“We accept the love we think we deserve.” — Stephen Chbosky
Why do we accept the love we think we deserve? Does that encompass our present capability? And if love is presented to us in a capacity that we deem more than we deserve, do we then question where that quantity of self-worth has developed from? Do we simply accept it and say we are more than blessed or do we feel as though we have cheated the system somehow?
In terms of a romantic relationship, I have contemplated these questions at length. Why have I accepted the love or lack thereof I have experienced in the past? At times honesty is difficult to uphold even within myself, but the truth of the matter remains that my lack of self-worth and self-love, left me susceptible to individuals who only cared to fulfill selfish desires. Because I doubted who I was, what I was to become, the things I deserved, I was easily moved to others perception of the value of these things within me.
At times I wondered if we have the power to project only that which we are in the present, or if we can also manifest all that we are capable of being. Are these two things one in the same? Or is that manifestation only available to those who have moved past anxieties of the flesh. I wonder if your heart and mind must be completely open and free of clutter to access the part of yourself that can experience all love, intelligence and presence with all and the one. I ask this because I sometimes feel so unsure of myself, so confused and misplaced and sad and frustrated and scared, of everything and nothing all at once. Sometimes even in those moments of inner turmoil, I still feel the flicker of a candle burning bright and fiery red, right in the middle of my chest that is so sure of everything that I deserve and all of the potential that I possess within myself, this self that presently exists.
When I visualize this struggle, I see it as myself at the end of a long hallway. At the end of that hallway is a door that opens to my true self, the self beyond anxiety, depression, fear hurt and self-doubt. But I must first shake off the physical embodiments of the hurt that clutches at my forearms, the depression that clings to my ankles and anxiety that seems to have an unwaveringly strong grasp my throat. If I could shrug it off, pull myself free, I could reach out and open the door to that true part of myself. It’s strange to think that a part of me will always be fighting to stay within the confines of that room. I don’t want to always be just beyond the threshold, always on the fringes of everything that could be. Of course I realize that being completely assured of one’s self at all times in quite a feat, but I don’t want to constantly build myself up from a depletion to zero instead of remaining in a place, mentally and physically where I can then bolster myself to the all and everything of my being. I think the main issue with for me is being able to focus in for affirmation rather than listening to or even seeking out assurance of my capability.
I have associated with people who I know saw the goodness in me, whether or not I saw that goodness, or intelligence or beauty for myself at the time. I feel that those same people, with their selfish motives also saw the darkness and preyed upon it. I allowed them to build perceptions of myself in their image so that they could choose where and when to slice into me with criticism, judgement and hurt. Because I stood for less, I continually fell for more.
I believed, in a way, that my kindness would be my deliverance, but what I had to realize was that kindness does not equate to passivity or acquiescence. I cannot say ‘Yes’ because it is easier than ‘No.’ In the short-term, it may stop the argument or keep the peace, but in the long-term you only end up burying your own contentment under a toxic and fictitious sense of harmony. I cannot accommodate other people’s happiness in place of my own, but I struggle with where the line is drawn for what is fulfilling my own desires, causing my happiness and a selfishness that cannot exist in a life-long relationship with another person. In reality I know that it is only inevitable that there will be disagreements between people, in terms of a relationship I think that a good partner will find a great contentment in the person that you are and an even more palpable exhilaration in the potential of all that you will become. That candle that burns fiery hot for all to see, the you that projects it’s amazingness for all to see, should not intimidate those who say that they love you. You should not have to grow within the confines of anybody else’s happiness because in truth, you, and you alone are responsible for your joy.
We only accept the love we think we deserve because we do not understand what love truly is. Love is boundless, endless acceptance and courage. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” 1 Corinthians v. 1-7