February has long been known as the month of romance, but we have been programmed to think of it as the month for lovers. I am pleased to be part of Team Love’s 2014 campaign to blanket the world with love. This month’s message focuses on the importance of self love http://madlyinlovewithme.com/madly-in-love-with-me/
This week’s self-love blog prompt is “Dictionary.com defines self love as narcissism, conceit, and vanity. What do you think self love is?”
Being a woman with a dirty mind, my first response was not suitable for publication (this is, after all, a family friendly blog, if only because my daughter reads it).
I spent time pondering the meaning, but found my mind spinning away from the idea. Every time I tried to come up with a post, I found myself distracted by shiny objects and “mommy-dos”…and that’s when it hit me. We (as mothers, wives, girlfriends…hell, as WOMEN) have been trained from an early age to be caregivers. Whether it’s a genetic trait or something that is simply ingrained in us from an early age is of little importance. It’s who we are. We are driven to take care of others, to put their needs before our own. We learn that nice girls say “Yes”. Yes to working late, yes to extra assignments, yes to committees and school projects and whatever else anyone asks us to do*
(*side note to my daughter – UNLESS IT HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH DRUGS, ALCOHOL OR S-E-X)
I have recently learned the importance of no (http://wp.me/p3MpQJ-2n). It’s a difficult, but vital lesson. Saying yes to everything leaves us exhausted, sick and resentful of the people we want to help. “No” gives us the free time we need to “fill the well”. It allows us to spend time with ourselves or friends. It gives us a chance to breathe – to rest – to learn more about the person we spend most of our time with. Ourselves. We can return to our hectic lives rested and refreshed, and willing to say “yes” with a happy heart.
This, then, is my definition of “self-love”. Self-love, verb: Learning the power of “no”.