“Well there’s a rose, in a fisted glove and the eagle flies with the dove.
And if you can’t be with the one you love, honey,
love the one you’re with.”
(lyrics courtesy of Crosby, Stills & Nash)
Wow, I love it!
How true are these lyrics? Love yourself. We hear it time and time again, don’t we? If you don’t love yourself how on earth is anyone going to love you? Not only a potential partner but your work colleagues, even your friends. Because, in truth, someone who does not love themselves is pretty hard to hang around. I speak as one who knows. For many years I did not like myself. When I say many years, I mean most of the years. Boy, how scary is that? I talked negatively to myself about myself and found any social situation taxing as I would think that everyone was criticising and that I never measured up to the rest!
Now I’m pretty lucky, it has to be said, as I’ve attracted some of the most amazing friends ever, but in other relationships, and even bosses, my lack of ‘love’ for myself did get me into some sticky situations. My favourite sticky life situation was taking a job with a mirror charater of Meryl Streep in ‘The Devil Wear’s Prada’ but without the fun side that her PA had of wearing lovely clothes. No, my ex-boss would take me to a clothes shop, ask me to pick out what I would like to buy if I had the chance and then go in and buy it for herself, a look of sheer narcissism and joy on her face. I laugh now, it’s one of the funniest memories I have and yes, it’s in my book I’m currently writing. Watch this space!
Truthfully, loving yourself is the first step to having a really lovely life. After all, if you love yourself you’re never lonely because you are the best person to hang out with. If you love yourself, you’ll probably like your sense of humour so can laugh at yourself. If you love yourself, you will treat yourself well and not abuse your body or your mind. If you love yourself, you’ll amuse yourself with witty banter in your head (or not as the case may be – it’s been proven now that talking to yourself shows high intelligence – yes, really) and if you love yourself you won’t care what others think of you. Imagine that, a life of not caring what others might think! Last year I attended a Landmark Forum course and it was so enlightening but at the same time damn hard work – personal development isn’t a walk in the park. I was so relieved to hear that most people don’t care about you as they are mostly caring about themselves! Yes, that’s right, nearly everyone is so worried about what others might think but they’re not really thinking about you or even judging you.
What a blinking relief. Now you tell me? Dur!
On top of that, don’t try to fit in, who wants to be like everyone else anyway? Be you, in whatever form that comes, and if you don’t like elements of you and feel they are unworthy or not conducive to a good life, make plans to change these elements of you that no longer ‘work’. Five years ago, I decided I was going to change ‘me’ not for the worse but for the better. I was going to get to know me so that I, in turn, could know others better (which shows interest in people) and that would make my life a whole lot easier as I would know what ‘triggers’ made me react in a certain way and who to avoid!
I’m no an expert and life is always a learning curve, but I’m a lot further forward than I was and although you open a minefield it’s far better to be in the minefield working your way through (being on the field) rather than standing on the side looking in. Personal development is not for everyone but once you start, you can’t stop!
In the meantime, I’m living my life the way I want to live it – you can find me walking along the beach, singing out loud to my songs just because I want to (I love singing) and because more often these days I love life and feel better than I’ve ever done.
Tracey B x