Do We Really Need to Love Ourselves Before Others Will Love Us?
Love + Sex
Can Being Loved Teach Us How to Love Ourselves?

It seems as if some people are born into this world with the innate ability to love themselves. Others of us aren't so lucky. We struggle with our inadequacies and look to others for personal validation and feelings of self-worth.

We've all be told that we need to love ourselves before we can love anyone else, and while I happen to believe there's solid truth to this notion, personal experience has taught me that the road to self-love involves being loved - often in ways and for reasons we don't fully understand.

It's long been thought that anyone without a healthy possession of self-love was doomed to travel from one rotten relationship to the next. Until they learned to get their self-love crap together and give themselves a hug, the best they could hope for was functional dysfunction. How totally depressing.

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What if the journey toward self-acceptance was one in which love helped you navigate? Psychotherapist and author Ken Page believes it is.

In his article for Psychology Today, Page explores the least celebrated, and yet most powerful path to self-love. Page reveals, "As much as we want to control our own destiny, the humbling truth is that sometimes the only way to learn self-love is by being loved-precisely in the places where we feel most unsure and most tender. When that happens, we feel freedom and relief-and permission to love in a deeper way. No amount of positive self-talk can replicate this experience. It is a gift of intimacy, not of will-power."

Mind = blown.

As someone who timidly walked the path of self-love, had it not been for the love and support of my husband, I'm not sure I would have had the strength or motivation to do so.

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Page goes on to say that those of us who struggle with self-love are often the most ashamed of our most unique and authentic parts, suggesting, "These aspects of ourselves threaten our safety; but they are the direct path to love and, not incidentally, to personal greatness."

Let's think about that for a second. We're road blocked from the experience of self-love when we fear what the truest parts of ourselves reveal. Like, whoa.

So how do we break through the fear? Page tells us, "The best-sometimes the only-way out is through relationships; relationships which instruct us in the worth of our most vulnerable self."

So there you have it, friends. We possess the ability to love and be loved even if we haven't quite mastered the art of loving ourselves.

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Undoubtedly, self-love is the greatest gift we can offer ourselves and our relationships. When we're secure with our gifts, talents, and individual voice, we'll possess the personal tools to love in a deeper, more intimate capacity.

- By Lori Garcia
Follow Lori on Babble

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