With Valentine’s Day upon us, I’m starting to see newsletters and emails about chocolate, love, hearts, commitment, etc. I’m sure you are too. My focus however, and the focus of “come back to love” is LOVING YOU. I mean ‘you’ loving ‘you.’ And me loving ME.
Our culture has really defined “LOVE” in the context of being in relationship. And there’s a lot of judgment, values, and structures that have been created to support the belief that one is only successful if they are in one.
However, what’s missing – what isn’t talked about, what isn’t taught – is that it all starts with OURSELVES.
Love and intimacy are something you create within yourself first. We can’t give what we don’t have; we can’t teach what we haven’t experienced first. We can’t model what we don’t know first hand.
We need to have intimacy with ourselves before we can have it with other people.
What does that mean — “intimacy with myself, what???”
Baba Harijar Ram, the guru that I’m connected with from the Sonoma Ashram in California offers us a daily morning ritual. Before getting out of bed, take a deep breath and after each breath say, “I love myself” — “I respect myself” — “I honor myself.”
Love, respect and honor are 3 qualities of intimacy that I invite you to discover and cultivate inside.
How are you respecting yourself? Are you choosing food, sleep, work, balance, movement, friendships, conversations that are respectful to you? Big question huh?
Tricky too. Different aspects of ourselves want different things. We may feel we are being respectful by providing something we are craving only to realize later that other parts didn’t like that so much!
How are you honoring the choices you make? The whispers you hear inside? Are you doubting your inner voice? Pushing through pain? Taking care of others instead of yourself? Doing too much? How can you honor yourself more?
Love love love. The illusive love. If I ask you if you love yourself, many will say “yes.” I always do. Because I do. I love myself. However the invitation here (with this morning ritual) is to feel the love with as much energy as you can muster. Feel the gratitude you have for who you are, for the gifts you’ve come to the world with, for what you are experiencing right now.
Self love and intimacy are ongoing journeys and ones that I invite you to bring your attention to. Without these elements on board, you don’t have the fullness of YOU in the relationship that you are in (or the relationship you want to be in.)
And whether you’re in relationship with someone else or not, when you learn how to be intimate and loving with yourself, you regularly feel the joy, peace and warmth of those energies. You don’t NEED it from someone on the outside.
I love what the Access Consciousness folks say – they use the word CREATIONSHIP – this isn’t referring to connection per se but instead to your capacity to create together. It’s not related to how distant or close we are, it’s about asking the question: What can we create that’s even greater than either of us can create alone? You can have that when you are fulfilled with you first.
I know you’ve heard some of this before. But hopefully a simple focus on LOVE, RESPECT and HONOR with yourself gives you something tangible to practice. 3 breaths each morning. Affirm to yourself that you will love, respect and honor yourself and then ask to be shown how. With your hand on your heart, ask what the next step is and you will know the right actions to take.
I wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day – I wish you a day (a life) of FULLY HONORING YOU. And I wish that to myself as well!