Fall in Love with Yourself
In the past 7 years since my divorce, I have spent a lot of time with myself. I experimented with online dating and had a couple of significant long-term relationships. Yet, I continued to struggle with what felt like unfinished business from my past relationship patterns. As a marriage and family therapist, the irony of this is not lost on me. What I appreciate about my profession is that it offers me room to learn about and explore aspects of myself that would not otherwise be in my awareness. I believe that my responsibility as a therapist is to do my own personal work and be willing to be vulnerable and open to learning, so that I can better help you to do the same. I continue to subscribe to the idea I discussed in a past blog post, “We Teach What We Most Need to Learn.”
In light of this awareness, in the summer of 2015, I made a conscious decision to take a year off from dating and relationships and just be in a relationship with myself. This seemed like a radical notion and at first I wasn’t even sure if I could do it. However, as the year went on, I began to understand the benefits of this conscious time with myself and got to know myself on a very deep level. I also came to honor and revere the commitment I had made and became unwilling to dishonor myself in any way.
When the year concluded, I felt it appropriate to mark this time with a sacred ceremony and happened to have a perfect place and opportunity to create this out in Seattle with my dear friends from the Wellness Institute. I chose to use the Native American tradition of creating “prayer ties” and the sacredness of fire to consecrate this life chapter. My intention was also to consciously “put out the call” for a healthy relationship to enter my life.
Below, I am choosing to share my intimate reflection of this year with myself in hopes that it may help you to embark on your own journey inward. Or maybe you will find something in it that soothes you, inspires you, or puts words to your own yearnings or experience in some way. Feel free to share it with friends or loved ones whom you feel might need this message. This is also an exercise in vulnerability for me and an example of what I talk with you about frequently. Whether in a relationship or single, just starting out, or quite seasoned in life, we can all benefit from a deeper relationship with ourselves. May you discover your own process in your own way and discover a love that enhances all other love in your life.
“The Year I Fell in Love with Myself” ~ July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016
I was struggling… drowning … in the unconscious, addictive and dysfunctional patterns of my past.
As I breached the surface, I noticed a hand reaching out to me.
I grabbed it and was finally able to catch my breath.
She offered me respite from the chaos.
She asked me to rest upon the shore with her for one year.
I automatically agreed – not a decision of my mind but from deep within my soul –
A knowing that the survival and redemption of my heart depended on it.
During that year on the shore, I cycled, I learned, I trusted, I cried, and I celebrated.
I risked and I hid.
I lamented and I sighed deep relief.
I rested and I dreamed.
I released shame, fear, hurt, and anger.
I relentlessly maintained this commitment.
I came to understand what it meant to truly love and care for another and what that kind of love truly felt like to receive.
I settled down and settled in as it became very clear to me that the hand who had reached out for me in the treacherous waters was my own.
I made peace with myself.
I fell in love.
This recognition and cultivation of deep connection filled in the gaps of my being.
It has been a blissful reunion as though I have been gone from myself for centuries.
As I re-pixelated, I excavated and honed and strengthened my wild instincts, my human earthly cycles, and came to trust in my intuition and intimate connection to the Divine Energy and Life Force that I consist of. This Life Force completely inhabits and surrounds me and merges with everything else in the Universe.
From this perspective and experience of Divine Union, I humbly put out the call for a special man to come and join me on this journey.
I call to Grace as the messenger and I invite her to unite us with a deep knowing of each other as if we have been here all along together.
I know that possibilities are infinite when the Grace of God and the Power of Prayer merge.
So I now lift up my humble and sincere prayers to Spirit, so that prayer and grace may heed my call. I am ready.
With earnestness, patience, trust and humility, I stand before you. My heart is open.
I revere and hold sacred this time spent on the shore.
I am forever grateful for the lessons of love I have learned. They are deeply anchored.
My greatest gift is the love I have created for and with myself. This gift is mine to continue to cultivate. I now have so much more to share with an intimate partner.
I pray to share and honor my love with a man who is willing and able to love me from an equally secure and sacred and loved place within himself.
I go forth with a spirit of enthusiasm, excitement, and expectancy. My heart is overflowing…
AHO! (Read during my Prayer Tie Ceremony at The Wellness Institute July 10th, 2016)