I recently had a conversation with my ex-husband because of his email. It had me questioning how he was feeling and, in turn, triggered feelings within me. In our discussion, I asked him if he still had feeling for me. He was dating someone he’d met just months after our divorce, but some of what was emailed to me were confusing. He told me dryly that he did not have feelings for me. I got emotional. Then I got more confused with how I was feeling. I couldn’t understand why I was crying over a man who put me through serious emotional, psychological, and mental trauma. A man who, to this day, believes that our treatment of each other was the same and not life-altering. A man who thinks that I have been overexaggerating how damaging the yelling, name-calling, threats, and words were to me. Even with this knowledge, I began to question the whole divorce. Had I made a mistake?
I cried out for my mother. I wanted to hear her voice and feel her arms around me, holding me tight while I shed my pain. What was the root of this pain? After meditating, it came to me with a clarity I’ve only known a few times. I was not crying over a man who was clearly toxic to me. I was crying because the fear had been hiding deep inside of me, finally finding its exit for expression. I had been through grief over my relationship ending, but I felt like something was lurking. That feeling was the sole reason I joined a divorce support group. For me to heal, I needed to get all the gunk out. The fear that was hiding was the feeling of being unlovable. There were many times over the last few years when I felt unlovable based on my ex’s actions, including his response to my expressing how I felt. I was triggered by that conversation because he reminded me of years of feeling unlovable and unloved. I cried out for my mom because she made me feel loved, which my soul was crying out for at that moment.
This is my story of feeling unlovable. We value the connection and attention of others, but it becomes dangerous when we have expectations of external validation greater than our own self-validation. I have had phases in my life where I questioned my worth, but I had never questioned it as much as I did when I was married. Some of what went on during my marriage affected my self-esteem to the point where I pictured a life alone when I left my marriage. Who is going to love someone like me? But the truth is, I am lovable. I value myself and know that not everyone will see my worth. But for a moment, the memory of the past triggered me. Now comes the work of reflecting so that I am no longer triggered by these emotions.
When you learn and know your worth, you also learn who should have the privilege of being in your presence. Not everyone will be attracted to your light because they see the value of the illumination. Some people will be attracted but will try to dim your light so that you are also living in darkness. Let this be a reminder that you are lovable. You deserve to be loved for who you are and how you shine. The person who made you feel unlovable or refused to love the person you are was not for you, and it is okay to walk away. Sometimes it’s done on purpose, and other times because of unawareness, but there are too many people walking this Earth to settle for subpar love or mistreatment. Love yourself first, so you’ll recognize it when the right love comes around.