Friday, 28 December 2012

We Accept The Love We Think We Deserve

Last night, I watched the film, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, starring Emma Watson, Ezra Miller and Logan Lerman.  During one scene, the main character Charlie, asks his English teacher why nice people always chose the wrong people to date?  The teacher replies, "We accept the love we think we deserve."

As soon as I heard these words, they struck a chord deep within me, a chord which resonated to the truth of them.  I realised the truth of them because they applied to me.  After the film had ended, I thought on these words and I reflected on my own life.  I thought about each of my past relationships and I was able to see that always, I chose to accept the love that I thought I deserved, which in my case, has often been the wrong kind of love.  The pattern of my past loves has always been the same.  Until last night, I did not understand why that was.  Now I do.

All of my life, since those first impressionable days, when I was evolving my thoughts and my views on how the world worked, I have carried around with me a very poor residual self image.  I have suffered from low self-esteem for most of my life.  When I was young, around the age of seven, I began to put on weight.  Throughout all of my formative years, I was what would be classed as a 'fat kid'.  Added to this, I have always been short in height compared to my peers, something that has never changed.  At the age of 12, my group of friends and I were avidly reading The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.  At school one day, one of my friends said that I looked like the character Bombur from the story.  For those who have never read the book, and who have not yet seen the movie by Peter Jackson, Bombur is the fattest, slowest dwarf, who is always eating.  The nickname was picked up by pretty much everyone in my school year and it was used so much, that when one of my classmates was handing back our exercise books after being marked by the teacher, he stopped and had to ask, "Who is Andrew Smith?" 

Being short and fat tends not to make one attractive to the opposite sex.  As my friends and the other boys of my school year were going out on dates, getting their first kisses, getting their first girlfriends, I was only getting rejected.  Every girl that I asked out said no to me.  It took all of my courage to ask, only to have my dreams quashed in an instant.  Funnily enough, as I think back now, as I told my friends one day at school, how I had cycled around to the home of a certain girl that I had a crush on and had asked her out on a date, the friend who gave me the nickname Bombur said to me that I had courage.  Even back then, at the age of twelve, the spirit of carpe diem was alive in me.  Now that is a very comforting thought to me as I sit and write this.

Everything that happened to me throughout these formative years reinforced in me the ideas that I was ugly, that I was a failure, that I was worthless.  My self-esteem, which I can recall was high early in my life, was sank further and further.  Every time I received another rejection, it only served to reinforce this notion of myself.  I used to lay in bed some nights and cry myself to sleep, telling myself that I was short, fat and ugly and that no one wanted me, that I was unloved, that I would never find love.  By the age of eighteen, after suffering from years of teasing and often being the butt of a joke, I did something about myself.  I had another moment of carpe diem, I dropped all of my so-called friends, and I began to change myself.  I lost the weight that had dogged me for so many years, but by then, the damage to my sense of esteem was already done.  I had formulated the opinion that I was not worthy of love and that I was unattractive.

Eventually, I did enjoy my first kiss, my first date, my first girlfriend and I fell in love for the first time.  My relationships never last very long though.  It has been remarked to me that I always let the 'good ones' go.  Often I have had the opportunity to form a long term relationship and I have walked away from it.  Back then, I could never have said why.  I always said to myself it is because I was scared of commitment, but now I have come to realise that this is not actually true.  My long term relationships have all been for the most part pretty complicated affairs.  I have never been able to figure out why this is.  Why is it that these relationships never ran smoothly? Why do I always fall in love with women that I think I can fix with my love?  Why do I persist in chasing someone who has doubts about a relationship with me, in the hope that I can make them change their mind?  Why do I try so hard to make someone love me?  Why do I continue to persist in a relationship when all of the signals are telling me no?  Why do I feel the need to prove that I am more worthy than another?  The answer lies in that line: we accept the love we think we deserve.

Last night, the truth was revealed to me through this line in the movie.  As those words were spoken, so I realised the utter truth of them for myself.  I have, for so many years, felt that I was unworthy of love, that I was undeserving of love.  Therefore, when love came knocking, I rejected those relationships that had real potential and instead, I chose those that were always going to involve complication.  In retrospect, I can see now that perhaps deep inside of me, I already knew the relationships would fail before they had even begun.  I was never conscious of thinking that at the time because at the time it happened, I was swept away by the romance of the situation and by the act of falling in love.  But I think that on some very deep subconscious level, I chose these relationships for exactly one reason only: they would ultimately prove that I was undeserving of love.  I created a self-fulling prophecy, which always came to fruition.  In a way, without ever knowing it, I sabotaged each and every one of my relationships before they had even begun.

It is my belief that a strong and healthy relationship must begin on equal footing.  Often, my relationships have not begun in this way.  Early on in the relationship, something was already going wrong.  I could see it, but I would not admit to it.  I thought that I could fight for love and win.  I thought I was deserving of this kind of love.  A love that is not freely given.  It is never right to begin a relationship thinking to yourself that you can fix the other person, that you can help them with their problems, that you can be the solution for them.  You cannot be.  No amount of love can do that.  Each one of us must first fix ourselves before we have a chance for a solid, long lasting, meaningful and loving relationship.  To think that the relationship itself or the love you bear for your partner can resolve problems is a fallacy.  To believe that you can fix someone through your love is not possible.  Not unless they come willingly and find their own solution through the love.  I see this now.  I saw it before only I denied myself the truth of it in order to find love.  The kind of love that I thought I deserved.  I was wrong.

Each of us is deserving of love.  Love is the glue that binds the universe.  Love is at the centre of all things.  Love cannot be denied.  Love is life and life is love.  They are one and the same.  You are life.  You are love.  You are worthy of love.  You are deserving of a strong and healthy love.  Do not settle for anything less.  Search your feelings, look deep inside of yourself, speak openly with your heart.  Seek the answers for yourself and if you find that your relationships are always a struggle, ask yourself if you feel that you are deserving of a special kind of love?  I can tell you one simple thing: you are.  You always were and you always will be.

This is probably the most deeply personal of my blog posts to date.  I am sharing this because I believe there is real value in sharing it.  I share my thoughts, not because I am searching for sympathy or empathy, I share my thoughts because I wish to make a difference.  If only one person should read this and it triggers a moment of realisation for them, then it is worthwhile.

Knowing what I know now, I am ready.  I am ready for the love that I deserve.  I am ready for the love of which I have been waiting my whole life.  My journey is my journey and I would not trade any of it, I would not change a single thing about it.  It is what has taught me the lessons.  It is what has brought me to here, to now.  For those that I have wronged because of my self belief in that I was undeserving of love, I say sorry and I ask your forgiveness.  We all learn.  That is the purpose of life.  We are evolving our souls.

We can never go back, we can only go on.  The one true path is the path of love.  Search inside of yourself, discover the love, discover your own one true path.  And know that the love you find there, is all that you deserve.


1 comment:

  1. Truest thing i have read in ages!! I grew up the chunky one, my parents called me 'thunder thighs' 'fat arse' etc etc and never been able to get rid of all the weight i would like, its just the way god made me. i go into relationships knowing they arent gonna last and wondering will this one be a 2 month or a 6 month stretch, isn;t that terrible.