It’s that time of year again. You either love Valentines Day or hate it, depending on whether you have a special someone in your life. This time around I discovered that special someone is myself. I have truly become my own beloved and the feeling this truth gives me is rich and serene. When I first heard that phrase - “become your own beloved” - I thought it sounded really new-agey and cheesy. Perhaps because I had yet to discover the richness in it and really own it. I’m on my way to having a deep knowing of it now.
All of last year I was going through a divorce after 20 years of being together. Though my divorce was and is what I would call a “sacred” divorce, it was hell to go through nonetheless. The depths of loneliness and fear that I reached were monumental. There were times that I physically squirmed, because I felt so alone.
To soothe my loneliness and to satisfy that deep yearning to be loved and accepted, I went out with two different men last year. Both experiences were completely different, provided me with lots of contrast: “Hmmm, I like that and oh no, I certainly don’t like that.” The whole time I had the old adage “you can’t truly love anyone else until you learn to love yourself” in the back of my mind but thought, what does that mean anyway? Well, I’m beginning to find out what it means and I want to share with you what I’ve discovered so far.
We must let go of and die to all expectations that we so often have of others. This means everyone. Give up “hope” that he will call, that your mother will truly nurture you this time, that your friends will read your mind and know what you need. Know that you are the only one who can fill your own holes and if you rely on others to fill them for you, you will be gravely disappointed because they will let you down. As Pema Chödrön – a Buddhist nun whom I adore – says, “rest in hopelessness.” This allows you to rest in the present moment and be free of the constraint of expectations.
You know how you tell yourself you are going to work out and you don’t? Or you embellish or diminish what you are saying to someone, otherwise known as a white lie? If you don’t have integrity with yourself and others, it leads to that low level of anxiety that we just live with, and your trust in yourself erodes in a slow and insidious way. Practice telling the microscopic truth to yourself and others and watch yourself stand a little taller and feel a little calmer each day.
You know those people who suck the life right out of you? I call them Energy Vampires or Joy Thieves. Take a good look at whom you spend your precious time with and note whom you feel empowered by and who leaves you exhausted. Then take action. Put in structures of support for yourself. Take a stand for your own vitality and say no to those who drain you, or limit your time with them. Make room in your life for those who radiate and spread joy.
Exquisite self-care is a must. And this doesn’t have to cost money. I know many women who give endlessly to others and then reach a point where they are just done giving. I heard John Gray say that when women give, the hormone oxytocin is released. So it feels good for us to give. The problem arises when we need to build that giving energy back up. We can’t look to our men for that. Instead we need to take time to nap when we’re tired; have a restorative talk on the phone with a girlfriend; get our toes done. Guess what? These activities get our oxytocin going again! So you have a scientific reason to get out and take amazing care of yourself.
One of the men I went out with last year is so easy going and nothing seemed to ruffle his feathers. He said to me “I find when you go through life with hard edges, you get hard edges back. I try to infuse fun into everything I do.” What a beautiful life mantra I learned from him. Find pleasure in everything you do. Try hand washing the dishes and finding the beauty of life in the running water, the soaping up of the plate. Look for the pleasure and ye will find it.
We are all creative beings, and feminine energy is just that, creative. The second chakra (the energy center located in our sexual center) is also the center of creativity. So dig deep and find something that lights you up when you are creating... writing, painting, building… there will be something that makes the time fly when you’re doing it. Also, this helps to re-direct any of that unproductive, longing energy for a man that we all know so well.
Connecting with the Divine/Universe/Spirit on a regular basis. I also poo-poo’d this until about a year ago when the emotions I experienced regarding my divorce became too great for me to handle myself. I now know what is meant by “giving it up.” I did just that. Me and the Divine had a little conversation where I asked for some big time help. Ever since then, getting quiet and communing with Spirit on a regular basis has helped to ground and center me in the midst of my own emotional chaos.
So Pinkies, how do you handle that feeling of longing and grasping for a partner? How do you funnel that energy into re-vitalizing yourself? Or if you’re in a pit and wishing you had someone in your life, what are some ways you lift yourself out of that state? How do you celebrate the essence of who you are?
I'd love to hear from you about the ways you have found to become your own beloved, step into it and really own it.
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