A Gift of Intimacy

Everyone’s heard the self-help platitude “You must love yourself before you can love anyone else.” This may sound wise, but it misses a great truth: if we want to experience true intimacy, we need to be taught to love aspects of ourselves — again and again — by the people around us. As much as most of us want to control our own destiny, the humbling truth is that sometimes the only way to learn self-love is by being loved — precisely in the parts of ourselves where we feel most unsure and tender. When we are loved in such a way, we feel freedom and relief and permission to love in a deeper way. No amount of positive self-talk can replicate this experience. It is a gift of intimacy, not of willpower. When we surround ourselves with people who honor our gifts and whose gifts we also honor, our lives blossom.

— Ken Page, Deeper Dating, p. 72-73.

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