Greatest Love of All

Do you love yourself? If you can sincerely reply yes to this question then kudos to you. I am sitting here trying to read a recent Essence article titled “Falling In Love With Me”. Sounds interesting right. So why am I being so rebellious and adamant about not reading it. The writer is single and loving it tired of looking for love beyond herself. When you love yourself then you will truly know how to love.

I guess it is time for a confession or two or three. First, I don’t love myself and I never have. Two, I purposely date unworthy men to take the focus off myself. If I can love them then maybe they can love me the way I should love myself. Three, I don’t truly understand what it means to love me.

The other day I heard “Greatest Love of All” on Pandora. I broke down just as I did years ago when my mother was rehearsing it for her nursing school graduation. I broke down for the same reasons I did back then because the greatest love of all is void in me. I detest when loved ones say “Neisha, you don’t love yourself.” I quickly retort back “what do you mean I don’t love myself?” I keep myself nice so I do care for me.

Yet I allow men to distract me from focusing on myself. I am adamant about the fact that love for myself takes a back burner to loving someone else. I can love you unconditionally flaws and all. But really I am afraid if you really knew me you couldn’t love me at all. How could I ask you when I cannot do the same?

I hate myself. I hate being alone. I hate focusing on me. I hate anything that pertains to me, myself, and I. Sure I love the song but in the end I have my daughter not me, myself, and I. I can barely look in the mirror at the image that is me. It is more than the exterior presence it is the overwhelming neglect of the interior. I allowed myself to be used and abused just for the sake of saying I am connected to someone. The truth is I am just not ready to love me.

It is so much work. Who am I? What makes me so interesting and lovable by me? I might just rip this damn article up. The title is too much to bear. I have a major headache contemplating reading it. Why do I have to love me? Why can’t I just pour my love into my child and maybe even a man? Why must it go to me?

Men are a natural affinity for me. Although, deep down I know no man is capable of loving me flaws and all because that is something I refuse to do for myself. I want so badly to be loved but I refuse to over it to myself. I would rather lose myself in someone else. How can I be the best when I don’t know how to take care of my best asset, ME?

What more incentive do I need to love me? Hello I am a mother who should lead by example. I pour all my love into my child which leads to little to none for me. I am very calculated I tell her she is beautiful often and praise her just as much. But do I extend that same courtesy to me? Nope!

I figure I will work on it some other time. It can wait but in all honesty it cannot. This self-hatred has to stop. This desire for validation from the outside is ridiculous. Today I will set some personal goals for myself. I will set three goals and three actions steps to follow up.

1. Embrace my inner beauty

-Look in the mirror daily and say one positive thing about me.

2. Put myself first.

-Contemplate how to make a decision that benefits me first and foremost.

3. Truly take a dating hiatus.

-Refuse any new numbers and delete unnecessary contacts.

I will start with number on today despite the fact it is by far the most difficult. I can envelope you in compliments but I suffocate myself with negativity. I told someone certain things about me to push them away. I cannot love myself so I do not deserve to be loved.

God loves me so why can’t I love me. He loves me flaws and all. Why can’t I adopt the same philosophy? How can I truly honor Him and hate me?

I will stop here and pick up tomorrow prayer fully I will have read the article. But let’s not hold our breaths.

How can someone who hates them self learn to love them self? Share your thoughts below.


23 thoughts on “Greatest Love of All

  1. Hate to sound so “12 Steppy” but the best way to deal with a problem is toa admit you have one. You’ve done that. So on to the next thing…look into the mirror and tell yourself “I Love You” until you believe it! Enjoy the “me time” you have with yourself…minus the cell phone and any other distraction.

    That would be the next step at least I would think so!

  2. I truly understand how you feel. Being 23 and the experiences I have had so far has shaped who I am today. I’ve had my fair share of self-negativity. To the point of people running away from me. Yet I can say I am better today. It’s like the movie “The Wiz”, when Dorothy (Diana Ross) finally meets The Scarecrow (Michael Jackson) and how negative talk came to be of him. Intelligent, insightful and funny is what he was but because of those crows he started to believe the hype. But essentially in time with spending more time with yourself and getting to know YOU better all the love in the world will come to you. Most importantly the love that has been missing will soon surround you so much it will attract others to you. All this is apart of the journey.

    • I need to love me in order to truly love anyone else. I am more than a conqueror but first I must have faith and believe just as I do in Christ. I have no excuse not to love me. I love The Wiz analogy perfect and very fitting. I have loving attributes yet I shroud them in negativity. I am learning to embrace my flaws. I can admit what they are and work on them. Time to make a longer list and truly work on them and more importantly. I learned through a book “The Power of Focus” setting goal is nothing without actions steps. Time for me to show and prove as I ask of everyone else.

  3. I couldn’t agree with you more on loving yourself to be able to truly love someone else. As my brother would say women like us don’t give ourselves the credit we deserve at times. Once again that’s due to the negative thinking and experiences we have had thus far. Yet it doesn’t have to DEFINE who we are. I’m glad you loved the The Wiz analogy. That’s my favorite movie. Its a timeless lesson that we have to get out of our own way. Step out on faith even when we don’t know the answers to all the questions. Or most importantly, we assume we need this or that for whatever reason, when all along we had what we were looking for. That’s the beauty of finding your inner strength. I watch that any chance I get. To continue to be reminded of that. I believe you are doing the right thing. You will be fine.

  4. Wow! I am…speechless…

    I can’t even imagine how difficult it was for you to write this post. You just shared something with us that many of us probably can’t even fathom. I know I’ve had bouts where I didn’t think too highly of myself. It’s not a great feeling.

    The thing I am certain of is that God created you in His image and for a specific purpose. You know remember anything else…remember that! God loves you and you are more than capable of loving you. Believe that!

    I think you took a huge first step in developing those goals. Stick to those and before you know it your self image will begin to transform into something positive. Continue to pray and believe that you can overcome these feelings and the pain you’ve felt and endured. Know that you deserve better…from others…and from yourself!

    Stay Blessed & Beautiful!

    • Yeah it was a tough one. I had to fight tears to get through to stop and start. And I finally read the article it was good. I feel like writing this post showed me how raw and honest I had to be with myself. I lose myself in men all the time substitute loving them for loving me. I have been out of touch with my star player for a long time. I have allowed self esteem issues to cripple my existence. No more! I am on the path to learning and loving me. It feels good. Erased number from my phone book I don’t need a man I need God and I. Thanks again for reading my blog. I am glad it touched you. That was my goal to touch someone. Much love!

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  6. I can remember a time when I hated myself and did things with women (and men) to validate who I was and all that – and it doesn’t feel good, as you’ve discovered. How to love yourself; hmm, it’s about accepting that, yep, this is who and what I am. I have flaws, some of them are correctable and I gotta dedicate myself to fixing them because this isn’t about what someone else sees in me – it’s what I see and I have to live with myself first and foremost.

    I have the responsibility for another human life; what are the things I have to do, the things I have to change in myself, to handle this responsibility – but all the while, not neglecting the person I need to be? This is the greatest responsibility because you can’t take care of that life if you don’t know how to take care of yourself first.

    And it’s not easy to learn how to love yourself – but you can. You don’t need someone else to validate who you are and, you’re right – you can’t really love anyone else until you can love yourself and understand, in this, what love really means in this context. It’s not about being selfish – and people will see it that way; no, it’s about you telling yourself that I need to be better than this – and then doing whatever has to be done to fix this situation before going forward – and you must go forward. And, really, if someone else can’t deal with you loving yourself, that’s their problem, ain’t it? A lot of people here lately has said that dating is overrated even though, yeah, it’s a necessary evil because no one really wants to be alone, do they?

    But, if you don’t, then do it on your terms and not someone else’s – and that’s purely out of the love you have for yourself. Yes, we all have to make sacrifices along the way; this is a given and unavoidable at times. But if you love yourself – you’re following rule number one and taking care of you first – then you can face these times from a position of inner strength; might not make the situation any different but the impact can be lessened because you believe in yourself; to do anything other than this makes no sense, does it?

    Thank you for sharing this.

  7. I love the honesty of this blog post, because I deal with the same things often. I don’t feel completely confident being myself and for me personally, I feel that I am not good enough to be loved.

    I guess it’s just a bad self esteem thing I got from high school when no one asked me out or remotely flirted with me. All the guys just wanted to date the same type of girl.

    It’s good that you’re being so honest with yourself here. I really do feel your steps and a post like this can help others bump up their self-esteem!

  8. I was drawn here by Up4 (thank you) and I’m reading and identifying with what you’re saying. It’s always easier to focus on someone else than it is ourselves.

    We are not taught about self love yet we go around fighting for love in the wrong ways, how to get it what it means to us etc., and it’s something I’ve done for a while myself. It was not on purpose, it simply never occurred to me. You are not the sum of what “others” have said about you. You are not the sum of the ridiculous things that others put on you as if it were truth.

    If you look down inside of yourself, you’re going to find a very nice person. There is fear attached to loving ourselves because we’re afraid of what we “may not be” but there’s so much in there, to see that is good. We sometimes give to others that which we need the most ourselves and in that process we hope they’ll give it back to us. However, we chose unwisely … we chose for quiet subconscious reasons we may not even be aware of. This much, I know is true.

    There’s an exercise that I’ve done where you talk to your inner child? And… I’ve talked to mine and she’s thanked me (sounds weird, I know) for taking care of her at the same time, after I hugged her and told her that she’d be alright, she told me I didn’t have to be so self protecting. She said she appreciates how hard I’ve worked to keep bad things away from her, by making better choices in my life and growing as a person and for digging in and acknowledging ME … Just ME…

    She’s told me, it’s okay for me to relax … to let her out so she can play and feel free. I really like her, she’s mischeivous, she’s funny, she’s playful and cute… and she wants to feel safe. My job, as the big girl here 🙂 Is to … know that no one can do anything to me that I allow, it’s why we have boundaries in life, why we make choices as to who we talk to and/or involve ourselves, why we address things and define who we are and in this … bad things start to go away and new healthier things start coming into focus.

    I get so frustrated with people who think it’s “selfish” to put me first. Makes me angry almost instantaneously. I work on that because they were conditioned in a way that we all were. That some how we’re last … I don’t like that. I’ve never liked that because when I don’t feel good, I’m like dumping smarm all over the place so why wouldn’t I work on myself and be happy? And if toxic people gotta go, they gotta go. THIS is about THEM and people do not like to shift because we have. Means they have to shift too and they don’t like it. Period.

    It’s not about them though. Is it? No… it’s not. It’s about me … and it’s about my finally understanding what it truly means to love myself for who I am. I think I’m almost there … I like me a lot … I think I’m pretty cool but I’m a work in progress like anyone else.

    Young lady? Read that article please… it’s not as bad as you think. You may cry too because these types of things bring to the forefront things we may not have realized. That hurts … eeouch! 🙂 It’s worth it though… I’m worth it. You are worth it.

    Goooo on… just peek at it, ya know, the article… go on… go see… LOL 🙂

    How was it? …. good? Skeery? getcha knees knocking? 🙂 Go… go … come on, come play. The real you wants to come out and play. Let her out… you can still protect her from being hurt in a new way, in a way that makes you assertive and loving … come on now… puhleeeeeze.

    (is all this sucking up working because a’m not feeling it LOL)

  9. Let me ask a frank question if I may. Was your father around as you were growing up? I’m not (guess I am) implying that there are daddy issues, but something is missing, at least to me. I wrote a blog post a lil’ while ago that might speak to some of what you are dealing with, called Stirred, not Shaken Part 2. If interested, feel free. I kinda deal.with the same feeling myself, even as a man.

  10. There are few people that I do not like ( very well anyway) but I have learned to like myself even love myself. Perhaps that comes when we are ready to be content with the way God made us. My daughers always hated her nose – but now her husband thinks it is a beautiful nose. Paul said I have LEARNED to be content. Coming to the decision to like and love our selves is often a learning experience. I am happy that God loves me just the way I am.

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