Unfortunately, the people who are supposed to love us aren’t always able to give us the kind of love we need. Whether they are our mothers or our fathers, our grandparents or our siblings, some family, no matter how good their intentions, leave us feeling empty, invalidated, uncared for, and alone. And on the days when that pain becomes too much to bear, our work is to recognize that those people whose love we so desperately pine for are never going to be able to meet our needs. Not because they don’t care, but because they can’t change who they are.
Their scant affection isn’t a reflection on our worth. It isn’t even about us. It’s about them and their own limitations and struggles. It’s about their unique way of expressing love and the fact that it doesn’t match up with our own. And we don’t have to internalize that. What we need is to start reaching out to the right people. We need to create a family of people outside of our family. People who can meet our needs and reciprocate our love.
We need to appreciate our families for the ways in which they are able to show they care, and be accepting of the ways they can’t. We need to make peace with who they are and if necessary, we need to give ourselves permission to let go. We need to know that our worth isn’t something another person’s love can give or take away. We need to trust that with or without their affection, we are enough.