The reason I fail
to recognise false lovers:
First I must love me.
How often I've mistaken need, greed, lust or perhaps simply boredom, for love. When I look back it's obvious, but at the time I'm blinded. No, not blinded by love. Clearly, I don't have much of a clue about what love is. And though I know nothing of it, some part of me is desperate for it, apparently. How foolish of me to yearn and search so intensely without actually knowing what I'm searching for. Of course I won't succeed - how can I find it if I don't know what it looks like?
Perhaps this is why the wise tell us we must love ourselves. It's a practice run. Once we love ourselves, only then can we understand what love is - and what love is NOT. Then when it comes to us, it should be like looking in a mirror - so that the emotion that shines back is one that we can recognise, and greet.
And only when we love ourselves will we respect and believe the inner voice that whispers warnings we choose to ignore.
I'm on the practice run now: learning to love, and perhaps even more important, learning to LIKE myself. I pay attention to that inner voice even when it doesn't say what I want to hear.
I'm not quite sure this thing called love is likely to appear, or even if it really exists, but I want to be ready for it all the same, and be able to say,
"Ah! I know you! It's about bloody time .. what took you so long?"