Loving the Unlovable (#1000Speak)

I sit, blank page daring me to type, not knowing how to collate the thoughts which are moving at a million miles an hour through my mind. This morning I wanted to shave all my hair off because it felt ridiculous to even try. This morning I wanted to pour acid onto my face because I felt so ugly and so frustrated that it MATTERED to me, that I wanted to make it stop – to release myself forever from the disappointment held in every. single. mirror. and force myself into a state of being where all that COULD matter was the beauty of my soul.

This afternoon I let the sun shine on my back as I dug in the earth, and I tried to bite back a cry of “It’s not fair” as my mum agreed that so, so many things have pointed to my marriage not working, and Husby and I just not being right for each other, because of the numerous systematic devastations which have undermined our relationship from the start, and from which we’ve been unable to recover.

This evening I rolled my eyes as a friend asked me whether self-hatred makes life any better. I responded somewhat snidely, that it’s to do with inbuilt patterns of behaviour and it somehow being easier to reject myself first and worse, before anyone else has the chance to hurt me.

But no – it doesn’t make life better – it reminds me I’m unlovable.

Somehow I gravitate towards the Unlovables.

I seem to recognise a ‘lack’ within them (usually perceived, rather than real) and it’s something which resonates because I find myself so lacking. My response is to gather them in, where I can, and love them (if they’ll let me).

I think it’s because I’ve been an outsider all my life, either through circumstance, intent (other people’s – not mine), or a nagging self-doubt which keeps me on the periphery. Don’t get me wrong – if I want to, I can get right up in there and be the life and soul of the party; I can keep people laughing with jokes and ribald remarks; I can take part in intelligent conversations about most things except politics and maths. But behind it all there is a sadness, a desperation to be liked and included, and a faint tinge of incredulity when I am, because I still don’t believe I belong there.

When I began blogging, I rapidly realised that I had no clue what I was getting myself into, and that it was bigger and more wonderful than I could ever have imagined. There were people who, in spite of never having met me, were able to respond to my words and to my soul, which I vomited out into the screen, rarely stopping to question whether or not it was a good idea. I craved acknowledgement and affirmation – things which were sorely lacking in my world.

I got them – somehow being sufficiently blessed with a way with words which enticed and engaged people, in spite of the incredible egocentricity with which I wrote. I loved it. I set about building a community, and spent long, wonderful hours nurturing relationships through conversations in comment boxes and on Facebook. I knew I needed a support network, and more than anything I wanted friends. I wanted people to care about me. I wanted nurture.

And the best way I knew to generate it was reciprocally – to befriend others; to care about them; to nurture them.

It worked, and over the years, my community has become a wonderful, vibrant, lively place, FULL of wonderfully nurturing people, who are no longer invested just in me, but in each other, too. They genuinely and unabashedly care.

Beautiful things have come out of my community: the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop each week. A number of them have been part of The SisterWives. Still more are part of 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion. At each turn and evolution, I see the wonder and positive impact of the good, shinybright souls who populate what I consider to be *my* portion of the Blogosphere.

And yet, in the midst of the shinybright souls and all the *twinklysparklygoodness* that we generate between us, there are those wayward spirits whose hearts echo with the sketchy emptiness of winter horizons. There are those whose unprotected feet are constantly treading the stony shoreline of their own darkness, and whose stormy seas frequently threaten to throw up a sneaker wave to drag them under.

They are the Unlovables.

The Village needs the Unlovables

I reach out – cursor still blinking, accusing me of incapability and pretension to writer-hood, pretension to worthiness of being part of this cause, and hypocrisy because how can I write about nurture when I can’t even think kind thoughts about myself – and I pick up a small, black box, which has been within arm’s reach since it arrived.

Its smooth, matt surface is still speckled with glitter, and the lid glides upwards, revealing a second, posher box, which speaks of treasure. I slide it from its casing and the faint tinkling sound from inside reminds me how precious it is. The lid lifts heavily and there, nestled in velvet, is a pendant of stars on a fine, silver chain. I gently free it from its housing and trickle it over my fingers, watching the light spark off the chain and the stars as it twists in mid-air. My fingers find the tiny clasp and I struggle for a moment to unlatch it before fastening it about my neck.

I reach back into the box and take out the two folded, glitter-coated sheets of paper, proclaiming friendship in red ink. Care. Affection. Nurturing. Thankfulness. Acknowledgement. Love…

It’s not that the Unlovables are necessarily unlovely. In fact, I think that they’re rather a wonderful bunch (sometimes I even think that about me!!). If I cast my mind around the people I would include in this category of society (and you can be guaranteed that in any society where people have time to think beyond the provision of their basic needs, there will be those who, for whatever reason, feel inherently ‘less than’ (and yes, I know that this kind of thought process is a luxury, because we have abundance, and time to dwell (conversely, not helping us at all))) I see some of the most caring, most creative, most nurturing people I know.

They are often the most determined to have an impact in life, sometimes for themselves, but usually in championing other people, or supporting them. They are the thinkers whose minds are full of beauty and broken mirrors, giving them windows into the world which others are unable to see. They have spirits full of poetry and music and pain. They see darkness in the world and try to the extent of their limits to bring light.

And they often sink, mired in the impossibilities of trying to stay afloat whilst throwing all their lifejackets to those they deem more important or more worthy. They withdraw, worn out from all the being, which is necessary every day to try to make the world a little brighter. They revisit well-trodden neural pathways of low self-esteem and disappointment that they will never be the person they wish they were; never able to accept that others might find them wonderful, entrancing, beautiful human beings.

They require effort, and so much nurture, and to some this will seem like attention-seeking behaviour, or determined self-hatred, or stubborn self-sufficiency. It can often be distancing, self-pitying, ridiculous or even a little pathetic. It disturbs; it has tantrums; it flies in the face of friendships and spits at them, screaming “I’m nothing, how could you possibly love me? Your opinions are stupid and irrelevant because I will never, ever, ever be good enough.”

Often the temptation is to give up. Because constant messages of self-loathing get boring; the attention-seeking might be innovative but is still the ‘same old’; and it’s tiring to sit up at night and listen while someone cries and is desperate for love but yours glances off them.

Eventually you might be forced to give up if the relationship gets too much and becomes toxic – as Darwin Prophet once said, there is an “absurdity of love’s intricate thread of gold binding the weaving of lives meant to touch, not to hold”

It’s a path of loneliness; of constantly rejecting yourself first and worst, to mitigate the hurt, should anyone else do it. It’s a life of constant self-doubt and battle against the idea that others are better, and that we are trespassing on their kindness. It’s moments of hearing small, wicked voices whispering that perhaps they’d all be better off without us. It’s an awful thing, to be Unlovable…and yet, The Village needs us.

It needs the Unlovables to notice the cracks and smudges of darkness in other people, and reach out to them.

It needs the Unlovables to understand, instinctively, the humanity in everyone, and to genuinely (exhaustingly) care.

It needs the Unlovables to keep seeking the Good in life and, with an energy borne of desperation, to keep shining those beacons of hope in a stormy world.

It needs the Unlovables and their precarious sense of self to connect with others and draw them in, forming bonds and support networks and generating relationships.

It needs the Unlovables and the way they turn their fragility and vulnerability into something beautiful in an effort to redeem it.

It needs the Unlovables to remind the world that beyond the business of survival, the most treacherous place to be embattled is within the emotional landscape of your own mind.

It needs the Unlovables to send glitter across the world to let someone know they matter, or to write a song which speaks to the soul, or to very gently bind someone back together with sticky-tape friendship and in spite of all the brokenness, love them, anyway.

But the Village needs everyone to evoke, and encourage, nurture – because if everyone was okay, then it wouldn’t be necessary.

Together, we’re stronger.

As the words finally flow from my mind to the screen, my hands frequently slip from the keys to touch my necklace, tracing the chain across my collarbones and embossing my fingertips with the outline of the stars, pausing to lift the pendant so that I can once again read the legend around the edge (“Live your own life…follow your own star”) grounding myself with a physical reminder that in this instance, and so many others, I am loved.

And I write.

1000Speak

This month, 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion continues to work toward a better world with a particular focus on Building from Bullying, as well as the broader topic of compassion.

Write a post relevant to this month’s focus – Nurturing – and add it to the link-up right here by clicking the blue button below. The co-hosts for the linkie are

American Indian Mom, Finding Ninee The Quiet Muse, Chronically Sick Manic Mother, Just Gene’o, Driftwood Gardens,Getting Literal, Head Heart Health, The Meaning of Me, Paper,Pen,Pad, Blogitudes1000Speak, YvonneSpence

Here’s how to get involved:

Join 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion on Facebook

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86 thoughts on “Loving the Unlovable (#1000Speak)

  1. I know now that almost everyone feels the same at some point of time! We tend to hide our ‘unlovableness’ so that we don’t burden or bore other people with it! But, it actually helps to know that other people, even those you would have thought were very confident and popular and completely lovable, also go through this!! I’m glad I’m not alone and I’m so very glad that I am part of such a special group at #1000Speak!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a pretty good point, actually – it DOES help to know that people we respect and admire go through these same things…thank you for making me think of that 🙂 I’m so glad you’re part of 1000Speak 🙂

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  2. First, as I said on Twitter, I had missed that you have been through such a hard time lately. Sorry to see that.

    If I’m getting you right, what you’re saying is that the “Unlovables” feel unlovable, rather than are unlovable. It is hard not to feel unlovable when you are going through shit, but that doesn’t make it true.

    I haven’t read all the comments here (too many) but I agree with Chris – everyone feels this way sometimes. I’ve absolutely felt it, been where you are. I felt unlovable most of the time for decades. It’s not a character defect, but a learned habit so it can be unlearned. (Though that is not a walk in the park, and I still have my off-days, particularly with relation to my writing.)

    Of course the world needs the unlovables, and I also think that perhaps it needs them/us to move beyond that to show others how to. For me, the shift began when I stopped trying to love myself and allowed my self-hatred. It sounds as if that’s what you’re doing here, allowing yourself to be who (how?) you are right now. And actually – that’s love. To get to the shiny stuff, you have to face the crap, and you’re doing that, so you’ll get to the sunshine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can never quite decide if I’m facing it or indulging in it – I’m sure there’s a difference and the thing I LEAST want to be is whiney, but…life’s particularly hard (again (as it often is for everyone)) and to paraphrase Ally McBeal – the thing which makes MY problems more important is that they’re MINE!

      I’m glad to know you, Yvonne, and that you came up with such a marvellous idea as 1000Speak. Long may it continue. I know I find it very inspiring 🙂

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      • If you haven’t read my nurturing post yet, you might find it reassuring with regard to the indulging/facing it worry. And mebbe if you think you are being whiney try loving yourself BECAUSE of it. (Just as much as you can. You’re also allowed to hate yourself for it. Both occur almost constantly within us because our world is made up of all these opposites: no light without dark, and so on.)

        And I am glad to know you too Lizzi! 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’ll give it a go…I confess I’ve been USELESS at keeping up with 1000Speak and the TToT posts this month, but yaknow what? I’m not beating myself up about it, and THAT is good self-nurture. I just have no more head-space, but I like your writing. It usually makes sense to me, so I’ll definitely go over there to yours 🙂 Thanks

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  3. You knocked this one out of the park, Lizzi! Just beautiful words…I can’t even pick my favorite quote, there’s too many. One thing I disagree with though—you are not unloveable. No way. On the same token I relate to those self criticisms. The non stop chatter of not good enough’. I know where the voice comes from, too and while I’m at a point in my life where I’ve stopped caring so much about what other people think, I still feel ugly when I look in the mirror sometimes. Self nurture is a thing we must improve at.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes – it’s far more to do with how we feel, than how we necessarily are…I wouldn’t say you’re unloveable, see, but it’s definitely something about our self-perception which stops us being able to receive love freely, indulgently, and without analysis.

      *sigh*

      Anyway.Thank you for liking this so much 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I was writing in my journal about my encounter at my psychiatrist’s office today. There was a middle aged woman who was with her parents and a social worker (I believe) who appeared in the waiting room. She pointed at my foot and said that my shoes were lovely and that they were perfect for my tattoo. “I want her tattoo mom!” she said. And her mom rolled her eyes and flicked her daughters HUGE septum nose ring “You’re lucky you got this” Then the daughter asked what it was that it said and I said “Chase” and she laughed. “Oh I get it. Chase me! Chase me!” and I said that it was my son’s name. “Oh, well you must love him so much. So very much to put his name on you forever. I don’t think anyone will love me forever. No one will tattoo my name on them forever.”
    And my heart just broke. I wished that I kept my mouth shut and of course my psych called me in at that exact moment. Her mom snatched her shoulders and gave her a huge squeeze — I saw her on the way out and I told her that I thought that she was beautiful. She smiled. I just didn’t know what else to say.
    This post just reminded me of her and me. I too feel like this…I think it has a lot to do with my low self esteem.
    Anyways – look I’ve rambled off on nothing. I love you ya unlovable lovable glittery gal and the way in which you touch me in a (non-pervert) way in the feels. You get me. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you were there for her, and that you understood. You probably made her day. Bless your great big shinybright soul. YOU are a beautiful, wonderful person, and I quite adore you. I’m glad to ‘get’ you and to know you, even if I have a propensity to terrify you with spiders, I do care an awful lot about the thinks which go on in that brain of yours. *HUGS*

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  5. Lizzy, there is so much I want to say about this. I read this the day you published it and have been thinking about it every since, also about the word nurture and what that means to me. I am an unlovable, despite the many people that love me. I always have been. Reading this moved me to tears because I’ve never seen so much value place on “us”. You reached deep inside and pulled out such a beautiful, empowering message for me and I know so many others. I actually keep going back to this post for more inspiration for my #1000 Speak piece. I haven’t been this pumped to write in a while. So much respect and admiration for you! ~Dawn

    Liked by 1 person

    • We matter. We just do. Even though we’re scratchy and closed down and full of sharp corners and uncomfortable angles…we do matter. And we ARE lovable (patently, or people wouldn’t bother with us), but we INCREDIBLY matter. Look at what you did – look at your project and how much passion and fire there was in it, and how determined you are that no-one else should go through what you did, feeling alone. It’s HUGELY important stuff, and I don’t think that if we were content and aware of how loved we are, and able to own it, that we’d care so much about other people NOT going through the hells we’ve lived. If that makes any sense at all.

      I’m so glad this had such an effect on you. As I read it back, I panicked in case it sounded like fishing for compliments, but your response (along with a few others) has confirmed that it’s done what I wanted it to, for the kind of person who might need it.

      Thank you so, so much 🙂

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  6. Hey, I am just catching up. And I am motivated to write, though I hate the overused insipid-ity of the term: I am blessed to have unloveable like you appreciate an unloveable like me.

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  7. You have this beautiful way of putting some of the most difficult and complicated, mixed up feelings into words and while working through it yourself you bring us all along with you. Thanks for sharing so much with us because that helps – and for nurturing and bringing so many of us into your space. Hugs. May the world feel a bit lighter again soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Louise. I’ve found for many many years that writing is my release, my processing, and my therapy (to an extent) and it allows me (or forces me) to really get to grips with how I’m feeling and how it all fits together and how I can make Good come out of that, where possible. It helps so, so much. And thank you for letting me know it helps.

      I hope the world feels lighter soon, too, but I’ll wait, and know that people care, in spite of me being how I am 🙂 *hugs*

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  8. After reading the post and then comment section, I see that part of your “finding silver linings” gift is (as Kristi put it) being able to articulate that “not enough” and “not worthy/lovable” feeling we’ve all had at some point in our lives for one reason or another, some worse than others. but through your words you not only give solidarity, but also hope, thereby granting PERMISSION to feel otherwise. I hope you do feel otherwise someday and know your worth because you, my dear, are glitter and sunshine and cake and everything that is beautiful in this world. *millionhugs*

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well…I truly hope so, because given how wonderful everyone is to me, I’d really like to know what they think is so great, and be able to feel that. But…anyway. I LOVE the idea that Silver Linings might be my gift. That makes me really happy because it means I always have a way to connect with and encourage others.

      Perhaps most people have felt ‘less than’ at some point or another, but I love the idea (always) of giving solidarity and hope, and by being openly a bit useless, I suppose it makes it less bad for others to be so, and we can all come out from under our shells and join hands. Or something 🙂 I’m rambling now.

      But…I like how much you think I’m a good thing. Thank you *millionhugsback*

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I get it. I totally get it. You described how I feel on many, many days. I rarely say it aloud but it is with me all the time and it’s a heavy burden that’d like to put down. I wish I could see what others say they see. I just seem unable to. Thank you for your words. Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gem I’m so glad you understood this, and I hope you see how this difficult, awful thing can also be a bit of an advantage, if you choose it. I’ve learned to use it to benefit others and that makes me feel a tiny bit less terrible about it. Like writing this…came from a place of very unlovability, and yet in it, somehow (even though I’ve just read it back and maybe hate it because it feels suddenly like a MASSIVE fish for compliments, which it was never meant to be)…it matters.

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  10. Positively gobsmacked. Once again you’ve reached in and deeply stirred my soul. Such a wealth of vulnerability and honesty and what I’m coming to call Lizziness. You’re one very special gal. Sending you a jumbo hug from here on Canada’s west coast.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, I know I can do *me* very well indeed, without having to admit to its inherent anything else-ness. So YAY. Thank you. I’m glad you felt that this moved you…that’s awesome and such wonderful feedback. Hugs back to you 🙂

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  11. Unlovable: adjective; not lovable. It seems to me what you’ve described here is the opposite of unlovable. But if what you say is true, I agree. The world needs unlovables. Because if you include yourself in that group, then yes, you are needed. You are wanted. You are chosen. You are loved. You are my star. And your writing captures me every single time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ERGH Kayso it’s taken about ten clear minutes to get any kind of response to this. I’m still not sure it’s right, and I’m certain it’s not what you’re going to want to hear, but I’m pretty sure you’ll understand. Grudgingly. Or kicking-and-screamingly. But you will. Cos unlovable isn’t about being horrid necessarily, or not lovable – it’s about not being able to receive that love, or ever consider yourself worthy of it.

      I know. Choice. Other people’s. And that’s the only thing which keeps me going, because somehow, wonderful, magical, amazing people decide that they want to be my friends and I love, love, love that. And I adore them, but also feel baffled that they choose me and sometimes as though they’re wasting their time and attention when they’re worth more than that.

      I want to dive in and bask…but I’m so afraid that I’ll be told it was never for me, or that it’s not real and I’ll be laughed at by everyone for being a fool.

      Which is why I needed your necklace to write this…to remind me it’s real, it’s real…it’s real.

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  12. I also can relate to the idea of feeling unlovable. When I was a teenager, I had very low self-confidence. I didn’t think I was pretty. I was discouraged that boys didn’t ask me out. I struggled to make new friends outside of my circle from middle school. And so on… It wasn’t until college that I started shedding those negative perceptions of myself, one by one. I’m much happier with who I am now, not because I’ve changed (well, I have in some ways – that’s part of life) but because I’ve accepted – even embraced – who I am. I had some help along the way, too – some necessary nurturing to get me to where I am now.

    You’ve touched a nerve here that has and will continue to resonate with so many readers, Lizzi. Thank you for writing this, and for reminding us that we are perfectly OK – perfectly lovable – as we are. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. My dear sweet amazing friend, you already know how I feel about this. It is achingly gorgeous. You opened yourself up and laid it all out and that is an act of love and generosity. I read this and I want to wrap my arms around you, not only to give you a moment of comfort, but in gratitude. Gratitude for your friendship, for your beautiful writing and for what lies within your soul. I’ve said this before but it bears repeating, you are a rare and special person, Lizzi. I learn and I grow just by being in your presence. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • *blushes and kicks the dirt* I feel certain I’m very, very, very ordinary. In Real, and really, there are so many incredible writers and beautiful minds and shinybright souls out there…I’m alright, but nothing that special, I promise. ERGH! I would take the hug though, and then you could see how very not those things you said I am.

      But I would take the hug, because I think you’re wonderful 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know you feel certain you are ordinary. But what you’ve expressed here is what so many of us feel and have felt. Only we may not be so brave to dig deep and recognize it let alone express it for the whole world to see. For some of us it is a softer roar of un-loveableness and for others it is a scream that they can’t quiet. And your bravery in putting yourself out here in this is quite extraordinary. And to do it with grace and with words that melt the heart and permeate the thick skulls, that is quite extraordinary. So there. I squashed your argument entirely, didn’t I? And you’re damn right you will take the hug. You won’t have a choice my dear. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • The grace in my words, and the way they dress up my failures is just a fancy way of being able to be absolutely open about my shortcomings and get them out there, on display, before they can be pointed out to me and used against me.

          I am still my own worst enemy. But I’ll take the hug, choice or none 🙂

          Thank you, thank you, thank you 🙂 ❤

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  14. I read this honest, raw, jagged piece and felt like I wrote nothing but fairy floss.

    By the end of it, I felt like you had sat down beside me with a hot cup of tea and we’d connected like old friends who have nothing to hide.

    Thank you for being real, and utterly loveable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am quite sure that your writing is of far more consequence than fairy-floss, but what a lovely reaction, thank you.

      And no; I might be self-edited but when I’m real, I’m all-out. And I would definitely have a cup of tea with you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you. I left a garbled trio of messages on your Twitter (still hate word count restrictions!) but what I was trying to convey was that this piece of yours shook me up, sat me down and gave me a good talking to about courage and truth. I won’t rant on enthusiastically here all day but I -will- say that if we ever have that cup of tea, I will bring cake! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ah, but your comment here and your garbled trio of messages raised my spirits this lunchtime, and I was thankful 🙂 Come back and let me know what happens with all that courage and truth and resolve – I want to see what you have to say 🙂

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  16. I just love how you can break open your heart and so brilliantly pour it out into these words that truly drench all of our hearts with hope, brokenness, truth, sadness, inspiration, belonging, and love.

    I think we are all unlovable at times, yes? Who doesn’t have dark spots in their story, their hearts, their days, their minds…

    I just thank God that somehow there is balance between the trials and triumphs… somehow the ebb and flow of community, fellowship, sisterhood, the village- works miraculously to ensure all are taken care of in some wondrous way. While one person suffers, the other stands in. When another person struggles, another steps in. Strength abounds within those connections!

    (I revisited a post I needed to read to nurture myself tonight. I reworked it and I hope it fits okay- it is my way of nurturing so I hope it speaks to someone and they find nourishment and comfort in it. <3)

    Liked by 1 person

    • YES! That’s exactly and precisely it – THAT is the Village and THAT is where our strength lies, if we build it and let it nurture us – while one person stumbles, others reach out their arms to steady them. Exactly. Exactly 😀

      We might all be unlovable at times. I think there are some people who might rarely feel it, though. But we’re all different; all valuable; all important in our own ways.

      And thank you…I’m glad that you see the good in this, in spite of the egocentricity and hurt. Because it *is* there. Truly.

      (Reworked is fine. Nurturing YOU is even better. Well done Kitty ❤ )

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    • I know – like I said – I regularly vomit my soul into the screen with little thought as to whether it’s appropriate or suitable, but thanks for such a lovely response. I’d take a hug.

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  17. “Often the temptation is to give up.”
    But you haven’t, at least not on me. That’s why I’m in for the long haul. Please Lizzi dear, don’t give up on loving you, either. If you could really feel the love that’s out there, directed at you, it would hit you like a great ocean wave, and carry you forever.

    And I agree with Serins. You’ve reached new heights with this prose. xoxoxo

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well, I have YOU to thank for the inspiration, my Precious. I’m so grateful to you for putting this thought in my head and giving me something to get my mind around.

      I won’t give up on you. It takes a hella lot to make me give up on someone. I’m going nowhere. And…maybe one day I won’t give up on myself. Here’s hoping, ey?

      And thank you! I’m glad you like this.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. This made me cry, it is so moving and honest. Thank you for being vulnerable. #1000Speak is so wonderful because all the best people write all these wonderful posts. This is the first post I’ve read today and now I need to go get my box of tissues to read some more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Ula…that’s such a wonderful compliment to my writing…thank you. I’m honoured and touched, and thank you for sharing how deeply you experienced this. I hope that the rest of the posts you read today didn’t leave you upset!

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  19. Powerfully beautiful as always. As I let your words ruminate in my mind, I realize that I used to be an unlovable, especially from age 11-14. Somewhere along the way that changed and I became someone who loves too much. I threw myself heart first into all of my relationships, to be honest, I don’t know any other way to love. I was hurt a lot, but that part of me hasn’t changed. I still wear my heart on my sleeve. I am still completely open and vulnerable. The difference is that now I found my match, married him, and my heart is safe. I often wonder now though if I am also unloving in a sense as well. I have very few friends and no real desire to make new ones. On the introvert-extrovert scale, I am at the very far end of the introvert side. I am most content in my home with my husband and our four fur balls (three dogs and a cat). I often say that I dislike people in general. I guess that doesn’t mean I’m unloving necessarily, just more nurtured by solitude than the presence of others. Thanks for getting my thoughts rolling! It’s always inspiring to read your posts!

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    • Brandy, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being introverted, or having just as many friends (or not) as you are comfortable with. We’re all different and we all have different limits and tolerances, and that doesn’t mean a lack of lovability, and it sounds as though in finding your husband, you’ve discovered your lovability and embraced it, understanding it to be true and vital and wonderful. THAT is the thing which an Unlovable is unable to do – to understand their own lovability, and so they constantly operate from fear or expectation of rejection and the assumption of being ‘less than’.

      I think that wearing your heart on your sleeve can be a healthy thing – far more than bottling things up and remaining inscrutable. I’m glad this got your thoughts rolling, and thank you for sharing them 🙂

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  20. Your writing never fails to touch and affect me, Lizzi. You pour so much heart and honesty into each post you write – and this one is certainly no exception. It’s beautiful yet sad. Via 1000Speak, I’ve gotten to know you a bit better. I know for a fact that the “village” and I love you very much. We know how gifted and special you are and we value you and your tremendous heart immensely. I wish that the village love and the love of all your friends was enough to make you feel truly loved. I know though that to feel love from others we must first feel it for ourselves. That’s not always easy to do as we struggle with life’s ups and downs, but I hope very much that you’ll reach that point someday soon and be able to truly bask in the warmth of the love so many feel for you.

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    • Yes, I think that’s truer than most of the Pintrest quotes I’ve read – they seem to say that in order to love others you first have to love yourself. I would assert that’s absolutely NOT true (though perhaps to love others WELL, you have to love yourself a bit). But to receive love from others…yes, you have to know why they offer it – it has to make sense at a visceral level, and 99% of the time (for me) it just doesn’t.

      I hear things…and they glance off me. I sometimes feel like all I have is words and the love in my heart for other people, whom I consider to be so much more worthwhile than myself. BUT…I love that together we’re all building community, and I ADORE our 1000Speak community which is gradually coming together, and I’m so happy and thankful that you’re part of it, Marcia. I really am. 🙂

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  21. I’d love to have wonderfully beautiful words to make you feel better, but I don’t. I know about doubt, and the low times and the very HUMAN feelings of the human. You know all the things about not having HIGH points without the LOW points, and my low points? Turned out to be good things. When I got divorced I was even more of a hot mess than normal, and I had NO clue how to at least change my behavior enough so I wouldn’t do something terrible. I tried volunteering, for purely selfish reasons. It was free, it got me out of the house, it wasn’t a bar, etc. And that turned out to be one of the best things, I met the most wonderful people, I felt like maybe THIS was my purpose. How could I be a waste of a person if I actually help other people? and that kind of thing. Each thing like this, reactionary perhaps, but enough to build up goodness to get me to a ‘next level’ so to speak, was a little better and a little better. Without that, I would just be a boring self-centered drunk. I can still be THAT, of course, but I know I can be more than that. You already know that, but sometimes it’s nice to have a reminder. You’re one of the MOST inspiring people I ever knew about. You’ve put wonderful, beautiful things in the world that weren’t already there, not just your words. Your communities. That I adore, and we all hold very dear. Even during the times when our lives are too busy to be an active part of that community. It’s still comforting to know they are there. And you are there, and so necessary, and so loved and so LOVABLE. So there 😀

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    • Joy-to-my-world I do love you dearly. You’re so real and so unabashed and so incredibly YOU. I adore how much you give back, and your determined spirit and your passion for making the world a better place. I hope that this breakdown will help me to a better-again place, in the same way that I think my marriage has helped me to a better place (personally – character-wise) than I was before. Either way, onwards and upwards, and I’m so glad you’re here, in my community, very much along for the ride, with both of us cheering each other on.

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    • Thanks so much, Suzi…I hope you can’t identify in *too* many ways. I know that sometimes life is very difficult, living it from inside my brain, and I hope that’s not your experience…but if it is, then hey, you’re not alone 🙂

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  22. I think this is what you do best: acknowledge the darkness, but see the light–in life, and in people. Then you use your authentic voice and amazing way with words to inspire others to see the light as well. Good job, Lizzi!

    Liked by 2 people

  23. By feeling that unlovableness in ourselves, we learn to empathize with those unlovables you describe in your post. (((((((((((((((((hugs)))))))))))))))))))) ((((((((((((((luv))))))))))))))))))))))

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    • YOU DO! Erin, you send me THE MOST THINGS! All of those precious pictures on Facebook, which brighten my day and let me know you’re thinking of me…they help SO MUCH (especially right now at the moment)…I *know* I’m loved, and it’s wonderful…it’s the accepting that other people experience me as a nice, good, kindish type of person, who they think is worthwhile, when I do NOT have that feeling about myself. THAT is what it is to be ‘unlovable’ – not that I’m not loved 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Grrr Serins beat me! I love this, Lizzi. Look what your need has done and how many other souls have stepped in line beside you. I am so happy and proud to be part of the movements you’ve started, and I’m proud to call you my friend. And you are so NOT unloved, my dear.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know. I’m VERY loved, just…unlovable because often the frustrating thing (for my friends) is that their love bounces off, or I’m unable to accept it. It’s a serious character defect and I need to work on it. Just last night, Mandi told me that she finds I have a hard time accepting things, and that makes me try to push people away, and that she felt I’d tried numerous times with her…yet she’s the one who sent me the necklace which helped me write this post, and without her precious friendship, what I wrote (well, and my whole world) would be so much the poorer.

      Does that make sense at all?

      I’m so glad of YOUR friendship, Jen. You are a happy, shinybright person and I love knowing you. And REALLY like that so many people want to join in with the TToT and 1000Speak and Sisterwives and…just…TOGETHER WE’RE STRONGER…and I need US. All of us. The Village 🙂

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    • Thank you so, so much, Kimmie. I’m so thankful that goodness shines through, not just all the awful bits of me. I try *so* hard to make sure that I don’t weave these into TOO much egocentricity and self-pity, but…it happens sometimes and I worry.

      Thank you, thank you ❤

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      • “It happens sometimes, and I worry” – Me too!

        Often when I’m writing the more cathartic pieces, usually about mental illness, occasionally about abuse, I read back and hesitate before posting….worry that I sound negative/self pitying. But, I don’t think that’s how other people read it (especially others who are vulnerable themselves) I think (judging by the feed back Iv’e had on my own *Tell it how it is* posts) that people are grateful, find relief in the reading….feel less isolated.

        IMO That’s exactly what you’ve done in sharing this piece!

        And, you finished on positive, another thing I try to do myself….There’s pain here Lizzi, but hope too – You nailed it! 🙂 x

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you – I always, always try to end on a positive note, because there ARE silver linings and there ARE good things and all sorts of loveliness to enjoy, in spite of all the difficulty and challenge and nasty-brain stuff.

          I’m so pleased you ‘get’ this. Thank you 🙂 And yes – I’d like to think that people who feel a bit Unlovable will relate and take some comfort from this, knowing that in spite of what might be a very difficult character (their own) to live with, they are VITAL.

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