Loving yourself first and independence are both incredibly important to master but are we selling ourselves short by restricting our experiences only to what we feel is safe, based on our own self-created fears and assumptions?
Something I see so frequently now is the love yourself first mantra, which in and of itself, isn’t an issue at all. Loving yourself first before you enter into any romantic partnership, or any undertaking really, is imperative to true happiness, freedom and success. Where this ideology begins to become somewhat detrimental is when we begin to fill in the blanks of what loving ourselves first truly looks like.
Let’s digress for a moment. There’s a love story where two souls come together - souls that were destined to be together. Both have been hurt but have handled their experiences differently. One has become bitter and closed off, only allowing themselves to exist in a bandwidth that they created. This bandwidth is full of meaningless connections, sex with no strings attached and refusing to allow themselves to feel anything that resembles romantic feelings or love for anyone. They consider themselves to be truly free and independent - not needing anyone and doing their own thing. The other has refused to let the painful life experiences break them. They remain an open book, letting life flood through them and take them where they’re supposed to go. They recognize that pain is a part of life and are willing to put themselves out there, even if cautiously, and honor their every feeling, no matter what happens. They do not withhold their true feelings and they live from a place of pure love and genuine authenticity. When they meet, the connection is intense and powerful, yet ends up scaring the first person away. Their own feelings surpass the bandwidth that they created for themselves and they begin to justify all of the reasons why they shouldn’t honor what they are truly feeling. They become combative and distant, and do everything they can to cut off ties. They run. The second person takes it extremely personally, as the bleeding heart of the pair, and cannot understand why. Perhaps they should just shut their mouth and keep their feelings to themselves, turning away and letting the other person run. But their downfall is also their greatest strength - they can’t not speak up. What could have been a beautiful experience quickly turns into a painful and bitter ordeal that stands to deny both people of something that could enrich their lives with love, beauty and knowledge.
If we look at this story, the person who runs clearly feels as though they are simply doing their thing, living independently, not needing anything from anyone. They think they are loving themselves first but what they do not realize is that not only are they not loving themselves, they are not honoring their feelings. They are using the mantra as a guise to what they truly want and feel, hardening them into lower vibrations. By not letting anyone in, they are truly missing out on experiences that are seeking them. They are missing out on gaining strength, knowledge and deepening their connection to themselves and others. The person left behind often becomes the first person after a series of let downs and disappointments with people who refuse to allow themselves just live - and it’s a cycle that needs to break.
Being independent absolutely nothing to do with letting people in and experiencing life. Being independent allows you to free yourself from attachments to people and things, especially those that are only serving the purpose of filling a void. Closing yourself off to the beauty of the experiences that await you is not independence - it is living in fear. It is living in a stale, stagnant place surrounded by walls that are self-created. It is human nature to feel. It is human nature to feel connected to certain people. It is human nature to become swept away at times in someone else’s beauty - inward and outward - and want to act on that, for however long it lasts and whatever it may bring. Pain and loss are both just a part of life. We must experience pain and loss in order to grow stronger, to gain more wisdom and to connect even deeper with our authentic selves. It helps us understand what it is that we like and don’t like - what we need and don’t need, what we will tolerate and that which we cannot. Sometimes things are destined to end, and sometimes that ending can be painfully, messy and complicated - but we were also destined to experience that and gain the lessons from it that the Universe wanted us to have. We become better versions of ourselves. We become stronger. But what we must not become is bitter, hardened and jaded as that only brings about loneliness and more of the same. Trying to avoid that isn’t truly embracing life or letting go.
We don't have all the answers. No one person has the "right" way to go about life. You can't go through life limiting yourself to only one set of experiences, operating on only one bandwidth - harshly cutting out everything and everyone who goes outside of the limits you set for yourself, under the guise of being free.
True independence is completely freeing yourself from anything that limits you to only one way of experiencing life - not making a pact with yourself to never let anyone else in and cut off anything and everyone who comes too close to making you feel something.
You can't really say you ever moved on from past pain if you handle your present by avoiding everything and anything that might cause you pain again and pretending you don't feel emotion. We all feel. We are human. Let go and let the wind take you. Let the current carry you to all the beautiful things life has to offer. Truly letting go is opening yourself up and honoring yourself, your emotions and what you feel - and acting on them from a place of acceptance, not fear. A life full of running away, acting like you're a robot with an off button, isn't really living. Die to yourself, die to your ego..and just fucking live. What do you really stand to lose? Be vulnerable, let yourself free from the prison walls that you have created for yourself. Free your demons. Let them be seen. They’re crying out for love.
You can't really say you ever moved on from past pain if you handle your present by avoiding everything and anything that might cause you pain again and pretending you don't feel emotion.