I think it doesn’t matter what sort of background you grow up in whether your parents are liberal or like mine dead traditional – we’re all conditioned to believe that we are never completely and utterly complete unless we have the ‘perfect’ partner, perfect for us because we are not perfect ourselves because our parents, care-givers, teachers and other significant others would remind us, tell us how just not good enough we were.  

If you, like me, were told that over and over and OVER again you really start to believe it, but it’s NOT true.

You are worth everything and more. Feeling as if we’re unworthy is built on not actually loving ourselves enough.  When we love ourselves enough, we’re able to be true to ourselves and know our true worth.  We wouldn’t simply sit back and put up with things or situations in life which are making us deeply unhappy, we wouldn’t feel that our happiness depended on another person or people. True happiness comes from within, the brightness and joy it brings shines outwards, life picks up on these positive vibes and starts attracting the happiness you deserve. 

Loving yourself is the first step in, I believe, a truly grounded relationship with life and with another person. And one that isn’t fraught with dramas.    


I know about dramas as I’ve had a few in my time.  In terms of intimate relationships, I found that my life’s perceived purpose was to find Mr Right. And if you’ve been there, well, it’s a life of continuously searching for the ‘perfect’ match that won’t necessarily make us eternally happy (because at the end of the day that’s up to us), but doesn’t matter, least you’re in a relationship and not alone. Surely that’s worth it. Not!

A relationship is never a ‘failed’ one

After much deliberation and confusion along the relationship path, I realised that we need to love ourselves for who we are in order to be able to be in a safe, loving and equal relationship with another person.  Finding the person who actually loves and accepts you for WHO YOU ARE because you ACCEPT and LOVE YOURSELF FOR WHO YOU ARE.

It took me 42 years to realise that whatever we perceive a perfect relationship to be doesn’t always turn out to be the way we think it should be.  It also doesn’t imply that a perfect relationship is one in which two people stay together forever and ever.  I believe you have a few ‘perfect’ relationships in our lives but as we’re too busy dissing, being pissed and angry when it’s over we actually miss the chance to look at a failed relationship and say, “Thank-you, for sharing this part of my life’s journey with me,” and looking at the end of the relationship as a lesson.  If you stop for a moment and reflect, I bet you’ll have taken something or many positive things out of a failed relationship be it an intimate relationship, friendship or working relationship.

We don’t see it though, as we get so caught up in the pain and anger it’s caused. We quite easily forget all the good things that we had together – bringing even more baggage of negativity to add to the baggage we’re already hurling around.  Which ends up bubbling under the surface into the next relationship we go into.

Even the small things you experienced or shared, which on the surface may appear insignificant, provide well enough reasons to be grateful, because you’ve learnt and gained something, learning a lesson about your Self in the process.

For example, one boyfriend actually got me into running.  Before him I always thought I couldn’t run very far and wasn’t a runner – whatever being a runner implied.  While we were together I started running with him.  Admittedly, the reason I started running was  to please him. It got to the point where I’d be pushing myself to run with him 14km in the snow to please him and ‘make’ him love me even more.  The relationship ended. The running remained.  Running was and is my form of meditation – I run to clear my head, to get in touch with nature and with my higher self. I thank him for that, and I’ll be forever grateful that even though my initial intentions to run were based on making him happy it nevertheless made me happy in the long run (excuse the pun!) because I found a way to connect with my Self.

Soulmate illusion

Ultimately, unless you really, really and I mean REALLY love yourself then whatever you attract into your life is going to reflect all your hidden insecurities.  Issues that you thought you have gotten over. It’s the common misperception we have when we say I’ve met my ‘soul-mate’.  ‘Soul-mate’ translated means I’ve met someone who is just as confused, insecure, unstable, fearful, lacking in self-respect, values, belief as I am.  He or she is therefore my ‘soul-mate’ because I don’t expect anything different, it’s what I’m used to.

We also wrongly interpret the other person as being our soul-mate because we feel connected to the attraction of the negativity which we’ve been attracting all our lives.  We also attract a person who mirrors us.  That is not only do they bring out the very best of us but also the very worst of us – which coincidentally is the catalyst for the destruction of a loving relationship or in many cases the catalyst for abusive ones too.  Unfortunately, many people stay in abusive relationships because their partner is reflecting the insecurities within and just confirming (wrongly I might add) that we’re not worth more than that as we don’t deserve anything better. We do.

It’s these deep ‘soul-mate’ relationships that not only bring out the best of us but also the worst. Traits we thought we had long buried along with the last relationship. Being jealous and controlling for instance because you’ve attracted a good-looking person (as you always do), which on the surface is great. Along with that comes the distrust, you don’t trust him because well do you really trust yourself?

Trust issues

If I had to answer the question for myself at one point in my life, then I’d say ‘no’.  Trust issues had always been my ‘issue’ – and trust me, I let people know that I had ‘trust issues’.  Growing up being told not to trust anybody not even yourself doesn’t help.  I grew up not trusting anybody and for a long time viewing a person as always have an ulterior motive as that is what I was led to believe. Imagining going through life thinking that everybody had an ulterior motive.  I even went into relationship stating that ‘I have trust issues’ – what a great way to begin a relationship.

Trust issues in any relationship spells disaster, life itself is built on trust.  If you can’t trust yourself then how are you possibly even going to begin to trust another person and even life itself.  Trust issues – boy oh boy, a pure recipe for disaster because that’s when things can get really out of hand.

Unless we really take the time to look at the baggage we’ve been carrying with us all our lives and sort it out we just carrying it with us wherever we go.  Escaping to the other side of the world doesn’t solve that problem; trust me I did that one too – your personal baggage always comes with you, and so I learnt. If we don’t let go of whatever it is hindering our ability to love ourselves only means we are destined to get more of what we don’t want in life in our relationships with life and the people in it.

Today think about a failed relationship (any relationship!)  and think of all the good things that came out of it. Make a list of these things and then say ‘thank-you’ for what it brought you. It got you here and that’s a blessing.

Image courtesy of  Thought Catalog /Unsplash



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