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Love: The Re-Re-Remix


Photo: Wix

We are rapidly approaching Valentine’s Day. It’s a commercial holiday that kinda lost its way. It’s actually a day of martyrdom and execution. Famously, Captain Hook was assisted in his descension to a new and perhaps much hotter realm on Valentine’s Day well over 200 years ago. So, how did this day become about Love and purchasing cards? Oh right…Hallmark… So what is there to say about this day?


Plenty.


Let’s get it!


What does it look like to love yourself? Think about it for a moment. When you are showing the greatest love for yourself, what does it look like? How does it feel? For some, it may feel selfish. For others, they scream “gimmie more, baby!” They lavish themselves however they see fit and enjoy it to the fullest extent possible. I sincerely hope you fall into the latter group, but if you do not how can you move into that group? It likely wont be easy, especially depending on how deeply ingrained some belief systems are entrenched or how those who surround you choose to feed your soul. Or, it could be the EASIEST thing in the world because you finally hit that “enough” moment.


Have you experienced an “enough” moment? They can pop up at any given time, but usually it is after your mind/body/spirit/finances/home have been disrespected too many times and you finally respond in an exuberant and perhaps boisterous manner. Loud? Maybe. Anger? Likely. Resignation? Probably. But, also simply walking away. That moment of loudly or quietly walking away was, is, will be an act of self love. Let’s build on it.


In the moment you begin to realize that any component of yourself mind/body/spirit/finances/home is facing a struggle that does NOT need to be faced…fix it. Adjust. Because I can say from personal experience that whatever you are facing that does NOT need to be faced will not likely get better. Picture it…you in front of your cell phone or laptop that hasn’t been restarted in the past two weeks. How does it respond when you attempt to get it do…anything? Can you actually open your email? Does Zoom acknowledge your presence? Does your curser respond to your frustrated movements? I am not a gambling woman, but I would bank the answer is no. I am also guessing that in the off chance of something moving it is at a snail’s pace. But, most likely, you are met with abject refusal. Well, we also need that space to “restart” ourselves. And, if you are in a space where you cannot restart yourself…something in you is going to rebel at one point or another. It could be through sleeping for 12 hours straight and missing that huge event you’ve looked forward to for MONTHS or having a larger than life response to something that in the end did not matter. Hangry on steroids + Sleepy = A REAL bad look.


As we work toward loving and accepting ourselves, we will face additional challenges. Addressing our belief systems and attempting to love ourselves if we are surrounded by those who would prefer us to be miserable will be hard. It may not be intentional, but there are those who walk among us who love misery. Misery does not love company. Oh no, misery loves MISERABLE company. And, if you go off trying to love yourself, set boundaries and practice radical self care…then how will they navigate? And, these folks are joining in with your own entrenched self doubt about this new journey of self love and self acceptance. They are gonna be ANGRY.


Do you care? Me neither. Cool.


So, we learn how to set boundaries and love on ourselves. We do this because we know surface level or somewhere down in the deep depths of our immortal souls (I’ve wanted to say that since watching The Borgia) that we deserve to feel love. So, we honor ourselves in the best way we can in mind/body/spirit/finances/home. But, how does it look? How do you do it?


Well, it make look like waking up every morning and telling yourself you are beautiful, intelligent and funny. It may mean smiling at yourself. It may mean sealing the day will journaling and pillow talking yourself. It may mean sitting down and going over your finances and FINALLY noticing that friggin recurring charge for a service you forgot about five months or one year ago and calling them to cancel that service…or to engage them. It may mean walking away from a job, relationship, mindset, living situation, friendship that is no longer serving you. It may mean setting boundaries and maintaining them regardless of who it annoys. It could be a simple “no” to being pressured into anything that you do not want to do. These things may be uncomfortable for awhile but do your damndest to focus on what you will gain by releasing that person, thing, place and NOT what you are losing.



Be gone, M’Fer!

Photo: Ralston Smith


I allowed myself to get into a dumb dating situation before I met my wife. I won’t go into any detail, but I look back on occasion and wonder…what was that?! Short lived, thank fully. No real harm came to me, but I allowed myself to get into a space that was not giving anything good.


NOTHING.


So, while that thought of “WTF” still occurs on super rare occasions, I know what I allowed to lead me into that situation and I know what lead me out of it. The thing that lead me out was love for me. I thought about what I was trying to do with my life and honey, that was NOT it.


Now, folks get a lil strange when you say you love you…as if it were a bad thing, but, if you aren’t loving you on a CHRONIC or an ACUTE level then you can have some “special moments” that are just challenging for no good reason. Think about it…wrong job, wrong partner, wrong roommates, wrong clothes or shoes all because you either had years, decades or mere moments of not loving you. X amount of time spent choosing someone else. Someone else’s needs, wants desires while you sat longing to be loved, listened to and respected. So, in that time frame, you did not honor the sheer divinity that is within you. But, again…ya gotta let that go. You do better when you know better and that is what matters.


And, once you know better and do better…do not seek those familiar waters. You know the waters…where you are comfortable because you are in a relationship that mirrored the hot mess of a debacle that your parents or grand parents demonstrated. Or, the one where you played small because being your true self seems to frustrate others or they allow themselves to feel intimated or insecure. Or, the space where your voice never reaches an ear or email because you are too concerned with what others will think of you.

They will think what they will think and you cannot shift that. Their beliefs about you are none of your concern.


For the good and the bad…people create their own images of who they believe you are in their minds. They likely believe that you are the creation they devised in their mind…but nope. You are not. You are you. And, this happens regardless of the relationship. I can all but guarantee that former supervisors, friends and complete strangers have TOTALLY different views of me and each of them are wrong at worst or short sighted at best. Though, the true friends likely see the most clearly. Take note, I said true friends. Because there are those amongst us who would present as friend, but are not.


The downside of all of this is that we can eventually get to the point where we allow the views of others to skew our true selves. And, this could transpire in the most negative fashion. It could lead to some unfortunate dark thoughts that are not actually warranted. So, what do you do to combat this? Well, you get to know YOU. Not you through the eyes of another. Now, if you need someone to lend you “ego strength” while you work to build your identity discover yourself and love on you then I suggest you do that…but don’t lean for too long.


And this, this my friends is an act of SELF LOVE.


If you need a bit of guidance (and you do not actually know me) I can assist you on that journey. Either way, I strongly recommend The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.


So, I lift my glass to my third favorite day of the year, February 15 and wish you a beautiful and joyful half off chocolate day.


Be well.




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