Learning Self Love

A time comes in your life when you finally get it. When in the midst of all your fears you stop in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out — ENOUGH! Enough fighting and struggling to hold on and like a child quieting after a tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you blink back your tears and through a mantle of wet lashes you begin to look at the world through new eyes.

This is your awakening. You realize that it’s time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change, or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon. You come to terms with the fact that he is not Prince Charming, and you are not Cinderella and that in the real world there aren’t always fairy tale endings (or beginnings for that matter), and that any guarantee of “happily ever after” must begin with you.  In that process a sense of serenity is born out of acceptance. You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect, and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are and that’s OK. And you learn the importance of loving and championing yourself, and in the process a sense of newfound confidence is born of self-approval.

You stop blaming other people for the things they did or didn’t do to or for you and you learn the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected.

You learn not everyone will be there for you, and that it’s not always about you. So, you learn to stand on your own and take care of yourself, and in the process a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance.

You stop judging and pointing fingers, and you begin to accept people as they are, and overlook their shortcomings and human frailties and in the process, a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness.

You realize that much of the way you view yourself, and the world around you, is a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche. And you begin to sift through all the crap you’ve been fed about how you should behave, how you should look, how much you shouldn’t weigh, what you should wear, where you should shop, what you should drive, how and where you should live, what you should do for a living, how you should raise your children or what you owe your parents.

You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of views and you begin redefining who you are and what you stand for. You learn the difference between want and need, and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you’ve outgrown, and in the process you learn to go with your instincts. You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility, and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO. You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry, and that martyrs get burned at the stake.

Then you learn about love – romantic and familial and you learn how to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving, and when to walk away. You learn when you have made them a priority and they have made you an option and you learn not to project your needs or feelings onto a relationship. You learn that you will not be more beautiful, intelligent, more lovable, or important because of the man or woman on your arm or the child that bears your name.

You learn to look at relationships as they are and not as you would have them be. You stop trying to control people, situations, and outcomes. You learn that just as people grow and change, so it is with love and you learn that you don’t have the right to demand love on your terms. And, you learn that alone does not mean lonely.

And you look in the mirror and come to terms with the fact that you will never be perfect and you stop trying to compete with the image inside your head. You stop working so hard to push feelings aside, smooth things over, and ignore your needs. You learn it is your right to want the things that you want and sometimes it is appropriate and necessary to make demands. You come to the realization that you deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity and respect, and that you will not settle for less. And you allow only the hands of a lover who cherishes you, to glorify you with his or her touch, and in the process you internalize the meaning of self-respect.

And you learn that your body is your temple. You begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water, and taking more time to exercise. You learn that fatigue diminishes the spirit and can create doubt and fear, so you take more time to rest. And just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels the soul, so you take more time to laugh and to play and surround yourself with people who believe in you.

You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for, and that wishing for something to happen is different than working toward making it happen.  More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success, you need direction, discipline, and perseverance. You also learn that not one can do it all alone and it’s OK to ask for help.

You learn that the only thing you must really fear is fear itself. You learn to step through your fears because you know you can survive and to give into fear is to give away the right to live life on your terms.

You learn that life isn’t always fair, you don’t always get what you think you deserve, and sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. You learn that God is not always punishing you or failing to answer your prayers. It’s just life happening. And you learn to deal with evil in its most primal state – the ego. You learn that negative feelings such as anger, regret, and resentment must be understood and redirected, or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison the universe that surrounds you.

You learn to admit when you are wrong and build bridges instead of walls. You learn to be grateful and take comfort in the simple things we take for granted. Slowly you begin to take responsibility for yourself, and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself or settle for less than your heart’s desire.

And you hang a wind chime so you can listen to the wind and you make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility. And you learn that self-love is a Powerful Perspective.

Finally, with courage in your heart and with God by your side, you take a stand, take a deep breath, and begin to design the life you want to live.

To learn more about the Powerful Perspectives System of Change, attend one of the following programs hosted by The River Falls School District Community Education:

~Super Saturday, February 26, 2011, 9 – noon at the River Falls High School (sessions begin at 9 am, 10 am, or 11 am).

~Become the Most Powerful You, Thursdays Feb 24 and March 3 from 5 pm – 6:30 pm.

To register, click on “RFSD Community Education” under “WORKSHOPS” on the sidebar of this story.

~Receive Powerful Perspectives, Notes on Perspectives & Share Your Powerful Perspectives on a regular basis.  Click the blue “f” and become a fan on facebook.

*this poem was adoped and edited from the poem titled, “Awakening.” The original author is unknown, but greatly appreciated.