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  • Writer's pictureGODVERSITY

My Parents Didn’t Love Me, How Can I?


TESTIMONY: "My parents provided for me and all, but they never really cared. never really asking me questions, about my interests. Never wanted to do things with me. Never would bring me places I wanted to go, unless I begged them and wouldn't leave them alone.

Ever since I was a little kid, I played by myself, even when I was a teenager I just hung out in my room. If we hung out, I had to do what they wanted to do. The only time my mom ever was interested in me was when my older sister went away for a week on a trip. That whole week she wanted to listen to my music with me, eat lunch with me, etc. wanted to see what video games I liked. My dad just never hung out with me at all, until recently. and I'm 21.

But still, if we hang out I have to do what he wants to do. I realize this because my girlfriend’s parents actually love me. They want to know about me, want to do stuff with me, and ask me. And for some reason, my parents got offended that these people act more like parents to me.

I could tell my biological mom and dad were jealous because I love my (practically)in-law parents so much now. I'm making my own life and doing my own thing, and it hurts my mom and dad, and I don't know why? They should be happy in growing to be an independent man. That I have ideas for my future, but it doesn't seem like it at all. I just realized this for some reason.

I don’t think that either of my parents remember what they did or could do better. But I do, to such an extent that I think about them all the time. I also think about how much of a bad person I must be, if my own parents, the two people who brought me into this world, don’t even love me. How will anyone else ever love me?

I'll always love my parents; they had a rough childhood and life. Hopefully, things will turn around someday." - Mr. BMJ



Do you love yourself adequately to stop denying that your sins, your faults, your inadequacies are as real as your virtues? Do you love yourself enough to stop scraping together self-worth from broken, sinful pieces of self, and instead to embrace the free gift of the Father’s love for Christ’s sake?

"Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee." - Song of Solomon 4:7 (KJV)

If the world really cared about helping us love ourselves, it would simply preach the gospel. Only the good news of Christ offers true hope. The message of the gospel is a message of freedom from efforts to love our broken selves by providing a worth that comes from outside of our brokenness — a worth that comes from Christ. Do you love yourself enough to accept that?


Self-love is a popular term today that gets tossed around in normal conversation. "You have to love yourself more." "Why don't you love yourself?" "If you only loved yourself, this wouldn't have happened to you." "You can't love another person until you love yourself first." These are just a few of the self-love directives that we give or get to suggest a way to more living fulfillment.

Self-love is important to living well. It influences who you pick for a mate, the image you project at work, and how you cope with the problems in your life. It is so important to your welfare that I want you to know how to bring more of it into your life.

What is self-love, then? Is it something you can buy in a beauty makeover or a new set of clothing? Can you get more of it by reading something inspirational? Or, can a new relationship make you love yourself more? The answer to all of these questions is No! Although they feel good and are gratifying, you can't grow in self-love through these types of activities. Since, self-love is not simply a state of feeling good.

Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self-love is dynamic; it grows by actions that mature us. When we act in ways that expand self-love in us, we begin to accept much better our weaknesses as well as our strengths, have less need to explain away our short-comings, have compassion for ourselves as human beings struggling to find personal meaning, are more centered in our life purpose and values, and expect living fulfillment through our own efforts.

Seven-Step Prescription for Self-Love

1. Become attentive. People who have more self-love tend to know what they think, feel and want. They are mindful of who they are and act on this knowledge, rather than on what others want for them.

2. Focus on Need rather than the Want. You love yourself when you can turn away from something that feels good and exciting to what you need to stay strong, centered, and moving forward in your life, instead. By staying focused on what you need, you turn away from automatic behavior patterns that get you into trouble, keep you stuck in the past, and lessen self-love.

3. Practice good self-care. You will love yourself more, when you take better care of your basic needs. People high in self-love nourish themselves daily through healthy activities, like sound nutrition, exercise, proper sleep, intimacy and healthy social interactions.

4. Set precincts. You'll love yourself more when you set limits or say no to work, love, or activities that deplete or harm you physically, emotionally and spiritually, or express poorly who you are.

5. Protect yourself. Bring the right people into your life. I love the term frenemies that I learned from my younger clients. It describes so well the type of "friends" who take pleasure in your pain and loss rather than in your happiness and success. My suggestion to you here: Get rid of them! There isn't enough time in your life to waste on people who want to take away the shine on your face that says, "I genuinely love myself and life". You will love and respect yourself more.

6. Forgive yourself. We humans can be so hard on ourselves. The downside of taking responsibility for our actions is punishing ourselves too much for mistakes in learning and growing. You have to accept your humanness (the fact that you are not perfect), before you can truly love yourself. Practice being less hard on yourself when you make a mistake. Remember, there are no failures, if you have learned and grown from your mistakes; there are only lessons learned.

7. Live purposefully. You will accept and love yourself more, whatever is happening in your life, when you live with purpose and design. Your purpose doesn't have to be crystal clear to you. If your intention is to live a meaningful and healthy life, you will make decisions that support this intention, and feel good about yourself when you succeed in this purpose. You will love yourself more if you see yourself accomplishing what you set out to do. You need to establish your living intentions, to do this.

If you choose just one or two of these self-love actions to work on, you will begin to accept and love yourself more. Just imagine how much you'll appreciate you when you exercise these seven-steps to self-love. It is true that you can only love a person as much as you love yourself. If you exercise all of the actions of self-love that I describe here, you will allow and encourage others to express themselves in the same way. The more self-love you have for yourself, the better prepared you are for healthy relating. Even more, you will start to attract people and circumstances to you that support your well-being.


References: Deborah Khoshaba, Psy.D., is a Clinical Psychologist and Director of Training and Development for the Hardiness Institute, Inc., Irvine, California, since 1989.. In Print: Resilience at Work: How to Succeed No Matter What Life Throws at You


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