Probably one of my favorite songs from the recent release of A Star is Born is a song called “Is That Alright?” (I’ll put the song at the end of this post if you care to give it a listen). The song is essentially a love song from one lover to another expressing all the things she’s imagines their love to be, asking for permission essentially.
Of course she’s not actually asking for permission but it raises an interesting question I’ve explored in regard to love.
I think that’s always been me…kind of asking people if it’s okay if I love them. Like, is this okay that I love you in this way? I don’t want to impose. If it’s okay with you, perhaps I could tell you I love you or do these nice things for you, but only if that’s okay. So so so passive and going out of my way not to make someone uncomfortable or even make them commit to anything with me.
I’m not asking anymore. I don’t need permission to love. I can just go ahead and do it. That is something that is entirely in my control.
I’ve generally taken a very passive approach to loving people in the past. I never really felt good enough. In fact I felt more like I was a burden on the person I was in love with. Like somehow my love came with a weight to carry. It was as if my love was an inconvenience for them instead of a gift. I don’t mean that THEY made me feel this way – it’s just how I felt going into any relationship.
It goes back to not feeling worthy, like I wasn’t bringing much to the table. I felt like a burden not a blessing. That I brought nothing but problems into a new relationship instead of love and solutions. Maybe part of that was true because of I was masking a lot of hurts, insecurities and a drinking problem that all added up to me feeling inadequate.
I think thats why polyamory felt so right for me for awhile. I didn’t have to be someones everything and so the pressure was off, the weight lifted. But I struggled greatly with the idea of not being “enough” every single day still. Even though I may not have felt worthy of someones full attention and affection, I also still longed to be someone’s one and only.
The insecurities that come with sharing someone you love with others can be a bitch to deal with, especially the fear of loss. That I might lose the person I love to someone better than me and when you feel like you bring nothing to the table, that insecurity is exasperated. That every new partner poses a potential threat. It’s a never ending stream of fear and insecurity that I eventually just couldn’t handle anymore.
Polyamory really fast tracked my ability to identify deep rooted insecurities by forcing me to confront them weekly….shit, sometimes even daily. It also nurtured and helped me grow my ability to communicate with my partners.
Prior, I was terrified to say anything. I would mostly just ignore my wants/needs because I didn’t want to rock the boat or cause a fight. I’m grateful for my poly partners for helping me work on that. I can’t imagine not having gone through it all and I’m glad I did.
After my last polyamorous relationship ended, I realized that I was using polyamory as more of a hiding place then a place of growth although I learned a shit ton about myself in the process, so I’m grateful.
But what I couldn’t shake was that I felt inadequate constantly. I tried really hard to be enough but what I didn’t realize is that “being enough” wasn’t the problem. Polyamory wasn’t the problem. My partners weren’t even the problem. It was me. I was the problem.
I needed to work on me. I needed to convince myself that I was worthy. I needed to figure out what makes me unique and what I bring to the table in a relationship – and find value and strength in that. Own that completely.
After I discovered this, I took some time off from dating and really worked on a lot of those broken pieces I’d been hiding or glueing together only to watch them crumble when a little heat was applied.
I fixed the deeper issues I was grappling with inside myself. Getting sober was part of that, but really digging deep and asking myself the tougher questions that lead to me figuring out why I didn’t feel worthy of love and why I was asking for permission to love.
The good news…
I no longer feel inadequate or like a burden. I’m very confident that I have something to offer someone I love and am confident in my ability to be enough – but instead of being enough for someone else, I just needed to be enough for me. I am also worthy of accepting love and asking for what I want and then going out and getting it.
At the end of the day, I am enough for me. I bring a whole slew of amazing qualities and benefits to a relationship and I don’t feel the need to ask anyone for permission to love them in all the ways that I know how anymore. I am also worthy of receiving the kind of love that I want.
Armed with my new found confidence, self-worth and ready to ask for what I wanted – I was ready to love again. Ready to find someone who was ready to love and be loved in return.
I am a worthy girl who is enough and loving with every ounce of my being. Is that alright? I can answer that: Abso-fucking-lutely it is!