myself for all the self-abuse, learning to heal myself with yoga, writing love letters to myself, nursing all the self inflicted wounds, finding a way to uncover the extraordinary that lies within me, that has always been there. My body has been begging me forever. What took me so long? I should have known earlier that this didn’t have to be my story. But that’s ok. It made for a good, cathartic blog post right?  This time around, I know that my self love is a necessity, it is a matter of survival for both me and the future man in my life. I am learning how to love well, how to love sustainably, how to love consistently, how to love healthily, how to love reliably.

I implore you, to prioritize rebuilding a compassionate relationship with yourself, with your body. Not because it will suddenly send a flock of candidates who want to be with you, but because you are your first, last, best and most important love story.

Self-compassion teaches you how to love so can teach others how to love you. It teaches you how to recognize and accept love when it comes your way, and how to walk away when abuse is disguised as love.

Compassion teaches you the art of love.  How to be an oasis, how to be a safe haven, how to be a hiding place, how to be a healing place; for you first, then someone else. It is is a service to the world. So you can stop making it so difficult to love you. So you can stop making others unhappy even though you love them.

“Your love makes me miserable.”   it was flooring. It was devastating. It was earth shattering. But in retrospect, it is the absolute best thing I have ever been told.

Do you love you?

Do you love you1

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