Finding Love (Is It Lost?)
Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there! I am happy to be spending this Mother’s Day in my hometown with my mom—and I can assure you, Mom and I are both happy not to be discussing the guy I mentioned in the last post—the one who was “all wrong for me.”
But that post….
It led to some pretty interesting conversations with friends, relatives, and even strangers. Conversations about what it means to love yourself, as well as an insightful back-and-forth in the comment section of the post itself.
Under the comments, Kris wrote about folks being in two camps when it comes to trust: either they trust themselves more than others or vice versa. However, when it comes to loving yourself, he has very rarely encountered those who love themselves first. (By the way, the context we are talking about here is narcissists-aside.)
Is that Why Valentine’s Day was Created?
He goes on to muse, “…if many of us find it hard to love ourselves, do most of us innately feel like love is an emotion that we have to search for continuously until we feel like we have received it adequately? Is that why Valentine’s Day was created?”
Kris gets a little tongue-and-cheeky, which I love, but he poses a valid question: Is love an emotion we are constantly in search of? Is that why Valentine’s Day was created? Valentine’s Day, a day to shower love on your lover. Mother’s Day, a day to shower love on your mom. Father’s Day….
So what day is your day? Your birthday? If you’re anything like I am, without Facebook to remind me, my birthday would come and go without much notice…it’s just not that big-a-deal.
Maybe Kris and I are just being Hallmark card/holiday Scrooges—perhaps Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and birthdays are simply days to celebrate the fill-in-the-blank person. But I still have to ask, why is it so difficult for many of us to love ourselves every day? Why can’t we love ourselves as our default setting 365 days a year versus our three, maybe four “special” days per year?
What Does Finding Love Look Like?
Which begs the final question I asked in the previous post: What does loving yourself even look like?
I decided to conduct some official research on the subject—I asked the first person I saw—the person walking through the front door, backpack slung over his sweaty, little shoulders: my 12-year old son.
Yes, I asked a sixth grade boy! Had I lost my mind? Nope. It’s the perfect age really:
- articulate enough to answer such a question,
- “awake” enough (not rushing through life at warp speed or disillusioned by it), and
- not yet jaded by love.
After getting settled in on my office couch, here’s how our conversation went:
Me: “Hey there, you know how I teach at those kid’s camps every summer? Well, I’m thinking about teaching a segment on loving yourself. It got me wondering…what would you say if I asked you if you loved yourself?”
Me: “Yes, what?”
Son: “Yes, I do.”
Me: “Okay…so…how do you know you love yourself? I mean, what does that look like?”
Son: “Oh, that’s easy. I do things that make me happy.”
Me: (blank look)
Son: “When you love yourself, you make it a priority to do things that make you happy. Basically, you choose you. What’s for snack?”
And that was that.
We walked off to the kitchen, leaving the conversation behind, back in my office, but in my case, holding it close to my heart.
We Know Truth When We Hear It
Kids speak Truth. And as adults, we know Truth when we hear it. And I had just heard it.
Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, birthdays, and all of the other days, they are markers in time, reminders from Hallmark and candy companies to pause for a moment and celebrate others. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Let’s you and I pause for a moment. Ask yourself, how good am I at choosing things that make me happy (and NOT feeling guilty in the process…gotcha!)? How often do I choose to do things that make me happy? Apart from my birthday, how often do I choose to celebrate me? Do I need to bump up the frequency? What does celebrating me look like?
Can Finding Love Really Be that Simple?
Is loving yourself really as simple as choosing what makes you happy? Yes, I think it is. Of course, we could complicate it, give it many, many more layers, qualify this, contemplate that…but that would only delay the loving of ourselves. The more we complicate a subject, the more we put off actually doing it.
Let’s do this together. Today, choose to do something that makes you happy. Then tomorrow, choose to do something that makes you happy. With each choosing-happiness-moment, you are reinforcing your truth: you are lovable, you are worthy of love, you are love.
Happy Mother’s Day to every mom reading Trust Life Today (TLT) today. Happy celebration of YOU to each person reading. Happy daily choices to all…choices that reinforce how much you love yourself.
P.S. Tomorrow is my birthday. I turn 44. Rather than totally downplay it, almost being embarrassed by any attention I might receive, I will choose to make it one of 364 other days I choose to love myself and see my beauty, my magic. I will take the opportunity to choose happiness. Heck, I may even buy myself a Hallmark card and some candy. (Nah, let’s not go nuts…more like buy this super cute tank top I’ve had my eye on.) 😉
Are you surrounded by people who are excellent examples of loving themselves? If not, consider sharing this post with them—you never know, it might be just the thing they’ve been looking for—how to (and permission to) love themselves.