During moments of boredom, I would reach for my phone to check if I have any unanswered emails, or log onto Facebook. The posts made by friends and acquaintances almost always provide entertainment, insight, and/or intrigue. Babies are being born. People are getting married (or breaking up). Goal setters are achieving while haters are not believing.
One afternoon, I came across a post that gave me pause. A friend had changed her relationship status. I’m not sure if it still happens, but when I was a younger, whenever a person changed her relationship status on Facebook, the relationship was considered legit. Everyone, including cousins she never met, will come out of the bushes and congratulate her as if you she had found a cure for cancer – the cancer for loneliness.
However, one afternoon, my friend changed her status.
The Facebook post said that she was in a relationship… with herself.
At first glance I was a bit perplexed: “How…is… that.. possible?” I re-read the post, but slowly this time around. I wanted to see if it was a joke. Was I missing something? No one had commented on her post. However, there were a few likes. Then, it dawned up me that my friend had made a profound statement, boldly declaring to the world that she was not ashamed of loving herself.
It beckoned the question: “How many of us are in a relationship with ourselves?” We are constantly looking for fulfillment in a relationship with someone else. Our identity is largely based on our roles as a daughter, wife, fiancé, sister, cousin, mother, employee, or cousin. What’s the name for a person who is in a relationship with herself? I am not talking about egotism or narcissism. I am talking about those who have a healthy sense of self-love.
The Golden Rule is to love others like we love ourselves. However, every day, we are bombarded with news of hatred and violence. Does this mean there are people walking around who hate themselves? The answer, unfortunately, is yes. There are some people who dislike the way God created them. They become bitter, and in turn, their feelings affect their relations with others. In order to fulfill the challenge of the Golden Rule, we must have a heart big enough to love not only ourselves but also others.
When we invest in ourselves, we will reap the benefits. We don’t have to worry about expending energy on a relationship that will leave us feeling empty, lost, and confused. When we love ourselves, we can properly love others and know what to accept and not accept. Below are some of the ways we can begin the process of self-love.
Besides knowing your own name, do you know yourself? You have the potential to be all you were created to be. It’s important to know your individual and collective history. As a woman of Haitian heritage, growing up, I was constantly bombarded by the negative portrayal of Haiti. However, once I learned about my history, I became empowered and started operating in my legacy. Once you know who you are, you won’t accept whatever label society and others want to place on you.
Take Care of Yourself
You need to develop and nurture your body, mind, and spirit. All three are connected. When one fails, the others are out of balance, and it’s reflected in your daily life.
Body: Eat right. Exercise often. Live a healthy lifestyle.
Mind: As they say, a mind is a terrible thing to waste. Remain a student for life. Be teachable. Learn something new every day, whatever it may be. (FYI, I am currently learning the Portuguese language. Why? I was inspired by this year’s Olympics. Remember, you don’t need to find a reason why you need to learn something new. All that matters is you develop your mind.)
Spirit: Let’s face it: We don’t have complete control over our lives. Your spiritual life can keep you grounded when trials and tribulations (expected or not) come your way.
We not only need to forgive those who hurt us – intentionally and unintentionally, but we also need to forgive ourselves. Sometimes, we are our harshest critic. We forget that we are human and prone to making mistakes. When you make a mistake, forgive yourself. However, don’t repeat your mistakes. Learn from them, and move on.