“I can’t do this anymore!”

“I’m not happy! I love you, but this is too much!”

“You’re literally going to make me lose my mind!”

These were the constant exclamations that rang out of my mouth from the depths of my soul regarding my relationship. I was at my wit’s end. I felt like I tried everything I knew to do, including communication techniques and solution-based conflict resolution. After all, I did graduate college with honors with a degree in counseling and clinical psychology, a concentration in marriage and family development, years of experience as a counselor and, not to mention, part of graduate school (before dropping out to pursue entertainment and entrepreneurship). I felt qualified. I even prayed, meditated, journaled, practiced gratitude and affirmations, sage and palo santo — you name it.

However, only an evolution of myself could qualify me for what I was about to learn.

I realized my relationship was not failing because I lacked “relationship expertise” or because my partner was “so broken.” My relationship was failing because I was requiring something from someone on a consistent basis that I was not giving myself: love. I did not need more love from my partner, I needed self-love.

Self-love means I honor myself in a way that reflects my value in every facet of life, and therefore I am able to give this love to you. Self-love is prioritizing my needs without lessening your needs and my desire for you. Self-love sets the foundation of the love that you receive from others. It’s challenging to receive that which you do not possess. It is difficult for someone to see how you love yourself and feel comfortable giving you anything less; they must match it or come greater. With the awareness of your self-love — when individuals are incapable or lack the desire to match or come greater — it is easier for you to release them.

Once I started practicing self-love, I was less frigid, aggressive, impatient, frustrated, angry, disappointed, irritated, combative, the list goes on. The reason being is that instead of looking for someone to fill the void, I filled it myself. You see, I was losing my mind in my relationship because I was so busy pouring into him that I forgot about me.

Self-love does not mean I stop pouring into my partner, it just means I acknowledge that in order to be able to pour into you, I must first pour into myself so something exists to be poured. It’s the realization there needs to be enough present not to deplete me for you. You see, that is where the frustration stemmed from. I thought I was losing my mind because I was pouring from an empty cup. I was empty.

Self-love empowered me to show up in my relationship as a fulfilled, healthy, whole woman, instead of a broken, wounded, hurting woman. I started complimenting and taking myself out. I prioritized my needs instead of people-pleasing. I spoke up for myself and enforced my boundaries respectfully because I deserve to be heard and respected. I started honoring my body, my mind and my spirit. I embraced my divine femininity and allowed myself to be me and be free as the goddess that I am. No longer was I apologizing for loving hard, feeling deeply, and desiring connection and intimacy.

I loved myself deeply. I sat with my feelings and explored the “whys” and “hows.” I connected with myself spiritually, mentally and intimately. I cultivated the seeds that had been planted inside of me that had not been getting attention because my attention was elsewhere. I started therapy. I deepened my relationship with God. I became more intentional with my family and friends. I fell in love with myself all over again.

I realized this love was so unmatched I never wanted to be without it again.

Before I knew it, my partner had the twinkle in his eye when he looked at me again. We started laughing and dancing together again. The date nights felt like time had stood still. He was initiating time for prayer, devotions and gratitude. Compliments and affirmations became our norm. It felt like when we first met because the woman he fell in love with was back.

It’s easy to point fingers at the other person and acknowledge what they are or are not doing. However, the truth is we are only responsible for ourselves. You cannot control anyone, but you can control yourself.

Remember, you set the tone. You not only lay the foundation, you are the foundation. If the foundation has become weak, underpinning is necessary. Underpinning is a process that reinforces where the foundation has become weak, and where the foundation is no longer stable enough to serve what has been built upon it. Self-love is the underpinning of relationships.

You do not have to lose your mind, you just need to practice self-love. Your relationship is not broken, you just need to undergo “underpinning” in order to show up in your relationship full of self-love in order to be able to love yourself and others effectively and fully.

Remember, self-love is me loving me, which in turn will enable me to better love you. Self-love does not negate my love for you, it prioritizes my love for me.


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