Are You A Madly in Love with ME Woman?
Few of us would deny that self-love is a bad idea, right? And I would wager that none of us would tell our daughters, nieces, godchildren or any other woman or girl for that matter, ‘Hey you, don’t love yourself, that’s selfish.’ And if asked by another human being, ‘Do you love yourself?’ most of us would want to say yes, some of us would, and yet my experience tells me that the majority of women – unless we’ve been actively engaged in falling in love with ourselves – don’t really have a clue what being in love with ME means. Heck, it’s been 8 years since the night I found myself lying in my friends apartment on a blow up mattress just having moved out of the house my ex-person and I built ‘together’ while she happily sat in her comfy bed making wedding plans. That was the night that I made the life changing vow to fall in love with myself… and here I am some 2,920 days later, and I am still learning about what it really means to truly, without question love me.
It has become my life mission to understand, embrace and embody self-love, share what I learn along the way, and pave a path for all women and girls to fall madly in love with themselves for the rest of their lives. So while I haven’t got it all figured out – I am after all on this 40-day self-love practice right along with all of you – I have come across some of the realities and milestones that indicate that you are in fact, loving you.
I like to think of them as the Madly in Love with ME Factors. When they are present in your life, girl you can shout from the rooftops, I LOVE ME! Or at least dance in your living room in your own private party, knowing that you do have self-love. And while I firmly believe that self-love is a daily practice and something that we will get to do every day for the rest of our lives — as in it’s a great gift to fall in love with yourself — I know that love breeds love. So if you have any one of these factors present in your life, Celebrate! your love of you… and when you do, more Madly in Love with ME factors will show up in your life.
- I know who I am and what I want from this life. This is the first factor to loving yourself, because if you don’t know who you are, how can you love that person? It seems kind of ridiculous to think of not knowing who oneself is, but the fact is that most people don’t. Most of us go through life doing all the things we think we are supposed to do and be, influenced by the society in which we grew up. These experiences and people become what forms our beliefs, attitudes, and perceptions on realities, until the day we realize that how we really feel and think is potentially much different than everyone around us, and that’s when we go out and seek… seek deeper understanding of ourselves, who we are, what makes us happy and unique… what motivates us… how is our fear and limited thinking driving our life?? While you will continue to learn about yourself forever, self-love requires that a. You make the choice to continue to learn about you everyday, b. You can answer at least these four basic questions about yourself “What are my dreams? What are my gifts? What are my values? and What are my beliefs?” c. You know who you are not, i.e., you have met your ego, you understand your fear patterns and you see how society and your upbringing has influenced you.
- I can and do take care of me without letting the guilt or burden creep in. Can you actually put yourself first, before your work, family and responsibilities to do what it takes to take care of you? And while your taking care of you, can you do it without feeling guilty or like you should be doing something else? Can you take a walk for an hour without feeling like you are wasting time? Can you meditate for 15 minutes and see it as productive time vs as a time you should be ‘doing’ something. Can you take a day off for you without having to be prodded by your friends or partner, and then can you accept it and bask in it’s glory without saying or thinking anything that stems from guilt? Can you tell your family that you are taking ME time and not feel guilty about doing it? I’m still working on this one myself. I too often feel like I should be working, doing something, even when I can feel in my bones that I need to sit in the sun for 30 minutes and recharge. Hence the 40 day practice.
- I love my cellulite. Look it’s there, and no matter what those stupid internet ads say, no matter how much cream you lather on your legs, you’re still going to have some. It’s part of you, and you can either love it or hate it. And i have to tell you from personal experience that when I was hating mine, it grew and got more noticeable, like everytime I sat down wearing shorts it was screaming at me, “Here I am! Look at me!!” After being tortured by it for years, I decided to do a one-year practice of loving my cellulite. Every day for a year, I would tell it, I love you. I would do meditations where I saw those cellulite pockets being filled up with love. And one year later, I don’t know if I have any less of it, but I do know that I very rarely notice it. And when I do notice it, while I may still not like it, and it may motivate me to walk a little more and get more exercise, I no longer hate my body for having it.
- My relationships –from friendships to romantic – support me to be my best me and to live the life I want or I don’t have them. This one can be one of the hardest for people, because it means putting a big stake in the ground for yourself… but it’s one of the biggest milestones of self-love. It requires honoring yourself SO much that you only have relationships in your life – friendships, romantic partners, even relatives – that offer you respect, trust, unconditional love and truth. You love you so much that you only have energy in your life that supports you and nourishes you — and people are energy (just think of someone in your life that sucks your energy or makes it crazy, an energy vampire, and you know what i mean). You love and honor yourself so deeply that all relationships in your life make your life better, help you reach your dreams and help you be a better you. This doesn’t mean that the relationships are perfect as in there are never any difficulties, or that you are absolved of giving that same respect you desire. Conflict can be a great growth catalyst, but only when the two people in the relationship ‘lean in’ and meet each other in trust, love and truth. Not always easy but always possible. Self love requires that you choose me before we in every relationship… being willing to let go of ones that don’t serve you, change ones that have the potential to grow, and open up to let new ones come in. This is a big milestone, one for which I wrote an entire book Choosing ME before WE, Every Woman’s Guide to Life and Love. If you need help on this factor, I’m here!
Love is a practice.
Start by practicing on you!
And wow what a practice it is!!
it’s day 3 of this particular 40 day self love practice for me… i’m focused on the taking care of myself without the burden factor.
ctor will your 40-day practice focus on?