Pre-Requisite (GG Renee Hill)


He was supposed to make me happy.

I never said these words out loud because deep down I knew better, but I said them to myself every time a man disappointed me. I didn’t believe I could keep my smile on my own, so I chased happiness, looking for someone to make me feel whole and special and to give me the attention I desired. These misguided pursuits always ended in disappointment.

I found myself in love triangles and one-sided relationships. Comparing myself to other women and competing with them for unworthy men. I wanted to be the chosen one. There was always some woman that would come along and offer something that I couldn't. I wasn’t special enough for someone to love and be satisfied with me just being me.

There is a knot that gathers in your stomach when you’re alone and afraid of yourself. When you think that being rescued is the only way to escape your fears. I was convinced that being alone meant being unloved. And the thought of that made every insecurity I had feel alive and dangerous. There had to be someone out there who would stay and make me feel safe.

I was needy and love was not love, it was urgency and lack and pretending. I saw my fears alive in other women too. Collectively, we’d worry that we wouldn't find love, then we’d worry that the love wouldn't last. In The Four Agreements, don Miguel Ruiz said "Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the options and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering."
I remember asking myself: what can I do, how do I stop putting myself in situations where my peace depends on someone else?

I'd been so fixated on what other women had and what I thought men would want, that I ignored the importance of loving myself first. Focusing on other people and feeling like a victim was ruining me. My attitude would draw more negative experiences into my life if I continued to pity myself. Only I could decide to heal, to love myself, to choose happiness.

There is a new responsibility when you realize that your circumstances don’t limit you. That no matter what you’ve been through, you are whole and full of possibility. Your essentials are inside and can’t be taken away. Life may hurt you and people will disappoint you, but you are never decreased. You are never out of love because the source is inside of you.

Self-love is not simply a change of mind, it’s a reconditioning that takes practice and commitment. It is learning and unlearning. You try, you give up, you get inspired, you keep going. Self-love makes it possible to exist in your relationships without losing yourself. It makes the gifts you think you don’t have shine through. Self-love is knowing that you may feel ignored, unwanted and misunderstood at times but you are more than those feelings and there is more to your story.

No one can make you happy.

But you can if you love yourself the way you want others to love you. Believe in yourself the way you want others to believe in you. Treat yourself the way you want others to treat you. Trust yourself… Learn yourself… Choose yourself… First.

GG Renee Hill (@ggreneewrites) is an author, speaker and advocate for self-discovery through writing. A candid voice for mental health and self-care, GG writes about the joys and challenges of living an authentic life and being a fully expressed woman. This passage is an excerpt from her upcoming book, Underneath. To find out more about her work, visit

Honoring the collective voice of womanhood, the Lessons From Love series was created to provide a community of support for women currently in love, or healing from love. The series will use personal narratives + testimonies to empower women to make effective dating decisions and to pursue the love they rightly deserve. 

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