I read this question recently “what would somebody who loves themselves do?”
I have been practicing loving myself and thinking about this question all week since my ex husband has been around which has given me some freetime from my kids.
I am only really learning this now in my fourties. I had a knee jerk reaction to what I percieved as selfishness in my mom but I took it too far. I have been surrendering my needs for almost two decades and it was making me bleed. I have four boys and I was married right? What better excuse for not having time to do things for myself – like you know eat properly, excercise, read and write. That was sarchasm… but the sad truth of how I hyper neglected myself in the realm of “married with children” life.
So this week: I bought the unlimted weekly yoga pass, I made time for Knox, I rode my bike under the stars and TODAY…… today I went boating with a friend, had a nap after and then took myself out for supper. I had the second Caesar and I had dessert AND I sat alone and felt quite comfortable in my own skin. Because hell ya.. I am not waiting anymore for somebody to bring me flowers. It felt utterly indulgant.
I went for a walk after and I did miss the man I rarely mention here. Did you notice? There was a man and he ran cold turkey style AND it left me rattled. That was two months ago now but do you see? It has only led to more growth and so while I missed him on the walk I thought again “never settle”… “never sell yourself short”… “never settle for less than heart n soul love”. “Never try to convince a man to stay…. in fact perhaps it is time to only surrender to the man that convinces you to stay.” For now there will be no looking. For now I will give it to myself and love myself hard so I will know what that feels like and so then know when its less than that.
See it? The point of self love? It’s two parts – one is loving yourself and filling your own cup so its full and can run over and spill out to everyone, two is the same loving yourself and filling your own cup but this time it is so you can see the difference between somebody who adds value vs somebody who only invests partway. I am not talking about positive vs negative adding value but rather adding value by being present. I am not looking for perfect but only perfectly engaged in the moments we have together.
Maybe this is the silver lining of being married almost two decades and losing in the love. It springboards you to a new level. You had the “come hell or high water relationship” with the kids and the “happily ever after”. You got shot out the other side wiser and more discerning. In this foreign land of single people you try again at love and get burned. You see this world full of scarred, hurting and hiding people but you learn to drop the mask in a very real way.
The route of freedom.. dropping the masks and even in this you have so much self acceptance and love that you accept that you will often put the mask back on.. you are simply “only human”. Maybe you learn not only to love yourself but you learn to love humanity. Maybe you take a lover in the end but maybe you don’t. Maybe you have good friends instead. Maybe you have a new found pool of reserves to love your children… perhaps even your exhusband. Maybe you are just so full of love in the end that nothing looks the same.
Yeah… growing. Learning to Love yourself. A friend that I adore once said to me “never give up on love.” I have not and I never will but this shifting of its definition is profound. We let go, we live, we love on.
SORRY it is a bit tangenty and chopped up.
~ ALWAYS WITH LOVE