I follow a couple of mental health pages on Facebook which post a lot of quotes and pictures about living with mental health issues and the impact these have on our lives on a day to day basis. One of the quotes I see regularly, which I don’t agree with, is that we can’t be loved unless we love ourselves. On one hand I agree with it, because when we don’t take care of ourselves and our self esteem, we tend to accept people into our lives who aren’t always a good fit. We accept them because we believe that we can do no better and deserve the treatment that these people dish out.
I do think though that this behaviour does tend to say more about them than it does about us. While we are in a vulnerable state, there are people who are attracted to this emotional state because they are able to get what they need emotionally from us. Both parties in the relationship are unable to see how damaging this is for everyone involved.
However on the other hand, I think that it’s presumptuous to believe that all relationship dynamics are this way. While there are people who take advantage of people when they are at their lowest, there is also the other side of the coin, the people who love and care for people when they are at their most unlovable.
There are people who are able to see through the low self esteem and see the person underneath. They do not see a person to be taken advantage of, but a person who needs a leg up, to have people believe in them while they are in the throes of depression and unable to see through the lies of a low self esteem.
While I was in the depth of my depression I was completely unlovable. I’m not saying this as a way to get sympathy, but as the truth of my situation at that time. I worked hard to push people away and I was an extremely hateful person. Through those times, when I believed that I wasn’t worth a grain of salt, I still had people in my corner who believed in my worth much more than I ever did. Without those people I couldn’t possibly have reached a place where I did believe that I was loveable.
I don’t think that you have to love yourself in order to be loved, I just believe that you had to have people in your corner willing to fight when you’ve become unlovable.
Do you believe that you have to love yourself in order to be loved?
Linking up with Jess for IBOT