• Kim Smith, M.Ed, LPC

I Am The Love of My Life

A wise poet once said “I already got a good thing with me. Yeah, I already got everything I need. The best things in life are already mine. Don't tell me that you got a good thing for me, 'Cause I already got a good thing with me”. That poet’s none other than Oakland’s own noted R&B artist Kehlani.

I jest but she honestly is touching on the important concept of self love. Often people enter relationships with the hope of having that one special someone fulfill their happiness and make them feel complete. A beautiful idea in theory but not necessarily the healthiest way of thinking. To become so dependent on another individual limits your own happiness if or when that partner is no longer in your life. Maybe you do meet the love of your life, get married, have kids, the whole shebang. Unfortunately, life happens, and forever is not guaranteed, so having some sort of coping skills in place to bring forward happiness is super crucial. On the other end of the things, maybe you get into a constant loop of dating trying to find that one special someone with no success. All the energy devoted to finding that special love keeps you from being present and enjoying the happiness all around you on a regular basis.

I don’t want to sound jaded on love and relationships. I have this corny idea in my head that their legitimately is someone out there for everyone, but I also believe that to receive that full extent of love from that special someone you have to some emotional stability in yourself. That means setting clear boundaries on what you will not accept in the potential partners you come in contact with, Breaking the stigma around having “high standards”, and essentially knowing your worth.

Here’s my own personal anecdote on the matter. Having a good education and solid income has always been enlisted in me since forever. Both of my parents were very educated and collectively made a solid income for most of my life. They also had a level of passion for what they both did career wise, staying in the field for 25+ years each. Naturally, I picked up some of the same ideas. I actively pursued higher education and have always been ambitious in propelling my career to the next level. However, in the earlier stages if my dating life I didn’t actively look for that in the guys I was dating. I found myself dumbing down my language just to relate to them. I also found myself not expecting that same level of ambition in partners. “They have a job, that’s enough.” It absolutely was not enough! And the moments I asserted that point of view caused discomfort or conflict. Then the unexpected happened, I met a guy who saw my education and ambition as so much more. He listened to my rants throughout grad school on psychological modalities or case studies. He would ask me to repeat any “advanced” words so he can incorporate them in his own vocabulary to better himself. I can honestly say he was the first person to make me feel the most accepted and heard.

A proper partner will do just that. They will see all the quirks that you embrace and love about yourself and then and only then accept and love you fully. The key again is that you need to love yourself first. That relationship I mentioned unfortunately came to an end for other reasons, but it taught me that all the parts I am often self conscious about is worthy of being loved and accepted. It helped me better love an appreciate my flaws, and not be willing to accept any attention that doesn’t match the positive energy I give myself on a regular basis. Ultimately, If you can’t love yourself, how do you expect any partner to learn how to love you. If you constantly hold back who you are fully, how do you expect someone else to truly love every part of you. You have to cater to all those things that bring you joy and prioritize incorporating them in

your life outside of a relationship. Set yourself up for success and happiness outside of what role anyone else may play.

Questions? Comments? Concerns?

What are some of the things you love most about yourself? Proclaim them loudly and confidently in the comment section below. If you need further inspiration, check out the Great Poet, Kehlani, in the link to the music video below

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