Welcome back; I am so glad you decided to drop in again for another installment of my self-care journey. If you’re new here, welcome to this safe space where we are learning to love ourselves in healthy ways. A great R&B singer named Summer Walker released an album called Still Over it recently. The album was an open letter about lessons she learned in love. While I was listening to the album, I realized I was still not over it!

I am not over the things I allowed myself to endure to pursue relationships with people who did not value me. I am not over it because I carry a lot about shame and guilt with my experiences. I feel embarrassed because many of the people I entertained were not even people I genuinely liked. I liked the attention they gave me. I liked the way that I felt when they would provide me with affection. But, if I am honest with myself, I can genuinely admit I didn’t like them. When I think about it long enough, the affection and attention were so inconsistent that I was disappointed by the person early on, but I held onto hope that they would meet a desire I had for myself that I was not meeting on my own.

On my self-care journey, I need to keep reminding myself that I am not my past experiences. I loved on the level that I knew, and I leaned on the understanding I had at that time. I had to accept that real life is not like the fantasies I carry in my head. Because I started dating so late and have such little experience in love, I have an internal fear that I will never meet anyone and be single forever. I am working on releasing myself such self-sabotaging theories because those ideas have led me to settle in the past. When I go to a restaurant or shopping for new outfits, I get what I want and like. If I ordered steak, I would never accept a server bringing me fish. So, why am I not doing the same when exploring a romantic relationship with someone?

As I have said consistently, I have always wanted to be a girlfriend and eventually a wife. However, for the sake of those desires, I allowed many things I disagreed with in my quest for love. I would consistently ignore red flags and make way too many excuses to feed my fantasy of building a life with someone. I felt like if I didn’t complain or made myself into the woman, I thought they wanted the person would stay. I realize this people-pleasing behavior had nothing to do with the person I saw and everything to do with me. I had abandonment issues I needed to work through that were holding me back from truly being in love.

The reality is that we all want to be loved to some degree. However, the way that we go about it looks different for everyone. I am challenging myself to learn from my experience instead of repeating them. A quote from Fat Joe comes to mind, “yesterday’s price is not today’s price.” Meaning the things I accepted in the past are not the things I allow now.

Check out my latest episode of The View From Here, where I chat with Viririana about forgiving herself for things she did in the past on her love journey and how she is building the love she deserves now.