How can I know what love is?

If I’ve spent my entire life feeling unworthy of love, how can I truly understand anything about love? Have I ever genuinely loved someone, or have I ever been truly loved? Do I even comprehend what it means to be loved? And what happens to love when relationships come to an end?

How can I be sure I’ve ever loved someone?

Once, I participated in a group meditation session where we were prompted to reflect on a person or pet we genuinely love or have loved in the past — someone who fills us with overwhelming love and joy. Strangely, I couldn’t identify anyone. Various individuals crossed my mind fleetingly, but I struggled to concentrate on just one or any at all. This exercise left me immensely frustrated with myself, making me question my capacity for love. How can I be sure I’ve ever loved someone? What’s bothering me is the guilt I felt because my immediate thoughts weren’t of the person I’m currently in a relationship with. Why is that?

I used to associate painful chemistry and emotional rollercoasters with love. The familiar push-and-pull dynamics tricked me into believing that it was a genuine connection and passionate love. Unpredictable behaviour, mutual manipulation, getting hurt, and then reconciling – that was the love I knew, stemming from my experiences at home with my mother. One day she would be caring, understanding, and affectionate, and the next, she would go silent for no apparent reason. Over the years, I’ve developed coping mechanisms to deal with the pervasive feeling of inadequacy. Could this be it? The feeling of not being good enough leading to the belief that I don’t deserve love?

How can I love anyone if I’m convinced that I’m unlovable?

Can I give love if I’m incapable of receiving it? If love is merely a feeling, then perhaps I excel at displaying it through actions, though I’m left wondering if those actions are rooted in love or if they’re driven by codependency, fear of rejection, control, or a desire to please others. It could be the love language but not the genuine feeling of love. Am I perhaps afraid of experiencing love? It feels like I’m at a point in my life where I’ve barricaded love, not just in my external world but within myself as well. I resist it. I block it. I don’t allow it to flow through me. I refrain from letting my partner love me, and I withhold love from him as well. I’ve built these barriers, and I actively oppose love. But why? Is this the reason I’m constantly irritable, unhappy, and stressed? Is this the cause of my distrust towards people and my skepticism about their kind gestures? Do I suspect hidden agendas behind their care?

I gaze at a photo of myself at the age of 8. It sits prominently on my desk, a reminder of the creative, hopeful, and innocent girl I used to be. As I berate myself with unloving thoughts, I can’t help but feel ashamed. Essentially, I’m telling that innocent, smiling girl that she doesn’t deserve love, that people are deceiving her, and that she’s unworthy of love. I’m urging her to push people away, to be angry, to hide, and to remain small.

How do I learn to love? How can I experience love? How do I tap into the love within me? If it has always been there, how do I regain access to it?

Uparta i niecierpliwa introwertyczka. Jednego dnia tryska radoscia, drugiego dnia rozczula sie nad soba. Wulkan sprzecznosci. Na swoim blogu probuje znalezc odpowiedzi na pytania "Jak byc soba?", "Czym jest milosc?" i "Jak sie w zyciu ogarnac?"

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