I used to be a love junkie. !!

No, not the kind who hopped from bed to bed, chasing the next high. I was a different kind of addict—one who craved validation and acceptance like oxygen. I sought it in every whispered endearment, every tender touch, every shared glance. I was desperate to feel loved, to feel wanted, to feel enough.

But the more I chased those feelings from others, the emptier I felt. I was like a traveller lost in a desert, parched and desperate, reaching for mirages that always vanished into the shimmering heat.

It took me years—and a whole lot of heartache—to realize that I was looking for love in all the wrong places. It wasn’t something I could find in someone else’s arms, no matter how tightly they held me. It had to come from within.

The Mirror of Relationships

Our relationships are mirrors, reflecting back to us our deepest beliefs about ourselves. I grew up feeling unloved and unwanted, so it’s no surprise that I attracted partners who reinforced those feelings. They were emotionally unavailable, distant, or even abusive. Each failed relationship only solidified my belief that I was unworthy of love.

I became a chameleon, constantly shifting and adjusting myself to fit the mold of what I thought each partner wanted. I lost sight of who I truly was, and the more I lost myself, the more desperate I became for love.

The Turning Point

The turning point came when I hit rock bottom. I was exhausted from the constant chase, the endless cycle of hope and disappointment. I was sick of feeling like a beggar, pleading for scraps of affection. I knew something had to change.

That’s when I stumbled upon the world of personal development and self-love. I started reading books, listening to podcasts, and attending workshops. I learned about the power of our thoughts and beliefs, and how they create our reality. I began to understand that the love I craved so desperately could only be found within myself.

The Journey to Self-Acceptance

The journey to self-acceptance wasn’t easy. It was like peeling back layers of an onion, confronting painful emotions and limiting beliefs that had been buried for years. But as I did the work, something miraculous happened. I started to feel lighter, freer. I began to see myself with new eyes, recognizing my own beauty and worth.

I learned to cultivate self-compassion, forgiving myself for my mistakes and accepting myself—flaws and all. I started to treat myself with the same kindness and respect that I so desperately sought from others.

The Love I Found Within

As I learned to love myself, everything changed. I began to attract healthier, more loving relationships. I stopped settling for crumbs of affection and started demanding the love I deserved. I learned to set boundaries and protect my energy.

Most importantly, I found a sense of peace and contentment that I had never known before. I no longer needed to seek validation from others because I found it within myself.

Unveiling the Inner God

My self-discovery journey wasn’t just about dusting off self-worth and proclaiming myself queen. It was a full-blown archaeological dig, unearthing layers of buried goddess that had been suffocated by doubt and societal expectations. The first treasure I unearthed was my voice. I’d spent years letting others speak for me, shrinking myself to fit into their narratives. But as I embraced self-love, my voice found its courage. I started saying no, expressing my desires, and even challenging long-held beliefs. My voice, once a whisper, became a roar that rattled the cages of my fear.

Next, I unearthed my passion. Passion, that fiery bird trapped in my ribcage, had been starved of oxygen by the “shoulds” and “supposed tos” of societal expectations. But as I learned to listen to my heart, the bird stirred, its wings fluttering against the bars. I embraced hobbies I’d deemed frivolous, explored creative channels, and reveled in the joy of simply being. The bird, once clipped of its feathers, soared, painting my world with the vibrant hues of my true desire.

But the most magnificent treasure I unearthed was my intuition. For years, I’d ignored that knowing deep within, treating it as a pesky nag instead of a wise counsel. But as I embraced self-love, I learned to listen. The whispers turned into roars, guiding me away from toxic relationships, nudging me towards unexpected opportunities, and protecting me from harm. My intuition, once a faint echo, became a beacon, illuminating the path to my ultimate truth.

Unearthing these treasures wasn’t always easy. There were days when doubt slithered back into my mind, weaving webs of insecurity. But I had my tools: affirmations I chanted like war cries, visualizations that painted my future self in radiant light, and a community of soul sisters who held my hand when the path felt treacherous. These were my weapons against the self-deprecating gremlins that lurked in the shadows of my past.

Building a Castle of Confidence

With each unearthed treasure, I laid the bricks for a new foundation: a foundation of self-confidence. No longer did I seek validation in the gaze of others. My worth wasn’t contingent on likes or shares, promotions or trophies. I measured my success by the smiles that crinkled my eyes, the joy that bubbled in my heart, and the authenticity that flowed from my every word.

My confidence became a magnet, attracting opportunities and relationships that reflected my newfound self-love. I found myself surrounded by soulmates who celebrated my quirks, championed my dreams, and loved me not in spite of, but because of, my imperfections. They were mirrors reflecting back the goddess I had unearthed, reminding me of my strength and beauty.

My journey wasn’t about becoming flawless or achieving some unattainable ideal. It was about accepting myself, flaws and all, and recognizing the unique beauty that resided within. It was about shedding the masks and costumes, the layers of societal expectations, and embracing the raw, wild, and wonderful woman I was born to be.

The Ripple Effect

My self-love wasn’t a bubble I inhabited alone. It rippled outwards, touching the lives of those around me. My courage to speak my truth inspired others to find their own voices. My embrace of vulnerability encouraged others to shed their armor and connect on a deeper level. My joy became contagious, spreading like wildfire through the lives of those I loved.

I became a beacon of hope for those still lost in the desert of self-doubt. I shared my story, not to brag, but to empower. I offered the tools I had used to unearth my own inner god, knowing that everyone holds the potential for that same kind of self-discovery.

This isn’t the end of my story. It’s a continuous journey, an ongoing excavation of the treasures buried within. There will be days when the doubt creeps back in, days when the path feels unclear. But I know that the foundation I’ve built will hold. I know that the god I’ve unearthed will continue to shine, his light guiding me and others towards a future of self-acceptance and love.

So, my dear reader, if you’re still searching for love in all the wrong places, I urge you to turn inwards. Look within the depths of your being, and you’ll find a wellspring of love waiting to be tapped. Unearth your own treasures, build your own castle of confidence, and let your light ripple outwards, making the world a brighter, more loving place. You, too, are a God in the making. Remember that.

This is just the beginning of your story. Now, go forth and write your own.


Dr K. Jayanth Murali is a retired IPS officer and a Life Coach. He is the author of four books, including the best-selling 42 Mondays. He is passionate about painting, farming, and long-distance running. He has run several marathons and has two entries in the Asian book of Records in full and half marathon categories. He lives with his family in Chennai, India. When he is not running, he is either writing or chilling with a book.

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