Beliefnet
The Queen of My Self

January is Self-love month. And if it weren’t, I, Queen Mama Donna, would declare it so! So for the rest of the month I will focus on the ways that we can show love and support to ourselves.

There is only one person who is absolutely guaranteed to be with you loyally every day until you die. So you might as well live her! Will you join me in showering your Self with love starting right now?

 

Self-Love: A Definition – Part 1

Connie Barrett  

When asked to consider the question of self-love, many people ask, “Does loving myself unconditionally mean I have to love everything I’ve ever done?”

No. Like you, I’ve done things of which I have been ashamed. However, when we love ourselves unconditionally we don’t dwell on these past events. We don’t make them the focus of how we see ourselves. When we can we correct them. We call them mistakes and learn from them so that we don’t do them again.

When we can be kind and forgiving in this way to ourselves we are better able to be that with others. Unconditional and forgiving self-love fosters unconditional and forgiving love of others.

The Vibration of Self-Love

How you feel about yourself has a lot to do with how others feel about you. Sometimes how people feel about themselves is obvious in their appearance. We may feel that someone who walks with a severe slump, or doesn’t meet our eyes, or speaks in a barely audible voice has a low opinion of herself.

Some people speak their opinions of themselves. A person may say, “Well, I could never do that.” or “I’ve never expected much from life” or “I gave up on relationships.”

Often, though, it’s not that clear. Many of us are good at presenting a positive persona (mask) to the world. Inside, though, we may be riddled with doubts about ourselves. We may be nervous about how our remarks or appearance are received. We may meet someone to whom we’re attracted and silently affirm that (s)he would never, NEVER be interested in us. This way we avoid the fear of rejection by not taking a risk.

When I was a child, a popular (although cruel) April Fool’s joke was to put a sign which read “Kick Me” on someone’s back. The emotions and beliefs we have about our lack of lovability are subtle signs which others read as “Don’t Love Me” or “Reject Me” or “Treat Me Badly.”

Loving Yourself Is the Foundation

In order to have loving relationships with others we must have loving relationships with ourselves. That’s the first step towards answering the questions in the meditation I’ve given you to use:

What would you do if you believed you were completely responsible for the presence of love in your life? What relationships would you heal? How would you act if you believed you were the source of love in any encounter? How would you change the way you treated yourself?

Is Self-Love Egotism?

Many of us have the fear that the line between self-love and being considered a raving egomaniac is a very fine one.

We don’t like people who boast about themselves.

We are very careful to be modest and self-effacing at every possible opportunity.

We minimize our accomplishments.

We believe people should love us for who we are, not for what we do.

The difference between self-love and egotism can be made more clear if we take a deeper look at so-called egotism. The person who is constantly talking about himself is not someone who is filled with self-love. He is more likely someone whose inner well of self-love and self-esteem is empty. He feels the need to replenish it from outside sources.

Tomorrow: Self-Love: A Definition – Part 2

*****

Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She is the Midlife Midwife™ offering counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity.

Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™: http://www.donnahenes.net/queen/consult.shtml

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

 

 

 

 

When asked to consider the question of self-love, many people ask, “Does loving myself unconditionally mean I have to love everything I’ve ever done?”

 

No. Like you, I’ve done things of which I have been ashamed. However, when we love ourselves unconditionally we don’t dwell on these past events. We don’t make them the focus of how we see ourselves. When we can we correct them. We call them mistakes and learn from them so that we don’t do them again.

 

When we can be kind and forgiving in this way to ourselves we are better able to be that with others. Unconditional and forgiving self-love fosters unconditional and forgiving love of others.

 

The Vibration of Self-Love

 

How you feel about yourself has a lot to do with how others feel about you. Sometimes how people feel about themselves is obvious in their appearance. We may feel that someone who walks with a severe slump, or doesn’t meet our eyes, or speaks in a barely audible voice has a low opinion of herself.

 

Some people speak their opinions of themselves. A person may say, “Well, I could never do that.” or “I’ve never expected much from life” or “I gave up on relationships.”

 

Often, though, it’s not that clear. Many of us are good at presenting a positive persona (mask) to the world. Inside, though, we may be riddled with doubts about ourselves. We may be nervous about how our remarks or appearance are received. We may meet someone to whom we’re attracted and silently affirm that (s)he would never, NEVER be interested in us. This way we avoid the fear of rejection by not taking a risk.

 

When I was a child, a popular (although cruel) April Fool’s joke was to put a sign which read “Kick Me” on someone’s back. The emotions and beliefs we have about our lack of lovability are subtle signs which others read as “Don’t Love Me” or “Reject Me” or “Treat Me Badly.”

 

Loving Yourself Is the Foundation

 

In order to have loving relationships with others we must have loving relationships with ourselves. That’s the first step towards answering the questions in the meditation I’ve given you to use:

 

What would you do if you believed you were completely responsible for the presence of love in your life? What relationships would you heal? How would you act if you believed you were the source of love in any encounter? How would you change the way you treated yourself?

 

Is Self-Love Egotism?

 

Many of us have the fear that the line between self-love and being considered a raving egomaniac is a very fine one.

 

We don’t like people who boast about themselves.

 

We are very careful to be modest and self-effacing at every possible opportunity.

 

We minimize our accomplishments.

 

We believe people should love us for who we are, not for what we do.

 

The difference between self-love and egotism can be made more clear if we take a deeper look at so-called egotism. The person who is constantly talking about himself is not someone who is filled with self-love. He is more likely someone whose inner well of self-love and self-esteem is empty. He feels the need to replenish it from outside sources.

 

Tomorrow: Self-Love: A Definition – Part 2

 

*****

Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She is the Midlife Midwife™ offering counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity.

 

Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™: http://www.donnahenes.net/queen/consult.shtml

http://www.thequeenofmyself.com

 

***

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

 

 

January is Self-love month. And if it weren’t, I, Queen Mama Donna, would declare it so! So for the rest of the month I will focus on the ways that we can show love and support to ourselves.

There is only one person who is absolutely guaranteed to be with you loyally every day until you die. So you might as well live her! Will you join me in showering your Self with love starting right now?

 

Too hot to handle?

Here’s a wonderfully calming, cooling bath great for whenever you are hot and bothered. It is based on a suggestion offered to me by my friend and colleague, Dr. Rona Allen Mossman, for a time when my poor body was steam-heated from within by a seething undercover anger. This adaptation is equally refreshing for the hot flash power surges of midlife or the in/tense heat stress of a city summer.

To be taken three nights in a row, ideally by the light of a full moon.

Add to your bath water a bouquet of white flowers — lilies, tulips, daisies, roses; whatever appeals to you. Add enough white sugar to sweeten. And perfume or scented oils (might I suggest rose, ylang ylang, or vanilla?) Steep to the strains of cool jazz, Zen flutes, or whatever else soothes your soul.

Aaaaahhh.

Emerge feeling — and smelling — like dessert!

*****

Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She is the Midlife Midwife™ offering counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

 

January is Self-love month. And if it weren’t, I, Queen Mama Donna, would declare it so! So for the rest of the month I will focus on the ways that we can show love and support to ourselves.

There is only one person who is absolutely guaranteed to be with you loyally every day until you die. So you might as well live her! Will you join me in showering your Self with love starting right now?

 

Self-Care

By Mari Selby, VA   

Betty Friedan: “It’s easier to live through someone else than to become complete yourself.”

It’s in women’s genes how to spoon the medicine down gently, be tender with our touch, and listen with our whole bodies, not just our ears. We must become women who listen to our own needs and desires, and meet them with tenderness and grace. We deserve the tender touch, the listening ear and the gentle medicine. To be tender towards ourselves and learn self care is a great challenge for some souls. Maybe we are still enjoying the comfort of taking care of husband and children instead of being complete in ourselves? Maybe those of us who work on daily self-care, are also hungry to make a difference in our worlds? How are we tender towards ourselves while being fierce in our determination to stand up for ourselves? Who are our role models for creating a new story, a new balance of grace and wrath?

Daily self-care can be hard at first. The first step is defining both what we need and what makes us happy. When we have taken care of others for most of our lives, how do we know what we need? When we are asked what we want and we defer to someone else by saying, “whatever you want is fine with me” we cannot know what will make us happy. Defining what we need and what makes us happy is a process. We can begin the process of learning self-care through books, going to seminars, choosing different friends, attending 12 step programs or seeing a therapist. We don’t have to chart the way to self-care alone. We don’t have to jump into being spiritual activists; we can take time to nurture ourselves, time to give ourselves the listening ear, and the tender touch. That in of itself can be a radical act.

Learning to be a complete and whole woman has been my lifelong journey. I don’t know whether what I am doing is right; I only know what feels right in this moment. How I do self-care, listen to my intuition, and act creatively may look very different to you, the reader. I only know that the rage I feel towards injustice in the world only circles around and bites me in the ass. When I am enraged I become depressed and beat on myself, and then it takes time to come out of that hole. As part of my daily self-care I am learning to take my anger and transform it through creativity. I write poetry, blogs, and essays in an effort to distill words into the creative intelligence of wrath. Part of my daily lesson is to see that the more I am tender and respectful of myself, the easier it is for me to be creative.

We must find our way to be a woman who meets her needs with tenderness and grace. Fortunately we are not alone in this journey. Each day there are more women who want to feel complete, who are taking the first steps in learning self-care. We follow in the footsteps of friends who treat themselves tenderly. We are women treating ourselves with grace and respect while watching other women around us saying, “Now, that I can care for myself, I want to make a difference around me.” We can follow in the footsteps of the spiritual activists who have gone before us. Where are you in the process of learning self-care? Imagine yourself, today, a woman who treats herself with respect, tenderness, and grace.

*****

Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She is the Midlife Midwife™ offering counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

 

 

 

January is Self-love month. And if it weren’t, I, Queen Mama Donna, would declare it so! So for the rest of the month I will focus on the ways that we can show love and support to ourselves.

There is only one person who is absolutely guaranteed to be with you loyally every day until you die. So you might as well live her! Will you join me in showering your Self with love starting right now?

 

Love Your Self

 By Molly Burke, CA

Love it all: the good, the messy, the deplorable and disgusting, the divine and endearing, the noble and profane. Love the crap you create, and the tenacity with which you continue to breathe. Especially, deliberately love the bits that you don’t think deserve it. Core confidence is grounded in self love.

I was inspired to write about Self-love because of this great client I have. She and I have been working together since 2007. She’s gone from morbidly obese, broke and suicidal to a sleek role model with a guaranteed annual income of 90K. I offered her another big challenge designed to accelerate her progress recently, which she received with enthusiasm and confidence, even as her fears reared their heads. Her undaunted attitude of “bring it on, I get it, I can do it!” is thrilling.

We were talking about her journey from that sad girl I met to the dynamic woman I know now. I asked her what the biggest internal shift has been for her. She said, “I talk to myself differently now.”

She went on, “I used to be so mean to myself, and constantly say bad, terrible things about myself inside my head. Somewhere along the way, that changed. I started talking nice to myself, and noticing the good things instead of the bad. Now I make myself say 10 good things about myself for every bad thing I catch myself thinking. I also find myself finding more good things about myself to praise. How I talk to myself has absolutely shifted. And it’s so much easier now to accomplish my goals because of it.”

“So you praise the good things about yourself, and that’s the shift?” I queried.

“Well, it’s more than that, actually. Things really started shifting for fast for me when I started loving all of me. I had to love the fat and the depression before they could go away. Without judging it. I just started telling my faults that I loved them. I did it all the time. I still do it. And they kinda vanished, or at least stopped getting in the way. And now I’m lots happier, and I get more done, and I love my life. But I had to love all of me first before anything else changed. I know I’d still be fat if I hadn’t started, for sure.”

I’ve watched this woman walk through Hell on the way to her dreams. I’ve witnessed her triumphs and her challenges. I’ve been honored to be her ally on this journey. Her results don’t lie.

I believe her. Don’t you?

Do yourself a favor. Start loving yourself, ALL of yourself, on purpose, deliberately. Start today, right this minute, and change your life forever.

*****

Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She is the Midlife Midwife™ offering counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.