Learning to Accept Love for Yourself

By Emily RellaJuly 20, 2015

Sometimes I think the only thing harder than giving love is accepting it. We forget that accepting love is a choice: We have to welcome it.

Often we create and build walls to keep love out. These walls come in many forms: They’re present in our excuses, when we distance ourselves, and when we choose people we know are not suited for us. We build walls in the form of choosing pain. We convince ourselves that it’s easier to be broken than it is to feel whole. We convince ourselves it’s easier to wither and wish for love to come and fill us sometime in the future – because in the form of a dream, love is something attainable. Sometimes it’s easier to keep the love we wish to have out of reach than it is to take it when we get it. Because the truth is: Love is terrifying. And there are a multitude of reasons why we don’t accept it when it appears.

Sometimes it’s because we think that we are protecting ourselves by blocking ourselves off. Sometimes we think we’re protecting others from the storms that swell within us. After all, if we let them in, they may not know how to weather those storms.

Why do we do it? We do it because love frightens us. We do it because we fear that we are undeserving of that love. We do it because we rather would be crushed under our burdens before we would ever place them upon another person.

We’ve all treated people as less than they deserve at one point or another. We’ve all made choices that are not even remotely close to admirable.

But we have to stop beating ourselves over these things. We have to understand that we are not the sum of all the bad things we’ve done. Nor are we the sum of all the bad things that have been done to us.

You are not a burden. You are not too much to handle. You do not come with too much baggage. You are not only your 3AM mind, your pacing around your room, your doubt, your fears, or your mistakes.

Imagine the best parts of yourself, your favorite part even. Find the things that you love most about yourself. Imagine yourself on your best day.

Because that’s also who you are. We’re not defined by the worst things that stir within us, but by the best things that we have grown.

Learn to accept love. You deserve it.

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Comments (35)

  1. marlea

    thank you for this artical. I really needed to read this. I first found out about TWLOHA 2 years ago when you came to Rutgers in New Jersey to speak and I was so touch and moved by the word I wanted to join the movement so I started to spread the word to my friends. And in the time since that day I have found myself poking to your Facebook page for encouragement. I am now battling depression even more then ever now. And this artical along with the always keep fighting and the I was depressed and I didn’t know artical really helped along with a lot of others. Basically I just want to say thank you

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  2. Alexa

    This is beautiful. I really needed this today.

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    1. Jeff

      Alexa you are beautiful and deserving of love

      Reply  |  
  3. Janelle

    This is truly amazing. TWLOHA has helped me through depression/self-harm/suicidal thoughts. Without encouraging words such as these, and the love of Christ I may not be here now. ?✌

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  4. Abe

    Thank you ?

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  5. Beth

    I needed to hear this exact message today. In fact, I’ve needed to hear it for a long long time. I’ve been dealing with depression for about 11 years – pretty much all of my adult life so far – and this… condition is so overwhelming and burdensome to me. I have this mindset that I have to protect the people I care about from this disaster area that I perceive myself to be. I wouldn’t wish this kind of torment on anyone, even my worst enemy. Never mind those I love the most.

    It’s really counter-intuitive to love people, forgive their faults and support them in crisis and yet deny myself that same comfort. But depression is the polar opposite of logical, right? I have to admit that I still believe some of the lies – and I know them to be be lies, sometimes. I still believe I am undeserving of love, that I’m ‘not enough’ just as I am. Or I’m ‘too much to deal with’. And I lock it all up inside, don’t give it any kind of outlet. My whole family has no idea what I’m going through, and only a couple of my closest friends do, somewhat. I’ve got being an outwardly-functioning depressive down to an art form.

    Anyway, this article encouraged me. In fact, I’m going to print it out and keep it on my mirror. Thanks 🙂

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  6. L

    Just yesterday, I confided in someone close to me and specifically used the term “burden” to describe how I felt I am. It struck me, to read the words “You are not a burden” the next day.

    Reply  |  
    1. courtney w.

      I feel like a burden everyday & I’ve used that word way too many times to describe myself. I understand your struggle.
      All my love to you.

      Reply  |  
  7. Kay

    Please copy to printer.

    Reply  |  
    1. Kay

      Cancel reply? What do you mean? I don’t understand what is going on. I showed the post with my hubby and he like it and was wandering also how you came up with the name of your site. He was surprised that I would shared that part of my life on paper in your blog! I’ m usually very private about my self-injuries, but I felt safe sharing my thoughts to all of the bloggers on the self-injury and recovery site. I hope I wasn’t mistaken. Curious, Kay

      Reply  |  
  8. Luke

    Thank you. I’ve struggled with this exact “Problem”, shall we say for too long. This post/blog/article means everything.

    Reply  |  
  9. Melissa Masic

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I needed this tonight. I am this blog,I push people away and shut them out because most times I feel like a burden and I have stormy days,I say I am unlovable in those moments. I forget all the good stuff I am and only see the bad. I shut people out, out of fear of not having the patienence or the answers to their questions,even when someone who I know really cares asks I just shut down because I can’t put into words all that is going on in my head and it hurts them,so I shut people out to protect them,I am working on this and it is slow but it is helping and I really needed to see this tonight. It is so good to know I am not alone and someone else understands. Thank you.

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  10. Margaret

    Fabulous, just what I needed this morning

    Reply  |  
  11. Margaret

    Perfect, absolutely what I needed to hear.

    Reply  |  
  12. Hayley

    I needed this, thank you.

    Reply  |  
  13. madison

    this is something that i needed to see and hopes it resonates

    Reply  |  
  14. Wendy

    This is me right now. I have always felt that I didn’t deserve to be loved…I still do. I got involved with someone I thought I could trust(after letting my walls down) he treated me badly(even though I was so good to him). I swore that I will never trust anyone again. My walls are higher and stronger now. I feel like I don’t deserve anything good in my life, as I am a disappointment to everyone in my life..

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    1. kassandra

      I understand you build walls, thinking maybe that it will protect you. But, imagine a wall in front of you appears out of nowhere while you walk to go see a friend, sibling that is there for you. You can’t see them right..? The wall is blocking you.
      Now put in a realistic situation. If you build your walls too strong and high, you won’t be able to see anything that could help you or make you smile, feel happy and secure, because of your walls. Believe me miss, I’ve been there.
      You can just “destroy” some of the walls, but not all of them at the beginning. It’ll help you to see who you can trust or no, without hurting you.
      Well, I tried to help you, I know my explications aren’t the best you’ve seen, but I hope it helps.

      Reply  |  
  15. Melissa

    This really touched me. Thank you very much. Great writer.

    Reply  |  
  16. Jo

    Thank you for this article. I found some journals from the past year and, rereading them, everything started to feel like mistakes and wrong turns. To read about letting go of the past and moving on, that is something I really needed right now. Thank you again.

    Reply  |  
  17. Pingback: Accept Love. | jennifer.

  18. Kay

    Are you cancelling my comment on the blog page. As far as I can see it was just a questions about your name. How you came up with it and the rest was about my self-injuries and how I survived the storm I was in from hurting myself physically. If I said something wrong, sorry.I thought this was a place you could voice those things without shame or being judged. Was I wrong??? I hope not because when my sister ask me to look at site, I wasn’t interested because I felt like I am okay with it and I have to live literally with my battle scars. I am not going to stop receiving emails from you because I really liked this site. So hope you will print my posts. Thanks, Kay

    Reply  |  
  19. courtney w.

    As I read this I found my voice shaking at times… it’s incredibly hard for me to accept love. I hope I can open up my heart again. I am naturally a lover… not a fighter, but I’ve become a fighter.

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  20. tiffany

    I recently told a friend of mine I don’t accept love. It is hard to fathom someone loving me. I love people. I love my friends and family with everything I have, but for me to fathom them actually loving me, that is another story. This was a good, much needed read. And something I can pass along to my friends to help explain what I think.

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  21. selah janel

    It’s like you’ve written a reply to everything that’s been worrying me the past few weeks. Thank you for this, so very much.

    Reply  |  
  22. Angie

    I really needed to read this. I often feel like a burden to others and everything that goes wrong is my fault. Many times I have thought to end my life because of that; and it is so true that imagining love is easier than actually obtaining it. I can’t even begin to say how many times I’ve daydreamed about having a friend who loves me for myself, someone I can talk to. There are people around me I can go to, my youth leaders for example, but I feel like if I tell them what I go through, I’d just burden them.

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  23. Kelsey

    These words are so hard for me to believe, but I needed to hear (read) them. The only long term relationship I’ve ever experienced was emotionally/psychologically abusive and any relationships after have been very short term. I have anxiety and now am growing more and more afraid to let people in. I’m always told that I’m ‘too much’ and I’ve started to believe it. My late night thoughts are eating me alive lately; my anxiety tells me I’ll never be a good wife or mom in the future because of my panic attacks. I’m scared no one will ever want to stay so I date boys that I know will leave because at least I know it’s coming. I’m trying to get better. Everyone tells me I deserve better and I’m trying hard to get to a point where I believe it.

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  24. Jack

    This sent me off crying. This is beautiful.

    Reply  |  
  25. Taryn

    Thank you so much for posting this. These words spoke directly to me. I have far too often used the word “burden” when describing myself. I’m still struggling with accepting love, but I’m getting there.
    Thank you.

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  26. Leslie

    Thanks for your words.” You are not too much to
    Handle”… Trying to believe it!

    Reply  |  
  27. Tess

    Thank you. These words went straight to my heart.

    Reply  |  
  28. Bellz

    “Imagine the best parts of yourself, your favorite part even. Find the things that you love most about yourself. Imagine yourself on your best day.”

    This stopped me, and helped me imagine something more delightful than the sadness I’m feeling, or home all day. Thank you. It encourages me to go indulge in some solo time, but taking myself on a little journey in nature. Still alone, but, shifting towards a different scene.

    Reply  |  
  29. Pingback: Tis the Season Tip #15 - Accept Love - BGP CoachingBGP Coaching | Divorce Coaching

  30. Vaughn

    My girlfriend asked me to read this but I don’t know how to change.

    Reply  |  
  31. Nul

    “Imagine the best parts of yourself, your favorite part even. Find the things that you love most about yourself. Imagine yourself on your best day.”

    But what if you have literally nothing you like about yourself? What then? Death seems to be the only option now.

    Reply  |  
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