I’ve written posts about how to cope with being heartbroken on Valentine’s Day. This year, I wanted to focus on self-love because it’s the one thing that I have struggled with the most in my life.

If you lack self-love, you will always feel this undercurrent of insecurity, anxiety, doom, a lack of control and no matter what… You will never feel like you’re able to call your own shots. Life just kind of happens to you as you watch everyone else make sh*t happen. This was an undercurrent that for a really long time, I felt like the only way to conquer was through superficial gains – following the follower, wearing clothes I couldn’t afford, dating powerful men, having celebrity friends, etc. Basically, anything I could piggyback on so that I could feel significant by association.

I ended up becoming a professional hype beast for the delusional band-aides I had put over the cancer that was my lack of self-love. Everyone had a cheerleader in me but me.

All I had was a box of what I convinced myself, were cancer-curing band-aides.

It doesn’t matter if you’re single, in a relationship, a friendship, an almost relationship or if you’re with your soul mate. If you lack self-love, you will always lack fulfillment because no matter how much you claim to want it, you will always have a hard time being attracted to what’s good for you instead of what triggers you.

And contrary to what we see at the movies, hear on the radio, and watch on tv… because no one can do these things for you or ever make you feel “special enough” to do these things for yourself, you will always be chasing your own emotional tail – entertained to an extent, but never fulfilled.

If you’re lucky, you may be able to attract true love. But you won’t be able to maintain it because you can never keep a fire burning that you can’t ignite within.

You’ll also lack the ability to do the one thing that separates the Emotional Jedi Masters from the Emotional Bed Sh*tters: Allow others to own their own behavior, decisions, lies, inconsistencies, and empathetic bankruptcyindependent of your value.

If you don’t believe that you have any value, you will always be so hungry for a buyer that you’ll become blind to the discount you consistently agree to.

Your gut will always know though. And it will eat away at the core of your being until you meet the universe halfway.

Decide to set your standard/price this Valentine’s Day and beyond. Stop asking f*cktard people to set it for you by deeming you “special enough” for them to transform into someone that they’re not even capable of being.

If you had 10 million in the bank, would you really care if someone didn’t believe you or didn’t “see it?” No.

Why?

Because you know what’s in your bank and that’s all that matters.

Know what’s in your relational bank. You’ve got zillions.

Continue Reading

Before I get into the signs of dating a pathological liar, I want to give you some background on my own personal experiences with lying.

I was never a pathological liar but I definitely used to be a compulsive liar.

Early in my childhood, lying became a habit that soon became a way of life. I had well-intended parents who taught me not to lie but in my little mind, there was no other choice. As I grew up, so did my self-deception, insecurities, and ability to paint an entirely different picture than, unbeknownst to me, most people could see right through. The lying continued well into my teens and early twenties. I didn’t have the awareness that I do now, but I knew the difference between right and wrong. The extent to which we will justify the wrong of lying in the name of emotional survival is incredible. I had to lie.

Without lying, everyone would be in on the joke that I embarrassingly tried with all my might, to be the only one in on…

The fact that I was a joke.

There are a million reasons why I felt like I had no choice but to lie at such a young age, and there are a million more reasons why I continued to lie as a teenager and young adult.

A lot of them had to do with the atmosphere I grew up in. A lot of it had to do with being around certain family members who were so insecure themselves, they got satisfaction from being the “Gotcha!” police and shaming me to others behind my back in the name of expressing concern. They did this instead of having a genuine concern to ask me if I was alright. And when I was a child especially, they never asked if they were doing anything or creating an environment in which I did not feel safe in being able, to tell the truth.

If you’re lying, you’re lonely.

The root of the weed that lying is, will always be the liar’s belief that they are not enough. And there is no lonelier place to be than the space of feeling like you have no worth.

If I didn’t feel like my truth was so pathetic and I wasn’t so ashamed, I would never have felt the need to compulsively lie. 

Anyone who lies habitually is on a self-made life raft that deflates very quickly until another lie is told.

Living one life is tough enough but when you lie, you have to keep up with multiple lives/identities. These identities are birthed by your shame, anger, fear of rejection, fear of judgment, and pain. The funny thing is, I lied to keep people around when all it did was turn off the right people, trigger my abandonment issues, and attract toxic people who exploited the very insecurities that required me to lie on the compulsive level that I was.

How I stopped being a compulsive liar is another post for another time. I basically started to become more scared of the effects of my lies than people just knowing the truth. I got so sick of myself, the drama I had created, and my own bullsh*t, that the truth started to become less scary. I realized that although people may be hurt, disgusted, happy, sad, etc., from hearing my truth… At least they’d respect me for being kindly (never brutally) honest in my communication. I then started to attract better people and better relationships in my life.

By taking this step to improve myself, I had simultaneously improved the relationship with myself. Over time, I started to build respect for myself.

Self-respect and compulsively and/or pathologically lying cannot coexist.

When it comes to dating and any kind of relationship, the level to which you deceive yourself will always mirror the toleration you have for others deceiving you.

If you engage in self-deception, you will be that much more susceptible to excuse others when they lie to you.

You will hold onto the perceived “truth” of their lies because deep down, you don’t believe that you are good enough for the truth. And so, you work harder to understand them instead of folding and getting the f*ck out of Dodge.

We all lie from time to time. According to a study at the University of Massachusetts, sixty percent of people cannot even have a 10-minute conversation without lying at least one time. However…

There’s a big difference between dating someone who has occasionally lied and someone who is a compulsive liar or even worse, a pathological liar.

Continue Reading

Hi guys! It’s Natasha. I have been busy working on my book and am writing a new post for PMS that unlike most of the posts I write, is taking me some time. I’m still feeling my way through what inspired it. So, I asked my dear friend Lorelle, to write another guest post on something I used to be: A hopeless romantic. Lorelle has written many guests posts and I am so happy to have her back. Lorelle, take it away…

Before I started to write this, I was thinking about how many songs are about love. Falling in love. Losing love. Breaking your heart over love. Hating over love. Wanting love. Crushed from love. Then there are the Instagram posts. The memes (oh, the memes!). Images that portray passion. Sex. Love in action. Crushed hearts. Hearts recalibrating after a breakup. Twists and turns along the path of healing. Overtones of anger and hurt. All of this, in images and some with text.

Movies are the best at showing us hopeless romantics in action. We respond emotionally to all of these. We idealize romance and want it to be a daily staple in our life. There is even a song and a movie named exactly the same thing: Hopeless Romantic. However, there are no romantic images anywhere of a couple changing a toilet roll. Nor are there any of a couple doing their tax returns, servicing the car, or loading the dishwasher. Grocery shopping, none. Messing the sheets yes, washing them, no.

This got me thinking. I realized I am not much of a romantic at all. I am a practical soul. I have a huge heart and I love to give and be loved, but I am not good at PDA’s, receiving poetry, random flower deliveries, and long, romantic stares that melt me into a puddle. Eh. I am not into this at all. I said to Natasha, “Maybe I shouldn’t be writing this post? I am not much of a romantic!”

What do I think of Valentines Day? Not a lot. I think love is best celebrated on a daily basis. Not some pressurized event where you have to prove your love by coming up with surprises. Besides, it’s more of a ploy to get people to spend money. And many have been broken hearted over not getting something. And many more are broken-hearted when they aren’t in a relationship and V Day seems to highlight that (which Natasha has already written about – because we shouldn’t be defining ourselves by a single day and what it represents). We are whole, regardless of whether we got a dozen roses and a candlelit dinner. We are lovable, regardless of that one day in February.

And if you do love and value these things, there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as they aren’t your gold standard. Because if that is the litmus test for you, an absence of these things might suggest to you that you aren’t being loved in the way you think we should be loved. Or you may think that you aren’t lovable.

Wedding days are 100 percent romantic – marriage is not. Yes, it can be full of happiness, love, and intimacy, but its’ really about growing together and sharing life as a couple. And all that goes along with that. Which is (often) not romantic.

So what exactly is a hopeless romantic all about?

Continue Reading

When I was younger, my dating life was geared toward finding unconditional love. I was convinced that the more love I unconditionally gave, the better my chances were of finally having it in a romantic relationship and getting to experience the return on investment that Happily Ever After is portrayed to be.

It didn’t work out that way.

I ended up becoming a backbone-less doormat. Loving this way had come at the cost of my self-respect.

Today, unconditional love is something that I fully believe in. It’s also something that I don’t believe in at all.

As a kid, I struggled with love in general. The people who genuinely and unconditionally loved me, I took for granted. And those that put conditions around their love for me at an age where conditions were more damaging than emotionally educational… I did everything I could to please and appease. This pedestaled them and left my 5-year-old self alone at the bottom, without a ladder.

In my little mind, unconditionally loving them, obeying the rules, and staying in line seemed to be the only ladder available. While their intentions were good and they did love me, these adults subconsciously engaged in a codependent relationship with me, the child. I was dependent on extracting a drop of their love, validation, and approval from the empty well that their conditions had run dry. I believe that they were dependent on the image that my obedience painted of them to others, as well as on my unconditional love, to invalidate their own perceived unlovable inadequacies from when they were young.

As I got older, this “unconditional love ladder” that never seemed to be tall enough, found it’s way into my romantic relationships and friendships.

That was the beginning of the end.

Instead of all the unconditional love I gave boomeranging back to me, it created life-robbing shame and loneliness that paralyzed me in the quicksand of relationsh*ts and friendsh*ts – one after the other.

Unconditional love also made me stay in familial relationships and other relationships just because there was blood relation, history, or some other kind of connection that’s only sacred if it is held up by mutuality – not unconditional love as a testament to loyalty.

I am writing this post as I write all of my posts – Not as an end-all-be-all, but to shed my own personal light on things that may have otherwise not been illuminated to help you out of pain, bad relational luck, toxic relationships, ambiguity, and insecurity that I know all too well. There is an exception to everything and a different way than anything can be interpreted. I went back and forth for a long time on whether to write about unconditional love. It’s one of those topics that can be very sensitive to discuss because everyone’s beliefs regarding it are tied to their own past experiences and pain. After thinking about it more, I knew I had to write about it.

Why?

Unconditional love is something that nearly robbed me of a life. It’s also something that saved my life.

Here’s what you need to know…

Continue Reading