On Love – Let It Begin With You
A teacher once said to me many years ago, “Nicky, some people come in to our lives for merely a season. Others a lifetime”.
These words have always felt immensely profound to me and have stayed in my heart ever since.
It helped me to start learning that Love was not something I could hold on tight to. It helped me let go of my grip, just a little, in my heart.
As a teenager, I was desperate for Love. I was always the one searching, hoping, wishing and dreaming of that one magic moment when I would find my prince and be rescued from my pain and problems.
I would give my heart so quickly and completely only for it to be broken into pieces as they left. As if I only really felt loved or loveable if someone else was loving me.
Many years later, as I began this journey of transformation from my addictions and eating disorders, my very first sponsor said to me:
“Nicky, for at least a year, I want you to stay away from the boys and stick with the girls”
Woah….what was she talking about? I mean I thought that was a bit harsh. I was 21, I wasn’t a baby and hey, this had nothing to do with me learning to live better.
She smiled knowingly and asked me to trust her. So I did. And I did what she said.
I soon discovered what she was talking about.
The pull I had, to want to find love elsewhere, other than from myself, was so intensely strong. Like the strongest magnet, pulling my focus away from myself and wanting to attach onto someone else. Making that person my answer. That person’s love, my wholeness. That person’s attention, my existence.
I knew then, that if I was ever going to find a way to live a more happy, joyous and free life, I was going to have to learn how to love and care for myself first. So that I could begin to feel loved in my life…by me first.
Such a simple lesson but I think we all know it is not at all easy.
Society, movies, social media – they all portray this picture of what true love is supposed to be, like it is some magical, perfect fantasy that we can only all aspire and dream of. Something ‘out there’ that if we could just get some, we will be happier. We will be complete.
But in my view this is something very very dangerous and immensely disempowering.
What if….We didn’t need this magical love to make us whole? What if we felt loved already? What if we already felt complete and whole in ourselves? And then any love that does come into our lives, sometimes for a season, sometimes for a lifetime…is the beautiful added extra that we can enjoy and be grateful for, for as long as it lasts.
What if hey? Sounds pretty good to me.
Fast forward 2o years, I am married and a mother and I know I am very very lucky. But the lessons for me now are still the same as what they were when I was 20. The relationship I have with how I love and care for myself directly dictates how the rest of my life unfolds. How I feel in my life, and how much love I am able to give and receive.
The more I love myself, the more love flows through my relationship and my life.
The more I love myself, the more compassion I have for my husband, for my daughter, and for others.
The more I love myself, the more I feel loved. And the more love I have to give.
The more I love myself, the more whole and secure I feel in myself & the more freedom I can give to others to just be who they are.
Taking care of my finances is an act of self-love.
Following my dreams is an act of self-love.
Eating nourishing foods is an act of self-love.
Exercising my body is an act of self-love.
Letting love in, is an act of self-love.
And I have come to discover something really quite special…That in fact Self-Love and Self-Care are in themselves great spiritual acts.
I have been with my husband now for 6 years and we are lucky enough to love each other very very deeply. We have moments that look like that fantasy picture in the movies and but much more often we have moments that are very real, imperfect, messy and clunky.
And when I remember what my teacher told me, I ask myself? “Will this love be here for a season, or will it be here for a lifetime?” Who knows?
What I do know, is there is one relationship I will be with me for a lifetime…and that is the one with me.
And that is the one I will be working on till the day I pass.
And that is essentially the love affair of my life.
And it is the same for you.
And so, here we are on Valentines Day and I wanted to share with you these words On Love. Taking the focus off ‘out there’, letting go of this magical fantasy and bringing it back to each one of your own hearts.
Because each and every one of us has such power within us and we all deserve the most enormous amounts of love. We deserve to feel loved….so let’s give it to ourselves.
So I invite you to please show yourselves some love today.
However that may look and however that may be.
And when you do…take a moment to let it in.
And feel it.
So you can feel your love today.
I love you! Happy Valentines Day.