Friends, I have been reflecting a lot more on what it means to love yourself during these past weeks, and even though this is not new knowledge, I want to share it. Something that I love about this concept of being happy in your solitude is that everyone can benefit from it– because everyone, no matter who you are, what your relationship status is, no matter where you're from or what walk of life you are on, everyone has a relationship with this one common person: themselves.
When you look at life, you realize that the person who you spend the most time with is yourself.
So why do so many of us work so hard at having a good relationship with others and on the other hand, are totally unaware that having a relationship with yourself is a thing?
You've been with yourself through the time you were learning to walk. You were there for the successes and failures. Like when you stood in front of the crowd staring at you silently as you tried spelling "height" at the spelling bee and got it right (it was a big deal guys, this was the third grade). You saw yourself through puberty and the confusing emotions of being a teenager. And you were there when he broke your heart. You were there for all of it.
So many of us feel chronically lonely. We are constantly looking outside of ourselves to feel less alone. Constantly trying to please others. Constantly looking for validation from others to know that we are good enough.
We yearn for somewhere to belong, or someone to belong to.
I am not immune to this. I have felt these feelings, too.
Until I remember.
Friends, I think this feeling will follow us wherever we go through life if we don't address it again and again every time we forget.
What if we reminded ourselves that our bodies are a home, and within lives a lovely person called you? And if we are willing to invite Him, God.
The more that we realize this, the less alone we will feel. The more full we feel in our heart, and a warmth and safety covers our soul.
We are never alone, and we have never been alone.
I took the photo pictured above a couple of years ago. The photo is of a friend near and dear to me, and by accident as I was editing the photo, I copy-pasted the image and it got stacked right over the original. As I was about to delete the extra image, I realized something amazing had just happened. In the picture she is holding a little bouquet of flowers. And now with the new picture resting right above her hand, it seemed almost as though she was holding a bouquet of herself.
Maybe that's what we have to do: hold ourselves close to our heart. Appreciate how amazing we are every day. Even when we make an effort to do something good for others and no one else seems to acknowledge it. Even when there's no one around to validate us.
Who says we can't say to ourselves, "Hey, this meal is delicious! I'm pretty awesome for making this today."
Why do we have to wait for others to say something for our accomplishments to be worth something?
The love and validation we give ourselves is the ice cream, and anything more from others is the cherry on top.
This way, we will always be fulfilled, and no one can ever starve us by what they don't give us. Because we've already given it to ourselves first.
I heard this quote somewhere a long time ago: If you allow them to feed you, you also give them the permission to starve you.
I don't know about you, but that really hit home for me.
We don't want that.
We don't want you to starve.
I never want you to feel like you need validation from others in order to feel like you are worth something.
A word for those of you in a relationship: perhaps seeking validation is something more tempting since your life is so seen by your significant other. I never want you to feel like you've abandoned yourself, even if you are in a relationship. I never want you to feel like you've given your power away by always seeking validation from your lover. You have the power to love yourself first. Whatever comes that's more, well that's extra. Who doesn't appreciate a little extra?
It's time to have a chat with ourselves and tell ourselves that we are enough, we are exquisite and lovable and precious. And nothing can change this. Not anything that anyone can say or not say.
I encourage each of us (including myself) to spend some time today looking at the stars or the sunset, or soaking your feet in a bath soak. Take in a deep breath and appreciate yourself. You are perfect and magnificent just the way you are.
Let this be the beginning (or the renewal) of a tender and loving relationship with the little soul inside of you that unfolds and expands by the minute as you love and accept her.
Sending you all lots of love,