This entry is in response to an article in the Huffington Post entitled, “7 Ways to Make Someone Fall in Love With You.” (You can read the article Here.)
The Title really annoyed me. “Make Someone” fall in love with you? It sounds so manipulative, so shallow. But on a broader scale the title panders to the idea that happiness is found outside of one’s self. That perception is far too pervasive in today’s society and, I believe, is at the heart of most of our problems. The article, as it turns out, and not surprisingly for Huff Post, is actually a lovely little commentary on the things that can bring people closer in a relationship. The worst I can really say about it is that it was poorly titled. It should have been called, “7 Ways to Build Intimacy When You’ve Found The One”.
In any case, real romantic love is not going to happen for anyone who doesn’t love themselves first. Like most people, I had to learn that the hard way, by chasing the wrong things, the wrong relationships, by hurting and by feeling unloved. When I finally began to realize that Love resides within us, I embarked on a journey to get to know me and to fall for the one and ONLY person in the world who is capable of making me happy. So here is a list of 7 of the things that I did which have paid off in a big way.
- Gratitude Attitude.
Yes we’ve all heard this one before, but its power cannot be overstated. Start small if necessary, and work your way towards noticing every bit of beauty and light that comes into your world on a moment by moment basis. When you constantly cultivate awareness of how great things are for you, you also cultivate the understanding that you deserve great things. Win/Win!
Yes, you have a million excuses. No time, can’t still my mind, I have ADD, etc. etc. JUST DO IT! Start with 2 minutes a day if you have to. Read about it. Find a Teacher. Start somewhere. I have found nothing more valuable to my well being than the practice of meditation, which I do POORLY, mind you. You don’t have to be a yogi to reap the benefits of this one. I promise. You spend time with you, not with your thoughts, just with YOU – the deeper spiritual you. You leave behind what others think of you, you leave behind the idea that you have to be DOING something to be of value in this world, you leave behind even what YOU think about you. And you begin to realize your TRUE value, which is infinitely greater than you imagine.
- Accept Compliments.
Start accepting compliments with a simple “Thank you!” and a smile. That is all that’s required. Stop making excuses for why you look pretty today, or how you had so much help for that job well done. Just accept and thank, that is all. And please be aware that the ultimate benefits of doing this will take time. This is a fake-it-till-you-make-it kind of practice. But it is so worth it. Once you are able to accept the admiration of others, you may discover there are many things to admire about yourself.
- Teach Yourself Something New.
If there is a craft, a skill or a subject which has always interested but baffled you, dive in now! I believe that when you become interested in the Universe, the Universe becomes interested in you. In my journey to self-love, I picked up Tarot Cards. They had always fascinated me but also seemed a total mystery. I couldn’t imagine how someone could memorize the meanings of 78 cards and put them together in a coherent story for others. I started at the beginning and studied, delved, experimented and practiced frequently. It took years. It took time. It took love and effort. Today, I am a sought after Tarot reader. Even other readers ask for my advice and insights. So find something that fascinates you and build a relationship with the subject matter. Make it yours, become the expert and it will become a source of pride, well deserved. As an aside here I will also mention that learning and using Tarot Cards, even if you just pick up the 22 Major Arcana and work with them exclusively, is a great way to get to know yourself, and you’re worth knowing, trust me.
- Romance Yourself.
Buy yourself flowers, a spa day, dinner out at a nice restaurant or whatever it is that you would find romantic. I began to realize, at the end of a bad relationship, that I wanted those things. I wanted someone to offer me romantic gestures like flowers or little gifts, things that said, “I’m thinking about you. I care. I like to make you smile.” So I stopped waiting for someone else to do that for me. I started small. I bought a vase to hang by the entry to my home and focused on always keeping at least one fresh flower in it. It was a daily reminder that I deserve beauty in my world. I bought myself greeting cards. I chose loving messages. The first one, which I still have, had an image of a dragonfly on the front and said, “There are still some remnants of Magic in this world…” and on the inside, “you’re proof.” Then, I began planning once a year weekends away with myself. They always included a romantic B & B, a spa day, some shopping or antiquing and at least one very fancy dinner out. Do whatever it is that floats your personal watercraft, but do it! Make plans to do nice things for you. Put in the time and the effort. You’re worth it.
- Create Sacred Space.
You must create at least one absolutely SACRED Space in your home for yourself, even if it is a tiny corner of a room or a patio. Start with a completely blank canvas and fill the space with ONLY things that you find beautiful or useful, preferably both. (Hint – this should also be your meditation spot.) Keep this space beautiful and perfect at all times. Visit it often. Place yourself within the beauty and understand that this is just for you. Your ultimate goal is to make your entire home sacred space this way and surround yourself entirely with beautiful and useful things. But I found that starting somewhere small was essential. And don’t make it a source of anxiety about cleaning it or keeping it perfect. Just truly enjoy it and love the time that you spend there and it will take care of itself. I promise!
Now, all this talk about You, You, YOU is nice and all, but it’s time now to understand that sometimes the best way to love yourself is to do things that make you loveable. Go out and find a charity or church group or family or someone whose cause finds a flame of passion in your heart and help them. It doesn’t matter how much time you put into it, it only matters that you help out of a sincere desire to do so. Monetary donations are lovely, but this is not what I’m talking about here. Actions are what is needed. Do something to make a difference in the world, in the lives of other people and you will see the reflection of that in people’s faces when they look at you. As much as the practice of volunteering is a giving gesture it is also a self-serving one. Nothing will give you more reason to be proud of yourself or more reason to admire your place in the world. Giving love to others is the best way to love ourselves. You will be surprised at how much fun you will have along the way.