Butterfly stilshot

Butterfly stilshot

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Be Your Own Valentine!

I was inspired to write to all the singles ladies as Valentine's Day approaches. I have seen the commercials on television, seen advertisements for events and heard couples making plans. Unfortunately I have also began to hear the grumble of disappointment from single ladies without a Valentine. I want to encourage my fellow ladies without a romantic Valentine to join me and not focus on the type of love we may not currently have and celebrate the type of love that we can always have: SELF-LOVE! I have truly found that Self-Love is the most nourishing love and it is at times like this when I evaluate and am grateful for such a strong sense of self-love.

How can we truly love others if we haven't first practiced by loving ourselves? We can't! Everyday I see people attempt to display love to others and it doesn't come naturally because they have no practice. I have learned that how we treat others is the most genuine reflection of how we treat ourselves. People who are harsh and critical to others, typically put themselves through the same anguish. People who never trust other people are typically untrustworthy themselves; they assume everyone behaves just as they do hence the trust issues. People who comforably affirm others usually speak great things over their own lives too. It is important to master loving ourselves before we can attempt to love others.

I have never been big on Valentine's Day even when I was in relationships. I'm just not a fan of demonstrating love on one day. I'd rather get flowers on a random Tuesday just because; not because the calendar prompted you to do so. But that's just me :) However this year I find that I am looking forward to Valentine's Day because I am celebrating wholeness. I am celebrating the fact that I am looking forward to my own company as much as I would look forward to someone else's. How is someone else going to enjoy being around me if I don't <puzzled face lol>? How many of us really get excited to spend some time with ourselves? I know so many people that simply can not be alone; I believe that really speaks to a much deeper issue (that's for another blog).

Now I'm not saying that it isn't normal and natural to desire romantic love and want someone else's company to enjoy. Don't get me wrong I have high hopes for 2012 also lol. But I'm saying that in the meantime if self-love isn't nourishing enough, when romantic love does appear it won't fit. Self-love must be present first. If you haven't been patient and long-suffering with yourself, it will be a real struggle to do with someone else. If you haven't practiced forgiving yourself regularly, you won't be able to do it with someone else.  If you have given up on yourself and not continued on believe, hope and endure all things, how will you encourage a significant other not to do the same? I wholeheartedly believe I Corinthians 13:4-7 must be true of self-love also.

For all my grumblers and Valentine's Day haters, I challenge you to associate a new emotion with the day. Take some quiet time and determine why there is negative emotion associated with the day in the first place. Is it loneliness? Is your belief low that you will ever be found by someone? Are you jealous (keep em' honest lol)? Whatever you come up with, I'm sure it will be a great place to begin some inner healing. You will find that once that healing has taken place, if you are not in a relationship you won't need to connect a negative emotion with a day set aside for romantic love.

So this Valentine's Day single ladies don't get caught up in the celebration of eros which is romantic love. But rather take the time to strengthen your agape which is the highest form of love and start with you! Pamper yourself, treat yourself, enjoy yourself. Get some quiet time and rest if it is needed. Recharge, rejuvenate, replenish. As women we pour out a lot but we don't always take time to refresh. After my event Saturday, I will be relaxing all evening. Take inventory, see how you can improve. Celebrate where you have grown! You can only be as good to others as you are first to yourself.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Who's Drinking Your Lemonade?

We often hear the phrase "When life throws you lemons, make lemonade." Well I'm adding the next part that I believe gets left out, "Make sure someone gets to drink it."

I believe one of the most empowering things in life is an experience to learn from. Experience is the best teacher, but it doesn't always have to be our own. Those who are wise have learned how to grow from observing the world around them so as not to experience everything for themselves. However this becomes a great challenge when people keep their experiences/stories to themselves. For everything that we face in life there is someone who has already overcome it. The challenge often is connecting with those who have been where we are and connect the dots for us to the future. Therefore often many people are stuck trying to figure out so much for themselves and wasting so much time.

Think about it. What have you experienced in life? What are some of most your most valuable lessons? Who has benefitted from what you have gone through? Who have you attempted to prevent from falling in some of the same spots where you fell?

While everyone may not be able to handle our raw uncut stories, there are people out there that absolutely need them. Nothing can be more gratifying than to have someone learn and directly benefit from one of your lessons. There have been moments where I have shared in detail with another sister something that I have experienced and explained the lesson I got. I have seen the light bulb turn on and the "aha" moment happen. How amazing does it feel to have someone have their understanding expanded that way versus having to feel the pain we felt when we learned the lesson. Sure there are times when people just have to experience things themselves I do believe that, however it doesn't have to be all the time. Think enough of the pains you have experienced to help prevent someone else from feeling them unnecessarily.

Life threw you lemons, you made lemonade. Don't just stash is in the refrigerator, LET SOMEONE DRINK IT!