Is it ok to not Love yourself, but be Loved by someone else? Absofreakinlutely!

You know the phrase “you have to love yourself before you can be loved by another”? Well, I call bullshit. That phrase implies that those of us who struggle with self-love don’t deserve love from another person, or that we are incapable of being in a loving relationship.
Self love can foster deep, intimate connections and benefit our relationships in many ways, but it’s not essential to have before getting into a loving relationship. This point of view also hints at it being our fault when we get into an unhealthy relationship. We get told many times “well maybe it didn’t work because you didn’t love yourself enough” or “if you cared about yourself, you would have walked away sooner”, argh just no!

We are all deserving of love just as we are right now, even when we’re a work in progress.

Self love is healing and helpful, and that’s why it is worth working towards. But, in the meantime, know that you’re no less valid or capable of a human being.

Conditional Vs Unconditional Self Love
“I’ll love you if…,” that’s conditional, love requires certain things to exist. “I’ll love you no matter what you do…”, this is unconditional love & comes with no strings attached.
These are concerning love from others, but have you ever said these conditional “if”s to yourself? I definitely have. A foolproof way to limit self love is by giving it conditions. 
There are many ways of showing yourself self love and each of us will have different ones that work for us the most. 

So What Does Unconditional Self Love Look Like?
Unconditional love relies on three qualities: respect, acceptance, and compassion. The ways in how these manifest are infinite, but these are the three basic traits.
Respect means that we honour the existence of our emotions, thoughts, and behaviours. They have formed to help us in some way (now or in the past) and all of these are ultimately trying to assist us. With our emotions, we don’t have to love how they feel, but we can respect their existence.
Acceptance means, when we feel something, we let it be. We don’t try to stuff it down or deny it. Instead we say “I’m still valid, even when I’m angry.” Or, when examining a past mistake, we accept that it happened and recognise that our past actions do not dictate our future reactions.
Lastly, compassion. This one is pretty easy once we have the other two. Since we’re no longer fighting ourselves for who we are, we instead realise that it’s easier to love ourselves than fight. Compassion is all about choosing love to fill the void that self-rejection used to fill.

Unconditional Self Love Exists in Any Situation
Like I mentioned earlier, saying “if” means our love is conditional. Unconditional love is love without any “if”s. This means it can exist in any situation, no matter what we’ve done, will do, think, or feel.
Let me guess what you just thought there. I bet you felt a bit of “but what if I (insert intense situation here)?” I knew this because, even as I was typing this blog, my own love-limiting voice chimed in and said “Beckie, but what if you turn into the people who hurt you?” And a handful of other “what if”s.
My answer to my own question, and the question that probably popped into your head is yes. Yes, you still are deserving of unconditional love. Unconditional love is something you deserve because you’re a living being and that’s the only prerequisite needed.
You deserve unconditional love. It’s as simple as that.

Get Rid of Your Love-Limiting Voice
I want you to try something. Think of a really difficult moment you had, something recent where you can still feel the emotions a bit, without them totally overwhelming you. Aim for something where the emotions are vulnerable, uncomfortable, or maybe even a bit painful.
Now I simply want you to say, aloud or in your head, “I am worthy of love even with (this feeling).”
How do your emotions shift? If some tears show up, that’s a great thing. It means the compassion really got down to your core.
If you feel like it, try this simple exercise with a small mistake you made. Something that triggers a tiny bit of guilt, but not a whole flood of it. This time, after feeling the guilt, say to yourself “I am worthy of love even though I (made this mistake/did this action).” That’s the beginning of self-forgiveness. This simple action, of consciously saying that we’re worthy of love, is the most effective way to get rid of your love-limiting voice.

Remember, Self Love is a Process
Self love is something you can create and manifest in your life, but it’s essential that you are patient with your journey too. If we view self love as a finish line, we’re defeating the purpose. If we think it is somewhere in the future to achieve, self love becomes conditional.
The truth is, you already have all you need to fully love yourself. And, if you love yourself while reading this blog, then struggle after, that’s okay too. It’s a process, a constant one. And it’s a beautiful journey, too.