Recently I got together with some fellow yogis who I will be spending a week in Italy with on a yoga retreat so that we could all meet each other and just have a nice evening together with wine, cheese, and spaghetti. Along with the great food, these women were a great company to have and they shared some wonderful insights. I am younger than these women, and I love being a listening ear to a conversation with those that are older and more knowledgeable than myself.
One subject we stayed on for a bit was how it took them longer to realize that they needed to love themselves before they could truly share their love with another. How they’ve realized the relationship they’ve been ignoring is the one with themselves and how it was something they weren’t taught growing up.
Maybe you’ve read or heard it a thousand times that you need to learn to love yourself and to be happy by yourself before you can be happy in a relationship, but who did you hear that from? I remember my parents telling me never to follow a guy, to never let them be the center of my world and to honor my values and beliefs. But the first time I read that you have to learn to be by yourself before you can really love another was probably on Pinterest and that moment was a moment of “enlighterment”* for me.
From my experience, I’ve always loved my alone time, but the learning to love myself for who I am and not what people perceive me to be has taken a lot of time, and honestly is still something I am working on.
It’s hard to remember to take the time to love yourself first when you have these preconceived “deadlines” for yourself, and that you’re not succeeding in life if you don’t have x,y & z figured out…. But who gives a crap if you’re not married and having kids by 30? I surely don’t care, nor do I really have those timelines set for myself. But I know as long as you’re happy and love who you are, everything else will fall into place.
At the end of the day, at the end of your life, all that really matters is if you’re happy and if you love who you are and what you’ve contributed to those around you. Love who you are unapologetically and be clear with yourself about the kind of people you want to attract and give your energy to. The people who stick around are meant to be there, everyone else is just a lesson that was supposed to be in your life for one reason or another.
*Enlighterment – heard it from my fellow yogi/life coach Tara. Defined as having moments of enlightenment but not being enlightened.