It's Valentine's Day. A day where many are celebrating love and relationships. I feel fortunate to be in a thriving marriage and if you ask my wife, she'll tell you it's because we both commit to making our relationship a priority. We treat it as a living and breathing entity that requires nurturing and caring...active thought and planning. And the return on investment is priceless.
This got me thinking about our most important relationship - the one we have with ourself. How committed are we to making that relationship a priority? How much time do we invest in the care, feeding and development of our relationship with self?
If we evaluate the time we spend on the things we say are important to us - family, career, health - do we include self-love on that list? I know I haven't until very recently. On the outside looking in, most people would say I have a successful career and marriage. And yet, I am learning how to improve my relationship with myself. I'm curious about knowing this woman that I have become apart from all of my achievements.
When I look in the mirror, I want to genuinely be excited to greet the reflection staring back at me as I would when I see my beautiful grandchildren's faces. I want to learn how to embrace all of the parts of me...the loving and not so loving, the flawed and flawless parts that make up who I am and how I see the world.
I want to experience unconditional love for myself without the need to come up with reasons for doing so. I want to be intimately familiar with who I am at my core...when all of my "hats" have been removed - doctor, mother, grandmother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, advocate...who am I?
I'm excited, curious and cautiously optimistic about this exploration. In examining the thoughts about myself, I am becoming more aware of what beliefs have been lurking in the shadows. Awareness is the first step in deciding whether these beliefs serve me or not. And if they don't, I get to choose if and when I want to let them go and create new and empowering beliefs.
I believe this journey of truly knowing ourselves and learning to love who we are beyond all of our identities is some of the most important work that we will do in our lifetime. And it is likely a lifelong exploration.
As Aristotle said, "Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom."
Are you doing this work for yourself? If yes, please share any tips or insights you've gleaned along the way. I'd love to hear them.
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