By: D. Thea Aldridge

One day as I listened to an amazing song Whitney Houston sang, I heard a line that resonated with me in that moment: ‘Learning to Love Yourself is the Greatest Love of All.’ After a careful look at how I had treated myself, I realized ‘self-love’ was at the bottom of my list. What is a girl who lacks ‘self-love’ to do? Take the journey!

At the start of this journey I was truly unclear: what does self-love look like, feel like, and show up as, were some of my questions. In true “D Thea” fashion, I started this as a public journey: daily FB lives and affirmation posts for 30 days with my friends and tribe. The more I publicly displayed happiness and success in the process, the more I uncovered areas and ways I showed contempt, distrust and utter disdain for ME- HOW COULD THIS BE?

Soon I hit the proverbial brick wall. I met someone I genuinely liked, and at first glance he checked all the boxes: entrepreneur, handsome, driven, and he showed a ‘little’ interest, which by the way was all I needed to plan for our future bliss. Based on MY calculations in my journey, I was ready! We talked, he said what I wanted to hear, and I threw caution to the wind. When he rejected me after our first date, I was at a crossroads in my feelings: would I allow the thoughts of rejection, devastation, and what-if’s take me to a negative place, or would I reflect and get the true lesson? I decided on the latter and recognized what I wanted from others, I had not given to myself. 

More by D. Thea Aldridge:

The Great Awakening

For as long as I can remember, I have been trying fill the void left from adoption and the identity crisis it caused. I searched for my identity as a star performer at work, as the life of the party in the streets, and as the ‘best sex partner ever’ and STILL CAME UP SHORT. You see, looking for love on the outside when I did not truly have it on the inside was futile.  To say I loved others, when I did not even understand the concept of love was ridiculous.  I realized that loving others will only be possible when I have a perfect love for myself. Now my true ‘journey’ begins, the Self-Love Journey that provides me with security, honor, provision and absolute acceptance of me BY me!

So I have taken another line from the same song and made it my mantra: I have decided not to walk in anyone’s shadow, if I fail or if I succeed, at least I live as I believe. No matter what anyone tries to take from me, they cannot take away my dignity. Why? Because the Greatest Love of All is Happening to Me. I am learning to love myself- The Greatest Love of All!