The Best Valentine’s Gift Ever
February is a time of love. For the romantics, Valentine’s Day is a time of flowers and romance, while for the cynics, it is a red and pink Hallmark holiday. Men and women alike share feelings of shame and failure if they are not in picture perfect relationships come February 14th.
Too often, we get stuck in creating a picture perfect life based on societal – or family expectation. We focus on what a mom should be doing, what a girlfriend or wife should look like, how a friend should behave….we take to heart and believe that if we don’t fulfill who we should be we are failing at life.
I, too, am guilty of that in my not-so-distant past. I spent many years putting all my efforts into being what someone else wanted me to be. I was never thin enough, quiet enough, pretty enough, organized enough…. That basically, nothing I did on a daily basis was enough to satisfy everyone. My inner critic joined the chorus. We take these thoughts to heart and believe them to be truths.
Let me tell you a real truth, sweetheart:
YOU ALONE ARE ENOUGH.
I won’t lie and tell you that breaking free of this mindset is easy. Just as with every relationship, the one you have with yourself takes work. As you begin to plant the seeds of change in your world, know that the dirt will come up. There may be a few tears that go along with the laughter, but both are important – the tears and the laughter – as they each possess an amazing restorative power. (Allowing yourself to feel may be a foreign concept to you.)
I also won’t lie and tell you that you can wave a magic wand and change your life overnight. It would be nice if that were possible, but the honest reality is that it’s a journey of steps.
The first step is this: you must stop making war with your heart and accept yourself exactly as you are in this moment.
I know, I know. I can hear the arguments, excuses and justifications bouncing through your brain. How you need to lose 20 pounds so you’ll be pretty enough to find the man of your dreams. How you need to write a best-selling novel so that you can quit your job and change the world. How you’ll be happy when you are thin, in a great relationship, have $100,000 in your bank account and have a best-selling novel.
Let me tell you something, darling: the time is NOW.
Because if you are waiting for things to CHANGE before you get IT, then you’re going to be waiting a long time.
Don’t get me wrong. I believe to the depths of my soul that you can be happy. I believe that you will write a series of best-selling novels. I believe that you can find love. But in order to accomplish those big dreams you must take this first step:
You’ve got to make peace with yourself as you are in this very moment.
Now, let me be clear. Making peace with your current self doesn’t mean that you are choosing to remain stuck; instead, you are choosing to end the argument with reality. Byron Katie, author of Loving What Is, has said that if you argue with reality, you will lose 100% of the time.
From the moment I began to make peace with myself, with exactly who I was on that day, my life began to transform. I began to forgive myself for not being perfect. I began to forgive myself for past mistakes. I let go of the self-image of a women who didn’t deserve to have fulfilling work or be in a healthy relationship and have discovered that I am more than worth the most powerful love of all: the love of myself.
And so are you. You are worth loving.
I wake up each morning with a good idea of who I am and a feeling of contentment. I have proven to myself that I matter, that I am enough, and that anything I really want in life is a possibility.
I want you to give yourself something special for Valentine’s Day: Accept the amazing person that you are in this moment so you stop resisting reality.
In fact, give your soul the power of the written word and create a peace agreement with yourself. When you write things down, it allows your lizard brain, your inner critic, and your heart to work together instead of against each other.
I’ve made it super easy for you: download a Peace Agreement by clicking here. Need ideas for what you should write? These are some of the items from my personal Peace Agreement
- I will embrace my imperfection
- I will not judge or criticize my ideas or dreams.
- I will not wait to wear my good perfume, my nice underwear or use my good linens.
- I will eat without guilt.
- I will not beat myself up for getting off course.
- I will observe myself with compassion.
- I will be curious about actions I take that don’t align with my goals.
- I will recommit regularly to my dreams.
- I will align my dreams with my personal values and how I want to feel so that I take action towards what I desire, not what I think I should do.
- I will make time for rest and for play, because my body and soul deserves both.
- I will allow myself to feel – I will laugh and I will cry. I am human and am allowed to feel.
- I will honor myself by saying “no” to things that don’t align with who I want to be and saying yes to those things that do.
- I will love myself completely.
And once you create your very own Peace Agreement, begin the process of discovering what it is you really want out of life.
You have to root around in your heart to find your passions, your soul to discover what passions really are uplifting, and your mind to examine the muddle through the possibilities. Once your heart, soul and mind have weighed in, don’t rule out your gut. Eventually, you will learn that your gut is helping show you the difference between external expectations and what is truly your desire, unadulterated. (My eBook Create Your Compass is a great tool to help you discover what you really want).
One day, the light bulb will go off above your head and not only will you know what you want, you will realize you are actively pursuing it.
This is what I call living in the zone – right smack in the middle of the sweet spot.
Just because it’s not the New Year doesn’t mean that you can’t start today on the discovery to what you truly want. It’s not a “resolution” about being a better person, it’s about accepting yourself for who you are and beginning a journey on the path to finding your passion in life.
You can start it any day you want. So why not begin today?
The relationship with yourself maybe the most complex one you will ever have, but YOU, my dear, are worth it.
Take that first step.
Make peace for Valentine’s. Not War.