Love Yo’self

It’s been well over two years since I last posted anything here…and that post was written while the reality I was living in was Borderline Personality Disorder. That’s who I felt I was, and in my mind that’s how I felt people saw me. I was in extensive counselling, prescribed to over a half dozen different medications, and trying to disarm a headspace loaded with suicide attempts and self-harm…I really was living in darkness.

I find it actually pretty cool that my last post was about who I was in the eyes of my children…how they looked past all the struggle and saw me as my core being. A loving father…a hero. They have and will always be one of my main focuses as I strive to better myself. But a lot has changed since that last post. My 9 year old daughter is now 12 and more beautiful than ever, inside and out. My 5 year old son is 7 and is hilarious and the most adorable little gentleman with an absolute heart of gold. I separated 10 months after, and divorced the following year. I’m continuing counselling every couple weeks for maintenance, I’m 2 years free of self-harm, 18 months medication free, and all things considered extremely healthy and happy. Life is good. But things didn’t just “get better”. It’s been a whole lot of work, dedication and sacrifice to improve my life and my self-health. I’ve diligently worked my ass off to get to where I am today, and I’m unbelievably proud…it has not been easy, but it has definitely been worth it.

I planned on picking up with where my journey has taken me to get here, to where I am today, but every time I sit down to write I keep being drawn back to the same topic…so I guess that’s where I’ll begin. It’s been a long time. I know it’s going to be choppy and rough. Be patient with me…open your mind to hear what my heart has to say…I truly believe it is meant to be heard.

Love…I know, I know…who is this 36 year old divorced father and recovering self-hater, and what makes him think he’s got any authority to write about, of all things, “love”. Truth is I have zero authority or expertise on love. I’ve made a jumbled mess of it many times over. But I can tell you this in 100% honest sincerity. If I had the knowledge and understanding of these simple truths on love years ago…even months ago…I could have avoided a whole lot of hurt and confusion in my life. I want to reiterate that these are simply views that I’ve chosen to apply to my life, but I believe in them whole-heartedly. You may not hold the same viewpoint, but I guess I ask you to respectfully hear me out.

Truth #1 – You do not NEED anyone. Society, media, and entertainment have engrained us to believe that we are nothing on our own…that we need someone to COMPLETE us. People quite literally spend the course of their lives searching for “that someone” that will magically bring unified completion to their life, and they completely ignore and overlook the absolute most important person in the world. THEMSELVES. Self-health and self-love have become everyday concepts to live by in my life. Priority number one has to be my own self…this is a non-negotiable. Otherwise my world begins to unravel. I cannot be effective as a parent…as a partner…or even as a friend if I’m out of balance and reeling on the inside. Please, do not hear what I’m NOT saying though. I am NOT opposed to relationships…not even remotely. But if you’re searching for someone to COMPLETE you, you’re more than likely travelling a rough road full of confusion and hurt to get there…most likely ending in a painful dead end. Instead search for someone to COMPLIMENT you. If the partner you are with does not naturally make you want to strive to be a better man (or woman) then I strongly suggest you take a long look at what it is you’re giving into and taking away from the relationship, and how it’s effecting you personally at your core. Is it nurturing your self-health, or is it detrimental towards your personal growth.

Truth #2 – Love knows no bounds and will be stifled if restrained. This is the most recent and definitely most “eye-opening” I’ve been working through…love has no bounds. It is by nature a raw, authentically wild and untamed emotion that needs to free in order to express the desires of the heart. We tend to choose to put rules and regulations on love. You date for X amount of time then become exclusive…after Y amount of time you move in together…get married…and so on. But WHY? Really, what is this actually doing to us? I’ll give you my opinion on exactly what what putting love in a structured and regulated box does to us. The moment your relationship goes slightly off course with what “expectations” are, you begin to question everything. Something must surely be wrong with us because A + B doesn’t add up to = C!! This leads to fear and doubt, questioning which hinders and breaks down trust, and potentially and eventually panic, blame, and pushing away. And why? All because we buy into this social concept of how love is supposed to work, like it’s a concrete emotion that’s the same for everyone.

Again, I’m not against living together. I’m not opposed to marriage. I think these are both wonderful stages of shared life. But what I’m learning, and where I stand, is that you simply have to have a genuine heart felt answer to one simple question. Why? Why do you want to take your relationship in this direction? If you have an answer to this question that is sincere, where you’re acting out of genuine heart felt desire and not being formality or expectation driven…then awesome!! By all means, have at’er. But if the words “I just feel it’s time…” even cross your mind, pump the brakes and start turning the focus back on yourself and listening to the voice of your own heart. Passionate love is easily the most amazing energy I’ve ever felt…but it cannot be forced and in no way can it be planned out. It’s there or it’s not. It happens or it doesn’t. But it’s all hingent on you. On your heart. On your self health. And the best way to squash it is to force it.

Personal growth is ongoing and crucial. It is something that I make conscious efforts to work on every day. And in growing I’ve come to realize that despite what my fears and insecurities try to lead me to believe, I really don’t “NEED” anybody outside of myself. No one can complete me because I am my own complete person. But when you love authentically and passionately it’s not a matter of “need” but rather “want”…and trust me, there’s nothing you WANT more. But if you want it to last, it has to start with you.

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