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Are you looking for love in the wrong places?

Hello beautiful soul!

It took me over 20 years to learn how to love myself, because no one had taught me, and I had to find out for myself how to do it.

It would be nice if our parents could embrace the wonder of our uniqueness and make us see ourselves in their loving eyes! This has happened to some, but unfortunately not too many others.

Most of the time, the love (that we somehow receive) is polluted by the demands that parents subconsciously make on their children. And we, as children, have adapted. We have built a personality that does not correspond to our true essence, to what made us special and unique.

As far as I am concerned, loving myself has meant starting on a path of awareness that helped me to discover who I really am.

As a child, the level of love that I was given and how much I desired it, didn’t match. I was craving love more than I have received it, and it was painful not having what I needed. 

I grew up believing that I wasn’t worthy of love.

I cannot specifically remember the reason why I always felt inadequate when I was a child, but I do remember being bullied in primary school because I cried ‘too much’. I wanted to hide from everyone (including myself), and all I needed was to find comfort in my parent’s arms, which I did not find.

I was alone, I felt alone yet I was surrounded by love.

Did I receive love from my parents? Of course I did, but it didn’t fill the void caused by not being seen, heard or supported enough by them.

Growing up, I now know that they themselves struggled to believe that they are worthy of love.

I don’t know if it was because I was a sensitive child, or because I really didn’t get what I needed at the time, or maybe because I was conditioned to believe that I wasn’t good enough to receive what I desired, but I cannot deny that I was an unhappy child.

I believed I wasn’t worthy of love. 

Growing up believing that I wasn’t worthy of love, led me, later in life, to jump from relationship to relationship, looking for the one person who was going to give me the love I craved so much, the love that I never had.  

How many more 'disappointments', how many 'no's', how many ‘I just wanted sex from you’...

How many of these can someone actually go through before they understand that the problem is somewhere else, something else, somebody else?

Looking back on my life I could see that I had done a lot to prove myself, to try to get attention, affection, consideration and that I expected all this from someone else. My suffering stemmed from the constant effort to prove something that, however, did not have the desired effect.

Jumping from relationship to relationship was my only way to get some love, whatever the person was going to give me, I was going to take it.

I was looking for love in the wrong place.

I remember one relationship I had in the past. I did love him and he loved me back, but our love wasn’t pure and freeing, I would completely lose myself in the relationship, I was consumed by it. I felt a pull toward him unlike anything I had ever felt before, but it was toxic.

I would have done anything to keep the relationship going, even if it meant being verbally, emotionally and sometimes physically abused and mistreated, because I believed that receiving love wasn’t going to get better than this.

For a small percentage of contentment, happiness, validation, and self-worth, I would come to rely on that relationship.

After 4 years, I finally gained the strength and self-respect to leave and to not settle for a lower level of love when a higher level of love was out there waiting for me to discover.

Each of us has hoped at least once in our life to meet a love that could give them total happiness, one that involves the heart, mind and body.

At least once in our lives each of us has said: "they were right for me".

Very often this is the truth, but we must not ignore that the link between love and the realisation of the happiness we deserve, cannot be sought only outside of us, it cannot be delegated to a man or a woman from whom we expect the ability to fulfil our vision of love and happiness, as in a dream.

My experience has taught me that you have to love yourself before looking for love elsewhere. You have to believe that you deserve it. You have to believe that you ARE worthy of love.

The painful paths that affect us, condition our relationships with others.

Everyone has their own way of dealing with their pain, there are those who rely totally on their encounters, always believing that love is the real thing, the right thing, the healthy thing, the thing that brings happiness.

As my awareness grew, I realised that I had disrespected myself in the past, I had accepted things I did not want and failed to put my own needs first.

The turning point came when I decided to take care of myself.

I had to go within myself and start to love and accept myself, something that I never knew existed.

I grew up being taught that others come first, and I come second, which implied that I needed to make others happy before myself.

Have you been taught the same?

I am not surprised that a person being conditioned to believe that other’s happiness comes before their own, grows up believing that they are not worthy of love and that cultivating self-love is selfish.

I don’t believe that self-love is selfish, do you?

I decided that the key was me, it had been me all along. I started a journey of healing and self-love, of accepting and nurturing myself, of reparenting my inner child who so wanted to be loved.

My self-confidence grew as the path I took brought me closer to the things I liked most and which corresponded to me; my soul was lifted, realising that life can be lived lightly, savouring every moment, enjoying the wonders of nature, cultivating the pleasure of music; I realised that many of the duties I had imposed on myself were unnecessary.

In order to become 'who I really was' I had to distance myself from the destiny that had been handed down to me by my parents, and make choices that made it different, accepting and 'sustaining' others disapproval

By learning to love myself, I started to respect and accept every part of myself, even my flaws and insecurities. I learned to meet my own needs first, do what gave me joy, cultivate my interests and choose a job I loved.  

I learned to love myself.

By loving myself, I stopped looking for love in the wrong places, and my love for others became detached from my own needs, and I began to let them be free because I am able to provide for my own happiness.

By loving myself I have learnt to love others and to attract the right kind of love. I don’t depend on someone’s love to be fulfilled anymore. There is the love I receive from my current partner, but above all, I am receiving the purest love of them all, the one that is coming from myself.

I am interested to know about you...have you experienced the same?

Love, Carlotta

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