Learning to love is something that is taught to us as children. We begin to learn what love means and looks like to those around us, our family and friends. As we begin to get older, we begin to branch out and socialize more with a greater number of people, forming attachments and getting to know them and what love means to them in its many forms. It is safe to say that love looks a little different to many different people, but a healthy love leaves you with the same beautiful feeling that you were taught about in childhood.
But, what happens when we encounter a love that isn’t healthy? When we find ourselves in the middle of a “love” relationship when it doesn’t feel like love anymore, it feels like thinly veiled hatred and manipulation? At first you may not even realize the difference because of those beautiful little rose colored glasses we all wear at first. And then, things start to go off the rails. We are left feeling like we are in an emotional desert, wondering how we got there, why we didn’t run as far and as fast as we could, and how we could ever escape from this desert and, maybe one day, find our own loving oasis to refresh and revive our burned hearts.
Escaping a bad, toxic relationship can be hard. It can take some of us years to realize what is going on, and it may still even take us a few more years to really decide that we are going to leave. In the end, we begin to realize it is time to rescue ourselves. We realize it is time to start over, and the journey of forging a better life for ourselves from scratch is a healthier prospect than trying to reuse scorched ashes from that bridge to hell you burned. Learning to love again in a healthy way requires us to destroy the negative and unhealthy lessons we had been ingrained with from our past life, and begin again, relearning the innocence of lessons we learned in our youth while remembering the much harder lessons of an unhealthy adult relationship. And with this new approach to learning to love again, we begin to step forward and away from the negativity that once kept us buried in sadness, pain and hurt.
Relearning to love can be a long road to travel. And it is important to be patient with yourself. It took you years to reach a point in your life where you understood love as a happy, healthy, joyous feeling that didn’t leave you drained, but left you feeling fulfilled. It will take some time to deconstruct all of the bad associations you have with love and relationships and come to feel happy again about the prospect of love and relationships in general.
Rebuilding a healthy self-love can also help with this journey. In a negative, toxic relationship, you are not only left with painful emotions associated with that relationship and love, but you are also left with scars on your self-respect and your self-care as well. Both self-respect and self-care are just 2 of the parts that help support a healthy self-love. But, after a traumatic and toxic relationship, you may be left wondering why you were treated in that negative and hurtful way, you may have done everything you could at first to please and smooth over any issues, regardless of how painful they were to you. And, in so doing, you gave your own self-care, mental health, emotional health, and self-respect less time and attention. You put yourself on the back burner and placed your unhappy partner first, hoping that they would see how they were treating you and what they were doing to you, praying that they would just stop the madness and move on with you into a normal relationship. But, the more you gave, the more they took. And eventually, you didn’t have any more of yourself to give. You had given everything and it still wasn’t enough. You could never understand why. And from that point, your self-respect, your self-care and your self-love had been broken and in serious need of repair.
In an unhealthy relationship, your sense of self is greatly diminished. In the end you may not even know who you are anymore. Your view of yourself has been warped so drastically that you wonder if you can ever recover. But let me assure you, you most certainly can. It may be a long, hard road to walk down, but once your reach your happier, healthier destination, you will be thankful for the trials and lessons you learned along the way.
Learning to love again in a healthy way requires us to also learn to love ourselves again. When we are happy, healthy and fulfilled emotionally we are also happy, healthy and fulfilled mentally and spiritually. When we are happy, healthy and fulfilled, we have a full cup to pour from, so to speak. We can give because we have love, happiness, and joy to give from. We are not borrowing a momentary happiness from someone else to pass along. We are taking the time and effort to relearn and rebuild our own joy, our own happiness and our own peace. And with that, we are more readily available to be in a healthy relationship where there is an equal partnership, a healthy give and take that doesn’t leave you drained, confused or in pain.
Remember, all of my amazing readers, that you are all worthy of love, care and peace. And, you have the ability to rebuild your self-love, your healthy self-care routine, and your inner peace. Don’t ever let anyone take that away from you.
Thank you to all of my wonderful readers and subscribers!! You are all amazing and I wouldn’t be growing without each and every one of you daily!! I hope you all enjoyed the read today!
God bless, everyone! And take care of yourselves!!