Rules for Self-Love

Recently I saw a meme on Fake-Book that listed the Rules for Self-Love. It got me thinking: This might be a good series. I’ve been working on this aspect of my life significantly since June of this year. I had heard about self-love and cognitively understood what it was all about, but I didn’t have any for many years. In fact, for nearly a decade, I really didn’t like myself much at all.

In 2010, I rushed into a second marriage after my first marriage ended. I hadn’t even been divorced six months when I remarried, and it was evident early on that this was going to be difficult and I was terrified it wasn’t going to work out for us.

But I tried. I really did try. And it wasn’t that I didn’t love him. I did love him. It just wasn’t a good fit from the start. Our values, priorities, and collective interests were so far apart on the spectrum we couldn’t even make ‘opposites attract’ a true statement. After nine years, it ended. Badly, I might add.

Then I was faced with being a twice-divorcee, a single mother, and I was a person who had lost their way career-wise. I had gained weight, lost my sparkle, and frankly, was a terrible friend to just about everyone who was trying to help me. I think…as I began to study ‘self-love’…I really just didn’t even like myself, let alone love myself.

But all that changed in June of this year. I started planning a trip that I could take alone. I ended up taking nine day vacation on the beach with no one else’s energy around me to distract me from my mission: To come to terms with the elements of my life where I still had wounds and set my intention for what I want my life to look like in the future.

I desperately wanted to connect on a grander scale with my closest friends, son, and partner, and I wanted to live a richer life. I wanted to be brave and transparent and authentic.

Some of the experiences that unfolded shortly after my return were utterly unexpected and painful. Brene Brown writes about her ‘breakdown’/’spiritual awakening’ in her book The Gifts of Imperfection and, Kids, let me tell you that I can now relate completely to what she said.

When I got back from one of the best trips of my life, a few things happened:

  1. I entered into a period of the worst depression I had ever had in my entire life.
  2. I broke up with my partner, and it was painful for both of us
  3. My anxiety levels were through-the-roof high, and I couldn’t function
  4. I stopped believing in the ideas my religious background had fed me

It was terrifying to be actively involved in watching my life fall to pieces in a way that felt completely incongruent with what I was trying to accomplish. I was alone, scared, disconnected, mentally exhausted, and spiritually drained. I lost nine pounds in two weeks. I barely slept. I was a mess.

And then…

And then I wasn’t.

As I started thinking about what I needed instead of what others needed, I began to let go of some deep-seeded falsely-rooted beliefs I had held about myself, relationships, my Higher Power, and my life’s purpose. And…I started healing.

I’m going to use this meme to write about my journey, and as you walk with me, I hope it will be of comfort to you. I have said recently, “If you met me between the years 2016-2019…let me reintroduce myself”, and I mean that wholeheartedly.

I’ll start this weekend and share my journey. Until then, here’s a great song by Chris Stapleton. Enjoy.

As always…Take care. Hug more. I love you.

photocredit: http://www.ettaarlene.com