We’ve all heard the saying that you need to love yourself before you can expect anyone else to. But what does that really mean? I’ve always considered myself to be someone with pretty decent self-esteem, so I must love me, right?
Maybe not. Loving yourself, means making the best decisions for yourself. It means knowing your own worth. Logically I know all of this, and yet my actions of late don’t really speak like I understand all of this. I’ve loved parts of myself, but loathed others. I certainly have not made the best decisions for myself. I’ve also treated loving myself in more of a way of “Well I don’t hate myself, therefore…” and really felt — that was adequate. The truth is, I don’t think I do really love me. I think I love the idea of loving me. Kind of on the same vein of saying, well I don’t hate veggies, when I know damn well I most certainly don’t love them either. Does this mean I’ve been treating the love I should have for myself as the last thing on my plate I’ll eat? That thing I know I should enjoy and appreciate more, but I really only do because I know it’s healthy for me?
Yup. 100%. I know I am supposed to love me, but I have been the veggie on my proverbial plate of life. I deserve better than that. I deserve to be treated like the most decadent dessert tray. I need to learn this. To live it. To breathe it.
A friend of mine posted one of those life affirming meme’s on her Facebook page last week. It said that falling in love with yourself takes practice and effort. That you need to woo yourself. Whisper sweet nothings to you, about you.
So, that being said, starting this weekend, I began a courtship with me with the explicit intent of falling in love. With Me. Not so much in a Stuart Smalley kind of way, but with enough levity that I can find love and laughter in the ordeal.
I figured it shouldn’t be that difficult, because well, I like me. I have a lot in common with me. I’m already comfortable with me. I can be honest with me. But how do I make me, love me?
I think that might be a little harder than it seems.
To start, I didn’t come on like gangbusters, because, well I startle easily with those who move too fast. I’m suspicious. I might question my own motive.
I decided to start off small. Maybe some light drinks and pampering. Friday night at the store I decided on wine. I haven’t had a good bottle of wine in a while. More often than not, I’ll save a nicer bottle of wine for company, and treat myself to the cheaper bottles. I didn’t go crazy, but I really perused the aisle. I really looked for what I would get if I were bringing the wine to a dinner party. I found a nice little bottle of Shirah for a little under twenty and told myself to go simply enjoy it. No judgment. I probably should have gone a little easier than finishing the entire bottle in a night, but the wine was sort of light, and a little fruitier than expected. The evening was warm, and when I finally embraced the quiet and stopped thinking of it as boring, I really enjoyed myself. But I respected myself, and didn’t take advantage of my ever-so-slightly inebriated state. I probably should have insisted I eat something other than a string cheese, but I didn’t want to come across as too bossy to myself.
Although Friday night went well, I realized there are still a lot of learning curves to master. Respect is one of them. For instance, how about respecting my body a little more as to not put it in harms’ way? Which sort of includes not drinking the entire bottle in one night. Ahhh, but to be too hard on myself so soon is judging, and not conducive to love, so I put that away. I didn’t beat myself up (which is a horrid thing to do to a partner immediately following a first date anyway!) over it. I’ll learn, I gently told myself.
Saturday a friend came over, but I didn’t treat myself any differently. I hate when I date someone and they act one way when they are alone with me, and another way in front of their friends. We all decided to go shopping. Ironically as much retail therapy as I normally do, I rarely take myself shopping on a Saturday for the explicit purpose of shopping for me. I did it, and I loved it. I picked up a couple of pairs of shoes – sexy and cute. A cute purse. I came across some more reading glasses that I knew I would appreciate, but would never buy for myself, so I picked them up too. I had completely forgotten about them, so later when I was unloading things it was a nice surprise. “For me?!?”, I gushed. After shopping I was famished, so I decided to take myself out to lunch too. No fast food, but a restaurant where I could pamper me. I think I really enjoyed it. I was really enjoying the day with me (and my friend. I really can’t leave my friend out of the equation) so I threw the dice of chance and suggested maybe we go listen to some live music. Have a drink or two. All in all the date lasted a good 24 hours or more. I know it’s a lot, especially after saying I would move slowly and all, but I think it went well.
Now I sort of ask myself, am I supposed to play the dating game and wait the three days before I call myself? Were drinks, really a date per say? Was shopping and the evening a date, when my friend was with us too? I don’t want to come across as desperate or over-the-top by calling myself too soon. But then if I don’t call, will I see thru the games I am playing with myself? Maybe I’ll just text myself that I am thinking of me. Is it too soon to send flowers to myself? Damn I have to learn to slow things down. Maybe I’ll see if I am available for dinner sometime this week. I do have this perfect little Brie that I had planned on baking over the weekend when my friend came over. It didn’t happen. I wonder if I would enjoy it? I haven’t been to a movie in a long time, maybe I’ll see if I am interested in one. Will it seem crazy if I talk to myself during the movie? I tend to do that with anyone else, and to treat myself less than anyone else would be unfair.
I don’t know, but I have a feeling I may enjoy this new relationship.