I used to think I had to have everything together before being ready for a relationship—like I had to be completely healed from all my past traumas, to have resolved all my existential crises, and to know exactly who I was and what I was doing with my life in order to be worthy of love. I was a firm believer in the saying, “You can’t love anyone else until you love yourself.”
But I’m not 100% sure that’s true anymore. I’m starting to think that maybe it’s okay to let people love you while you learn to love yourself.
Don’t get me wrong: it’s important to work on yourself, to be your own source of fulfillment rather than needing external validation all the time, and to confront your deep-seated issues rather than jumping from relationship to relationship in order to distract yourself from what’s really going on. But the process of learning, healing, growing, and improving is lifelong. The journey never ends.
What’s more important than having everything together is finding (and being) someone with enough humility and self-awareness to stumble through life with, to grow with, and to try with—albeit imperfectly.
When you demand perfection from yourself as a prerequisite for being worthy of love, you rob yourself of the opportunity to experience real love—the kind that cares for you while you learn to care for yourself; that sits in the uncertainty with you while you wrestle with the existential questions; that challenges you to dream wildly and freely while you try to figure out what the heck you’re doing with your life.
These relationships are far more genuine (and interesting!) than the ones that require perfect confidence, direction, and success all the freaking time. After all, who’s to say perfection is required for humans to engage in what we, at our very core, were made for—which is love and communion?
Don’t rob yourself of the opportunity to let someone love you while you’re a work in progress.
It’s okay if you haven’t healed from all your past trauma. It’s okay if you’re still uncertain about the future. It’s okay if you haven’t learned how to love yourself completely yet. The right people will meet you where you are.
You are allowed to let love in.
– Celine (@ItsCelineDiaz on IG)
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