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I can’t find it in myself to believe that there isn’t love out there for everyone. Every single person. Whether we don’t know we have it, don’t know where to find it, or even what it is we’re looking for – it is out there. I was in the ‘questioning what I had’ camp for a long time.

I struggle with my sense of self every day. I am a bundle of contractions and am difficult to manage. I come from a mother who was unable to love me the way I needed and a father, when not forced to be present in my life, hasn’t been. I do want to clarify that my mom loved me to the best of her ability, which was so greater than I realized. I recognize that now (and appreciate it so much more). Perhaps my dad too, but that’s a bridge I’m not ready to cross.

I struggled for a long time trying to reconcile my sense of worth with the fact I felt my parents didn’t love me. I tried to be popular, play sports, get good grades, be pretty, creative, basically everything and anything I could to get the approval/love I was craving. It never worked because I always felt I had to do more. As such, when I am met with love, it is my first instinct to preserve it by molding myself to whoever I’m around. I am still me, just a diluted version of myself.

Always adapting to other people, made me lose sight of who I was and what I needed. How did Patrick stand a chance of making me happy when I didn’t actually know what I wanted or needed? And the truth was he couldn’t. It wasn’t until I fully embraced who I am, crazy and quirky as that is, that I found happiness. True to form – it was right in front of my face.

I guess I believe that it doesn’t matter what love-seeker camp you’re in, truth will lead to happiness. Whether that’s honesty with a new person, established relationship, or yourself. Find yourself, love yourself, give love, and be loved. I have eternal hope that anyone who’s honest can find lasting love.

2015 Update:

Written:12/21/2013

Excerpt: It is easy to look in the mirror and like what you see and even easier to hate what isn’t there. Taking a cold hard look at all that is honestly present in your life and all that is traitorously dragging you down could reveal an inner beauty and a warming light that is invisible to the naked eye but blatantly apparent to the wisdom of the mind’s eye.

Thoughts: I realize now that finding happiness and love in another person is completely impossible without first finding unconditional and unshakable love for who you truly are as a person and exactly what it means to be you. Because any love you seek to find in an external source is going to be a genuine reflection of the love you are capable of giving to others. When the love you are give yourself is deficient, the love you gift out will also be lacking and therefore produce unforeseeable attacks on the person you innocently project your issues onto. If you feel you are unworthy of love, you will likely feel that the person you love shouldn’t love you and may subconsciously sabotage the relationship in an attempt to equalize your feelings of worthlessness with your sense of right and wrong in the grand scheme of life. Turning a blind eye to the problems you take with yourself creates an invisible beast to deal with inside of a loving long term relationship. Being able to separate the issues you bring to the table from the baggage your loved one is carrying with them is critical for solving any deficiencies you find in your relationship. Turning a faulty relationship into a healthy, happy, harmonious partnership requires both parties to evaluate and resolve their respective issues before trying to address problems within the relationship.

Hope: There is nothing more important in this world than you. You are your only vessel for traversing this thing we call life. Putting others before yourself puts you at risk for losing all that it means to be yourself. My hope is that people can take a step back from the life they are leading and evaluate how much life truly provides for the benefit of their self and how much their life benefits “them”.

Moral: You must first dissolve the disease before you can cure the cancer that plagues your perspective, negates your needs, and justifies your judgement. Cutting the cancer to shreds just leaves ugly blemishes on an otherwise untarnished surface.

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