Step 1: Why are you settling for crumbs, when you could have cake?
Recently, I was talking to a friend about how I poured love into someone that didn’t even care about me in return, but I was just happy being next to them. So, I asked out loud, “Why was I so content settling for crumbs of his attention when I deserved cake?”. I had already been dating myself for a while, getting to know my own likes and dislikes, along with why I thought that way. So, I sat in meditation for a while with that question and the only answer I could come up with from within myself was that I accepted the love I felt I deserved.
As I struggled with that, I felt I deserved crumbs, but I was giving someone else a 7-teir elaborate cake every single day. I was consumed with thoughts of what they liked, wanted, making their dreams come true, being there for them, and being near them. That I lost myself, in fact, I was so consumed with them that I had never even stopped to think about what I liked, what I wanted, what my dreams were, being the person I needed, and being content with my own company. After being struck by how much I didn’t know about my own inner world or the depth that I had in myself, I decided to focus on my own self-development. I took everything I had given him and put it into learning about myself. All the effort and time I poured into him, I poured into myself.
Yes, at first, I felt very selfish. What if he needed me? What if he magically, suddenly came to his senses and fell hopelessly, deeply in love with me, like I was with him? I had to decided if I was happy with not recognizing my own potential through my experience and how I wanted to change the world. Because I realized after getting to know myself on a deeper level, that I have the power to make a difference in many lives. I was limiting myself greatly to giving only him my best self.
So the first step is to imagine that your person of affection is not in the picture. Imagine that you have moved far away, and changed your number. Imagine there is nothing connecting the two of you anymore. What do you want to do? How are you going to do it? I suggest starting a journal and writing all of these thoughts out.
Journals are a very cathartic process. One for having something tangible to look back on and see your grow. And second, for you to actually read your thoughts. You can even read them out loud if that helps. You can pretend to have a conversation with yourself. Imagine you sitting across from yourself while you right. Interview yourself. Listen to your answers. When you realize that in the deepest part of you, that there is more to you than accepting crumbs, then let’s grow together more.
Step 2: What are your best qualities?
When I first started on this journey, my self-confidence and self-acceptance was very low. I couldn’t think of maybe three things I liked about myself. The person of my affection, I could talk for days about things I loved about them, but myself, I had neglected. So, I sat down and started writing a list of 10 things I liked about ME. It was very hard. It took a few weeks, but as I started turning the love I gave away inward, I found that I had so much depth that I had never even explored. At first, I wrote things like I really like my blue eyes. But after I started getting to know myself, I wrote things like, I really like that even on bad days I can see something positive, even if it takes a little while for me to see it. As I continued on learning about myself, I wrote that I really liked that in most cases, I had the ability to see both sides of a dilemma or issue. So, instead of writing things like I loved my smile or eyes, I wrote things about my character, the things that make me me. The things that influenced my own worldview. So, if you can only think of three things (eyes, smile, ability to love deeply), those are important attributes that make you who you are, but pledge to finish the list and get to know yourself better. In step 3, I will post somethings to ask yourself to help you write your own list. So, let’s grow together!