How To Be Loved For Who You Are

By Marlena Tillhon MSc.

Have you ever considered how codependency is what stops you from feeling open, safe, loved and free in your relationship?

The way I see it, codependency was taught to us as a way of being in and coping with a dysfunctional family environment.

Everyone feels responsible for something they’re not responsible for while failing to take responsibility for themselves.

There are no boundaries. There is no safety or openness. There is no freedom to be you.

And still, we expect to feel good. To feel loved. To feel held within a relationship.

It doesn’t make sense, does it?

Because how can I expect someone to love me – and to feel loved – when I don’t give them the real me to love?

When I don’t even know what’s real and what’s codependent most of the time?

It’s a mess.

The thing I want more than anything is not something I can have because of the relational tools that were taught to me.

Great. (I hope you read sarcasm.)

For me, codependency was my safety shield, my success strategy.

If only I could figure out how to say the right thing in the right way, the right tone and manner, maybe then I’d have a positive relationship experience.

If I could not be so much of me, maybe then, someone would finally like me.

If only I could feel less of what I’m feeling, maybe then others wouldn’t find me so annoying and reject me.

Maybe I’d be liked then.

While not liking myself.

Because all I did was reject myself.

This was too much.

This wasn’t good enough.

Here was another area I’d have to work on.

There was another layer I’d have to shed.

All I could see was others finding fault with me.

It made me blind to all the ways in which I was constantly finding fault within myself.

I thought that I could keep myself safe from other people’s criticism, from their rejection while constantly criticising and rejecting myself.

As within, so without.

All I ever experienced was a reflection of what I was doing to myself.

The way I was taught to be in relationships kept me from experiencing real relationships.

It stopped me from having a real relationship with myself.

Because what kind of relationship is it when all you get is negative judgment, comparison, criticism and rejection?

A toxic one, that’s what.

So the unhealthy relationships I called in were a perfect match to the one I had with myself. It was perfect in the most painful way.

What stopped me and what stops so many of my clients from changing this is being so focused on changing the external relationship problems without being aware of the internal ones.

And focusing on what you don’t have full control over is always going to deplete you and feel disempowering and anxiety-inducing.

My biggest breakthroughs have always come from healing and strengthening the relationship I have with myself.

My relationships followed suit or they didn’t – either way, I was fine.

And as I healed, I grew and as I grew, I became more accepting of myself.

Fewer judgments, pressures or comparisons.

I stopped seeing myself as this broken person that needed fixing before anyone could love her.

I stopped seeing my feelings, desires and needs as something annoying I had to control, suppress and hide.

I came to realise that the right person would want me and not some projected fantasy of me I wouldn’t be able to live up to in the long-term.

I came to see that who I am is not the problem the people who didn’t have the emotional capacity to raise a child in loving, respectful and secure ways made it out to be.

I began to choose to accept myself.

To defuse from the judgments my mind had rehearsed for so many decades.

To let go of thinking everything I did, said or wanted was somehow wrong or flawed.

And with everything I chose to let go of more of me emerged.

And that wasn’t a bad thing.

That was the thing that set me free.

Free to love. Free to receive. Free to be me.


Psychotherapist, Codependency Expert & Relationship Coach Outgrow codependency by learning how to have a healthy relationship with yourself, healing old wounds, calming insecure attachment and developing healthy relationship skills so that you can finally create the relationship you long for and get the love you need. Free course:

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