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  • Writer's pictureNatalie Kusturic, LMFT

“I Love You But I Love Me More”

Will the internal voice say you are being selfish, uncaring, and mean? How can you let down the people in your life? Why can’t you just do better? If only…

What makes you feel not enough?

The story of you was formed in the first seven years of life. As a child, you learned how to relate to others through the relationship you had with your parents and siblings. Your parents learned their way of interacting from their own families. Children engage in magical thinking which means they believe if they say or do something they can create a specific outcome for those around them.

Of course, as an adult you know perfectly well that if your Dad lost his job there isn’t much you can actually do about this other than love him. Yet as adults, the magical thinking continues. If I do this then they will love me more, treat me with kindness, listen to me, etc. What is the price of love? Being me? Take it from me, none of these issues heal by compromising who you are for another person.

But what will people think…

Up until now those closest to you have been able to anticipate how you will be and have learned to expect certain behaviors from you. For example, if you are always the person who everyone calls for the support you may decide that while you enjoy being there for them it distracts you from accomplishing your goals leading you to be less available to others until you’ve taken care of your needs. Some will understand while others will not. When you begin to reclaim the discarded parts of you there will be people who leave. They are not bad people. You have simply outgrown each other.

3 Steps to be more you:

1. Have a good cry. Yep, you are going to need to mourn the loss of who you once were and the painful times you endured. Be sad, feel the grief. It is a part of your healing. Do not hold back here. At the end of this process, you will feel better. Do not turn away from you. Dive in.

2. Pick one thing you want to get off your chest and communicate it. This takes some introspection. Think of one thing bothering you in a relationship and be honest about how you feel. It’s a good idea to journal your feelings about it, fears of what you anticipate happening i.e. if I say this____it will mean this_____ they will say this________, This will help you get to what is really bothering you, feel clearer and more ready to take action.

3. Learn to Say NO: You more than likely crossed your own boundaries for another. Setting intentional boundaries creates the space for healthy self-esteem to be built and safety within the relationship to be established. “Stop working overtime for free,” “Stop being available to every need a friend has,” There is no need to hide, shrink or stay small for relationships to work. At the core of setting boundaries lies “I love you but I love me more.” When you choose from this perspective everything changes. Through honoring, loving, and respecting yourself you show others how to treat you and allow them to meet you there.

Becoming authentically you is an act of courage and self-compassion. It is the willingness to explore your depths and embrace even the messy parts you have been hiding from. On my own journey, I have learned that the best parts of me were hidden in what I mistakenly had referred to as my flaws. In your process of becoming you, I hope you find the courage to explore yourself, speak up, and set boundaries. You will be pleasantly surprised by the results and the needs you have neglected in the past will begin to be met. You may even discover that friends and family are more than happy to be there for you and the only ones getting in your way as you.

For more information, you can call at 954-391-5305.


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