Ask Aviva: When you feel unloved


Dear Aviva,

I will not give out my age or my gender. I merely would like to put out there that I feel under-appreciated and unloved.


Dear Itty-Bitty,
Man, you make it tough for me, leaving out all the details! (Or perhaps, “Lady”?) But that’s ok, I will use this as an opportunity to stretch my advice columnist abilities to see if I can meet this challenge that you set for me, oh friendly foe of mine…
And that’s exactly what life should look like for you—a friendly foe. It should be a challenge to meet goals and you should be meeting many of them. You should not be looking at life’s difficulties as a sign to throw in the towel. When the going gets tough, work harder!
Just wanted to make sure that you are productive and functional in general, because if you are not, it is likely that you are not appreciating yourself and that you are not loving yourself, even though you make it sound to me that you are under-appreciated by someone else. If you don’t have the self-appreciation thing going for you, no matter what others do for you, no matter how much people try to appreciate you, you will feel under-appreciated.
It’s like if I have a violin. This violin is my self-concept. I am not always bowing it or plucking it to make it sing, but it is always there. If someone comes over to my violin with a humming pitch-fork, one of my strings will resonate and vibrate. When the pitch-fork leaves my earshot, I am still soothed from my resonating violin string.
But what if my violin strings snapped? Maybe they were worn away, or maybe they were wound too tight. What happens when someone comes close to me with a humming pitch-fork? My ears perk up—Music! I am savoring every single sine and cosine of those sound waves. I am tingly all over. And then, it starts to fade, and the pitch-fork has left my surrounds. And what am I left with? Silence. Dead silence. Silence that existed before, but that I was not aware of because I did not yet have the beautiful contrast of music. And it is quite a painful silence because now that I know what music is, I also know that I cannot make music—I don’t have strings.

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