Choosing You to Reclaim Love

We all know people whose identity is wrapped up in being the funny, smart or artistic one. And their sense of value is dependent on broadcasting that “thing.”

Their comments regularly remind listeners of this “thing” they believe makes them lovable using shocking jokes, speaking above the mean, or belittling the artistry of others. Not considering how it may make others feel.

Unless you’re the butt of the joke, the one who doesn’t understand or whose work is being judged, their comments generate laughter, status and awe.

But, what do you do when you’re the butt of the joke?

I’ve experienced being under the weight of a funny guy and an artistic mother. Both of whom, had no intention to hurt me, only to broadcast themselves as the “thing” they valued so much. In fact, I don’t believe I even existed in their inner dialogue at all.

This was the problem. I was hurt just by being associated. Deeply hurt. And they were oblivious to it. They didn’t see that their behavior valued the “thing” more than me.

In both instances, I first tried to validate their popularity and appreciate their talents, in hopes that they’d gain enough confidence to stop throwing verbal daggers. Of course this didn’t work, they were completely unaware of any casualties.

Then, I tried to defend my self and my artistic works, but this was met with complete disinterest. So, I decided this was an opportunity to build my own self-confidence. Why not turn lemons into lemonade!

But, no matter my level of confidence, being around them eventually began to feel unsafe. So, I let them know my feelings. I lost my cool, you might say! And, their response was bewilderment. “How could you feel this way?!” I was dismissed and they continued.

Finally, in both situations, I had to turn my back on them. I had to love myself enough to walk away… at least temporarily. This is what it took for them to look at themselves and consider their actions.

Love makes us want to uplift each other, stand by each other. So we can weather a lot before walking away from it or them. Love is also precious. So we don’t turn our backs without due cause.

I learned that loving myself is the answer to reclaim love. Even when the action of turning my back seems unloving. Because it asks them to love themselves enough to be loving to me. And, my own self-love soothed the swallowed hurts that had accumulated from loving them through their assault of unconscious daggers.

The phrase, you can only love another as much as you love yourself, has never felt more true. For them and me.

May we help each other grow in love, forever and always.

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